Tuesday 17 September 2019

English is back in form with win to improve his Doha hopes

English has just under three weeks to hit the world standard, but if he falls short it’s highly likely he will be granted a place via the IAAF’s quota system. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
English has just under three weeks to hit the world standard, but if he falls short it’s highly likely he will be granted a place via the IAAF’s quota system. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

Cathal Dennehy

Mark English roared back to form with victory at the Birmingham Diamond League yesterday, the 26-year-old coming from behind to win the men's 800m in 1:45.94.

While that was just outside the World Championships standard of 1:45.80, it was a huge season's best and English's first ever victory at a Diamond League.

English ran towards the back as the leader passed 400m in 50.68 and was still in eighth as the field turned for home. However, the Donegal man soon powered past the entire field to win from Kenya's Alfred Kipketer, a 1:42.87 athlete at his best.

"I felt good and it's a pity I wasn't higher up in the race earlier on, but I got the job done," said English, who will be back in action on Wednesday at the Morton Games in Dublin. "I have to get the job done to get to Doha now."

English has just under three weeks to hit the world standard, but if he falls short it's highly likely he will be granted a place via the IAAF's quota system. The World Championships in Doha, Qatar begin on September 27.

Thomas Barr was in action in the 400m hurdles in Birmingham, coming home fifth in 50.16, a race won by Turkey's Yasmani Copello in 49.08. Sarah Healy made her Diamond League debut in the women's mile, the 18-year-old Dubliner finishing 12th in 4:40.72. The race was won by Germany's Konstanze Klosterhalfen in 4:21.11.

In Leuven, Belgium, European U-23 medallist Nadia Power continued her superb season, the Templeogue athlete clocking a lifetime best of 2:02.39 for 800m to take victory. Leon Reid finished second over 200m in 20.93 behind Zambia's Sydney Siame (20.79), while Jason Harvey finished third in the 400m hurdles in 52.09.

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