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European Championships - Day 2 (am) - Athletics Ireland Report

Lawler and Foster Sprint to European Semis

Amy Foster

Marcus Lawler (St Laurence O’Toole) and Amy Foster (City of Lisburn) continued the Irish qualification trail with excellent performances in their respective 200m and 100m qualifying heats on day 2 of the European Athletics Championships (July 7).

Lawler finished fifth in heat 1 of the men’s 200m in 21.06 (-1.1) and was delighted to qualify for the semi-finals with a fastest non-automatic qualifier spot.

Lawler had a brief layoff before the championships due to a niggle but was back in form and ran a good bend to put himself in position to advance.

“I’m into bonus territory now,” said the Carlow sprinter. “The atmosphere was brilliant and that’s what motivates me. I’m here to learn and keep progressing.

Foster was equally pleased with her third place finish in the women’s 100m in 11.57 which qualified her automatically for the semi-finals. “I got the job done,” said Foster contentedly afterwards. “I would expect of myself to get through to the semis but now it’s a different ball game getting into a European final. I hoped to run faster but maybe the semi-final will be the time.”

Unfortunately Karl Griffin (UCD) and Declan Murray (Clonliffe Harriers) didn’t advance from their respective 800m heats. Griffin finished 8th in heat 3 with a season’s best of 1:49.37 while Declan Murray finished 6th in heat 4 with 1:50.10 in what were tactical battles throughout.

Murray rued not getting to the front after 200m to aid his chances of a fastest non-automatic qualifying spot. “My plan was to assess at the 200m mark whether to push on,” said Murray. “I hesitated slightly as we all came on top of each other so I just raced it tactically. I was in the right position but it’s always going to be difficult leaving it to a sprint.”

Tori Pena (Finn Valley) was the first Irish athlete in action in the qualifying of the women’s pole vault where she just missed out on countback to qualify for the final. She finished 7th in group A and 15th overall with a best clearance of 4.35m.

High Performance Director Kevin Ankrom was pleased with the morning. “It’s important that the athletes get out there and experience this level of competition. It was good to see Marcus Lawler and Amy Foster advance.”

This afternoon Thomas Barr (Ferrybank) competes in the 400m hurdles semi-final at 15:15, Brian Gregan (Clonliffe Harriers) and Sinead Denny (DSD) compete in their respective 400m semi-finals at 15:45 and 16:35 while Eoin Everard (Kilkenny City Harriers) goes in the heats of the men’s 1500m at 17:20.

Timetable for the Irish

Statistics of the Irish at the European Championships

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Cork Athletics County Board is a constituent member of Athletics Ireland. Cork Athletics is the governing body, administering athletics, track and field (T&F), cross-country (XC) and running in county Cork. The Board comprises elected representatives of constituent athletic clubs and running clubs. Cork County Board AAI organises Championship races and competition, including road, track & field (T&F) and Cross-country (XC), at junior, juvenile, senior and masters levels, and selects representation for the county. In addition, training and education is provided for coaches and officials. The Board also regulates the Athletics Ireland race/event permit (licence) process for county Cork.
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