Dara Kervick’s dream of making the European Indoor 400m final ended in the semi-finals but not without a brave effort from the 23-year-old from Piltown Co Kilkenny.
The Clonliffe quarter-miler found himself pitted right beside reigning world and European indoor champion and local darling Pavel Maslak.
With only the first two to get through he was essentially racing the other five men for the second qualification spot and he certainly didn’t shirk from the challenge, going out hard after the Czech star from the gun.
But it was vital to get to the break behind Maslak and Poland’s Lukasz Krawczuk, who started in lane three, got in there ahead of him.
Kervick was third coming down the home straight but Belorussia’s Aliaksandr Linnik just got up to pip him ahead of the line so he finished fourth in 46:96.
Had he been in the last semi-final he might have got through because the winning time was 47:50, a lot slower than the two other semis, but those are the vagaries of the draw.
“I’d love to have made a final but if you told me at the start of the season that I’d be running 46.5 and even making a semi-final I’d have taken your hand and run a mile with it,” said the DCU student.
“If I’d got into a better position at the break I might have made it but I didn’t get around that top bend well.”
Nevertheless he showed that competing in his first championship at this level did not faze him and he still has the relay to come on Sunday as Ireland were invited to enter a 4x400m team after finishing fifth in the European Outdoors last summer.