herald

Tuesday 16 October 2018

Irish suffer whitewash on opening day in Sopot

The opening day of the World Indoor Championships in Poland did not pan out at all for Ireland as all the five athletes in action bowed out from the ultra-competitive heats.

Donegal's Mark English (UCD) was the most fancied to get through in Sopot, but only finished fourth in his 800m heat in 1:47.60, where only the winners and three fastest losers got through.

English paid the price for going out fast early on with Kenyan pace-setter Jeremiah Mutai, who went through 400m in 51.71 seconds, with both men fading badly over the last 150m in a race won by Poland's Adam Kszczot in 1:45.76 ahead of Britain's Andrew Osagie (1:45.88). Neither English or Mutai broke 1:47 and they needed to better 1:46.55 to take the last place in the final. West Waterford's David McCarthy made the best effort to get through and was desperately unlucky not to make the 1500m final after almost breaking his lifetime best.

He was in the stacked final heat, which was won by Ethiopia's Aman Wote in the fastest time (3:36:75) and while McCarthy was fifth, he was actually less than two tenths of a second short of getting through.

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His time of 3:39.46 was just fractions off fourth-placed Turk Ozbilen's 3:39.31, who made the final and it was also not far off his own 3:39.14 personal best.

The women's 800m qualifying was also particularly tough with an unforgiving 'winner-and-three-fastest-losers' format to make the straight final.

Both Newbridge's Roseanne Galligan (2:03.30) and UCD's Ciara Everard (2:00.69) ran season bests, but finished last in the blistering heats.

Poland's Angelika Cichocka ran the fastest time in the world this season (2:00.37) to win Galligan's first heat. Switzerland's Selina Buchel won Galligan's third heat in a 2:00.93 PB.

Claire Tarplee's seventh place in her 1500m semi-final last night meant the entire squad had missed out on further progression. The Dundrum South Dublin athlete complained afterwards of illness as she coughed through a post-race interview.

European champion Abeba Aregawi of Sweden won Tarplee's semi-final in 4:08.74, with Tarplee clocking 4:15.64 – a second outside her season's best and 2.5 seconds off her lifetime record.

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