Wednesday 19 June 2019

Mark English added to 800m final on appeal after 'ridiculous' clash with British runner

Mark English of Ireland after competing in the Men's 800m event during day two of the European Indoor Athletics Championships at Emirates Arena in Glasgow, Scotland. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
Mark English of Ireland after competing in the Men's 800m event during day two of the European Indoor Athletics Championships at Emirates Arena in Glasgow, Scotland. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

Cathal Dennehy

Mark English was left furious this evening after his medal chance was almost ended at the European Indoor Championships by a British rival, the 25-year-old barged out of contention by Guy Learmonth on the third of four laps.

At the time English had been running towards the rear of the six-man field in the 800m semi-final when Learmonth tried to move through space on his inside that wasn’t there, a tussle of arms ensuing before Learmonth crashed to the track, his fall hampering English and leaving him with no chance to qualify.

"It’s very disappointing," said English. "It’s so ridiculous, he tried to come through on the inside like that and expected to get away with it. Hopefully he doesn’t. I’m going to put in a protest. We’ll wait and see."

English's protest proved successful, and he will now race in the 800m final.

He crossed the line fifth in 1:50.70 in a race won by Spain’s Mariano Garcia in 1:48.84. Learmonth was disqualified for obstruction under rule 163.2.

"I feel really good which is the frustrating thing, but what can I do? He pushed and then tried to claim it was my fault, putting his arms in the air, then he tripped up and I fell over him so it’s difficult. I felt really good which was the most frustrating thing."

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