Donegal athlete through to semi-finals of 800 metres of the European Athletics Indoor Championships - but only just

Longford Leaving Cert student also gets through in his heat

Donegal athlete through to semi-finals of 800 metres of the European Athletics Indoor Championships - but only just

Donegal’s Mark English is through to the semi-finals of the 800 metres at the European Athletics Indoor Championships in Poland.

But he only just made it, as he stumbled on the last bend and only just managed to hang onto third place, but that was enough for qualification.

English was in heat two this evening.

France’s Pierre-Ambroise Bosse, who has a PB of 1:45.95, had the best time of the seven athletes going into the heat and was second in 1:49.08 behind the winner of the heat, Patryk Dobek of Poland in 1:48.85. English clocked 1:49.79.

The first three qualified for the semi-finals tomorrow.

While English's performance gave some cause for concern, Ireland's second competitor at this distance, Longford Leaving Cert student, Cian McPhillips, was hugely impressive as he went from seventh to second in heat three to qualify in a time of 1.49.98. He comfortably crossed the line and could possibly have won the heat as he eased off behind winner Mariano Garcia.

In the fourth heat, John Fitzsimons of Kildare gave it his best shot but just missed out on the home straight and finished fifth.

The first heat saw European number one ranked Amel Tuka of Bosnia and Herzegovina winning in 1:49.58 while defending champion Alvaro De Arriba was only fifth and missed out.

English won a bronze in this competition in 2019 in Scotland.

The Finn Valley AC man broke his own national indoor record last month in a time of 1:46.10.

Earlier today, Ireland's Phil Healy won her semi-final of the Women's 400m.

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