Monday 24 June 2019

John Travers qualifies for 1500m final of European Indoors

John Travers speaking after qualifying for the 1500m final at the European Indoor Championships in Prague.
John Travers speaking after qualifying for the 1500m final at the European Indoor Championships in Prague.

Cliona Foleyin Prague

Dubliner John Travers did what every athlete wants to do in a major championship - produced a personal best in his heat to qualify for the 1500m final at European Indoors tomorrow (15:30 Irish time).

The 23-year-old Donore man resisted the temptation to chase after flying German Homiyu Tesfaye in the first of four heats and his tactics worked perfectly.

He bided his time cleverly until making his decisive move off the second last bend to overtake a Spaniard on the sprint finish and take third behind the German (3:40.04) and Poland’s Artur Ostrowski (3:40:24).

With only the one fastest loser to get through from all the heats he then had to endure an anxious wait to see if his 3:41.37 would nick it. Fortunately three of the subsequent heats were very slow and he got through with a time that was third fastest overall.

“I was really happy with the way I ran the race, I passed Diego Ruiz on the home straight which is a good scalp to get and  it was probably my best championship race so far,” Travers said.

“I was 57 seconds for the last 400m which was good and I kept strong over the last 200m, I didn’t die off.

“Jerry (Kieran, his coach) would have absolutely strangled me when I got home if I’d chased off after Tesfaye!” he laughed.”The trick was to stay relaxed.”

Travers' best ever 1500m was 3:42:07 outdoors and 3:42.52 indoors so he broke both marks in making tomorrow’s final.

Danny Mooney (Letterkenny) ran in the final 1500m heat which needed to be fast to give him any chance of qualifying  but it was particularly slow (won in 3:46) and he finished sixth in 3:48.9.

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