Saturday 19 October 2019

English added to 800m final on appeal after clash

Mark English was furious after his fall yesterday. Photo: Sportsfile
Mark English was furious after his fall yesterday. Photo: Sportsfile

Cathal Dennehy

Mark English and Ciara Mageean will carry Irish medal hopes on the final day of action at the European Indoor Championships today after drama on the second evening of action at Glasgow's Emirates Arena.

A furious English was left dismayed after being barged out of his 800m semi-final, the 25-year-old first bumped by Guy Learmonth on the turn before tripping over the Briton when he crashed to the track shortly after. That cost English several seconds and left him running alone for the rest of the race, the Irishman crossing the line fifth. "It's very disappointing," he said. "It's so ridiculous, he tried to come through on the inside and expected to get away with it."

Learmonth was disqualified for obstruction, with an Irish appeal successful in having English advanced by the track referee, who judged him to have not been at fault for the collision. It means the Donegal man will now take his place in this evening's seven-man 800m final, where he has a strong medal chance.

Mageean will line up for the women's 1500m final a little over an hour later with a realistic medal chance. She made hard work of it in her 1500m heat, the 26-year-old bankrupting her energy reserves on the final lap to advance in third with her time of 4:08.15. Unable to speak to the media afterwards, she had to retreat outside the arena to vomit in the car park, the question being whether digging so deep will leave her in a hole for this evening's final.

With Scottish heroine Laura Muir appearing peerless, the gold medal seems out of the question, but Mageean should hold strong claims of a minor medal.

"Nobody's unbeatable and I'm sure as hell going to go out there and lay everything bare on the track to get up there as far as I can," she said.

A medal for either would put a belated shine on what has otherwise been a poor championships for the Irish, with a string of underperformances from many lesser-known names, a trend that continued yesterday as Joseph Ojewumi, Molly Scott and Lauren Roy exited in the 60m heats.

Irish in action

Men's 800m final: Mark English (6.57pm)

Women's 1500m final: Ciara Mageean (8.12pm)

Live, RTÉ 2, 6pm; BBC 2, 10am/5.30pm

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