Mark English delights in silver success
Mark times finishing sprint to perfection to claim medal
MARK ENGLISH landed Ireland's first medal at the European Indoor Championships as he timed his finish to perfection to take silver in the 800 metres Final in Prague.
The 21-year-old, a European bronze medallist outdoors last summer, chased down Thijmen Kupers and dipped to cross the line in one minute 47.20 seconds, edging out the Dutchman by 0.05secs.
Poland's Marcin Lewandowski was the convincing winner in 1:46.67. Scotland's Guy Learmonth faded to finish last in 1:47.84.
English said: "I had a lot of energy at the end. I was trying to keep in line and keep in touch with Lewandowski because he is very hard to pass.
"The first two laps were close to 50 seconds, so quite fast, but I kept accelerating and found the energy.
"Also we did not have much time to relax. Usually there is a day's rest between the semi-finals and finals in the outdoor season, but I have to get used to it.
"I will celebrate tonight because you do not get a medal every season.
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"This is my sixth race of the season and I think I came into form at the right time, the other guys have over cooked it.
"I think Zurich (bronze last year outdoors) was a better achievement but I came into this race as one of the favourites and that is something completely different. and I am very proud to have moved on at this stage in my career."
John Travers, meanwhile, finished seventh in the 1500m final running 3:41.50 in a fast race which was won by Czech Republic's Jakub Holusa in a time of 3:37.68.
The men's 4x400m relay team finished sixth, in last place, in a highly competitive final won by Belgium in a new European record time of 3:02.87.
The young quarter Irish quartet of Dara Kerwick (23), Tim Crowe (23), Harry Purcell (19) and Brandon Arrrey (19) ran a time of 3:10.61.
Crowe was upbeat afterwards and said: "It was a tough leg running against the Borlee's from Belgium.
"We need strength in depth. We have strength in depth now and were able to push on and get better as a relay team."
The first two laps were close to 50 seconds, but I kept accelerating and found the energy.