Friday 17 August 2018

Chris O'Donnell runs a season's best in his first outing in a major championship as a senior

7 August 2018; Chris O'Donnell of Ireland, after competing in the Men's 400m event during Day 1 of the 2018 European Athletics Championships at The Olympic Stadium in Berlin, Germany. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
7 August 2018; Chris O'Donnell of Ireland, after competing in the Men's 400m event during Day 1 of the 2018 European Athletics Championships at The Olympic Stadium in Berlin, Germany. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Ireland's Chris O'Donnell was upbeat after running a season's best time in his 400m heat at the European Championships in Berlin this morning.

Last week's national champion came sixth in a time of 46.81 on his first visit to a major championship as a senior.

His performance was all the more impressive given that he had to run out of lane one.

The Sligo native was happy with his showing.

"It's fantastic to be here. You can talk about lane one but it doesn't matter. I'm one of the youngest competitors here in the whole championship," the 20-year-old said.

"There are not many juniors that go straight from senior in to finals, winning medals... very few. So you have to have days like this.

"I'll definitely look back in years to come ans say this is the start of the senior career that made me.

"Don't get me wrong, I'm happy with how I ran today but in a couple of years time, hopefully I'll keep making these championships and hoping to be right up there with those boys."

Both Síofra Cléirigh Buttner and Claire Mooney failed to advance from the heats of the 800.

Cléirigh Buttner, who is coming off the back of a busy season on the American collegiate circuit, was sixth in heat one in 2:02.80. Mooney ran aggressively and led going into the final bend before fading into eighth place in heat two in 2:04.26.

Brendan Boyce was part of an initial seven-man breakaway in the 50km walk but he faded in the punishing Berlin heat and ultimately finished ninth in 4:02:14.

There are three other athletes in action today. Phil Healy goes in the 100m semi-finals (6.05pm), Thomas Barr goes in the semi-finals of the 400m hurdles (6.55pm) and Stephen Scullion goes in the 10,000m final (7.20pm).

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