herald

Monday 20 August 2018

Rocket Ryan and Cragg into finals

Deirdre Ryan (DSD AC) produced her best ever career performance with a clearance of 1.95m in the women's high jump qualification round at the World Track and Field Championships in Daegu, South Korea, to secure an automatic qualification spot into the final.

The Dundrum athlete also set a new Irish record, improving on the 1.93m that she set in August, and achieved the A qualification standard for the London Olympic Games.

Ryan had first-time clearances at 1.80m, 1.85m and 1.89m. She then cleared 1.92m on her third attempt and 1.95m on her second, to finish fourth of five qualifiers among 15 competitors.

Earlier, Alistair Cragg had secured an automatic qualification spot into the 5,000m final after he finished fifth in heat two in 13:39.36.

This is Johannesburg-born Cragg's first world championships final, which takes place on Sunday at 11.40am Irish time.

The Clonliffe Harriers athlete demonstrated a willingness to ensure qualification with some very positive front running.

He took out the pace in the opening laps, avoiding the scuffles and falls behind him.



Injection

With 1000m to go, there was an injection of pace by the Ugandans but Cragg stayed in contention in the leading pack.

At the bell, there was a serious burn up and Cragg went with the pace and, down the home straight, he picked off athletes to move to fifth place.

Double amputee Oscar Pistorius led off his 4x400 relay team and was "extremely proud" to help South Africa qualify for the final with a new national record.

Defending champion Caster Semenya easily qualified for the women's 800m semi-final.

Australia's long jump world leader Mitchell Watt is through to tomorrow's final, but reigning Olympic champion Irving Saladino and world and Olympic silver medallist Godfrey Mokoena are out.

American defending world champion Dwight Phillips was fine, though.

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