Sunday 19 January 2020

English earns World Championship spot

English: “My plan was to get the world standard.
English: “My plan was to get the world standard." Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Cathal Dennehy

Mark English became the third Irish athlete in the space of 10 days to book his place at the World Championships when finishing second in a strong 800m at the Stockholm Diamond League yesterday.

The 24-year-old Donegal man clocked 1:45.42 to dip well below the required standard of 1:45.90, finishing second to Thijmen Kupers of the Netherlands, who ran 1:45.02.

English passed 400m in fourth place in 51.7, and moved past European champion Adam Kszczot on the final bend to kick home to second, his finishing time taking more than half a second off his previous season's best of 1:46.02.

"My plan was to get the world standard. I wanted to run around 51 for the first lap, and when I saw 1:17 at 600m, my plan was to run as relaxed as possible," said English.

English's qualification came hot on the heels of strong performances from Ciara Mageean and Thomas Barr, who booked their spots in London in recent days.

Elsewhere, Michaela Walsh was in supreme form when competing as a guest at the English Championships in Bedford, the Mayo teenager throwing a national junior record to win the U-20 shot put in 16.13m.

She bagged her second gold medal on Saturday by taking the U-20 hammer title with 62.62m, then yesterday took her third in the U-23 hammer with a best of 62.71m, just shy of her national record of 62.79m.

On the roads, Kevin Maunsell and Laura Shaughnessy took wins at the Irish Runner 5-Mile, Maunsell clocking 24:18 and Shaughnessy 27:53.

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