Medal heartbreak for gutsy Gregan
BRIAN Gregan's hopes of winning a second major medal this summer were dashed by just three hundredths of a second in the 400m final at the World Student Games in China yesterday.
The big DCU/Clonliffe star -- who won silver at this year's European U-23 Championships -- still ran a personal best of 45.96 seconds, the fifth fastest ever by an Irishman.
Gregan had secured himself one of the top lanes (fifth) by winning his semi-final and went out conservatively, saving his energy for a great late surge in which he came from well back to get up into a blanket-finish for bronze, but he was just off it in fifth place.
Hungary's Marcell Deak-Nagy claimed victory in 45.50 ahead of Jamaica's Peter Matthews (45.62). Australian Sean Wroe took bronze in 45.93 ahead of Russia's Valentin Kruglyakov (45.94) and Gregan.
The 21-year-old from Tallaght had the consolation of breaking the 46-second barrier and moving up into fifth in Ireland's all-time list, behind David Gillick (44.77), Paul McKee (45.58), Derek O'Connor (45.73) and Tomas Coman (45.84), and ahead of Rob Daly and the late Fanahan McSweeney.
There was disappointment too in the men's high jump final when Drogheda's Kourosh Foroughi (DC/Star of the Sea) failed to clear his PB of 2.20m, finishing joint-ninth after jumping 2.18m in an event won by Bogdan Bondarenko (Ukraine) in 2.28m.
Gregan's club Clonliffe will be out in force tomorrow, aiming to win a fourth men's premier title in a row at the Woodie's DIY Track and Field Club Finals in Tullamore Harriers.
They beat DSD by 40 points last year and are leading ahead of the final round with 254 points, but with Kerry (county) and Leevale on 226 and 219 points respectively, it looks like being a thrilling climax.
Ferrybank, second in Division 2 of the European Club championships, are the reigning premier women's champions but with Kelly Proper injured and Jessie Barr away at the Student Games, they are chasing leaders DSD (245 points) and Leevale (242).
The Division 1 titles are pretty open, but Clare County and Raheny Shamrocks are leading the men's and women's respectively after the first two rounds.