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Disappointment for Irish in Beijing, Farah stumbles into 5,000m final

Ben Reynolds, Ciara Everard and Kelly Proper were unable to progress at the Bird’s Nest.

Athletics - IAAF World Championships - Day Five - Beijing National Stadium Irish hurlder Ben Reynolds. Source: Martin Rickett

Updated at 13.00

THERE WERE THREE Irish athletes competing at the World Athletics Championships in Beijing this morning.

Hurdler Ben Reynolds ran a time of 13.72 seconds in his 110m hurdles heat, but a seventh-place finish wasn’t enough to earn him a place in the semi-finals.

“It was crap preparation the last 10 days,” said Reynolds. “I did an especially fast day Saturday (11 days ago), and I hurdled that day and my lead leg (was sore the day after). I was just resting for the last 8 days.

“I got an old hip problem that takes about 10 days to settle. It’s a soft-tissue problem. It happened on the training camp. I’m pleased I raced. The first half of the race was good enough but then I started to fade.”

Kilkenny native Ciara Everard was also seventh in her 800m heat with a time of 2:03.98, meaning the UCD athlete does not progress either.

I think it was just tactics, I got it wrong,” she said. “I couldn’t position myself well for the first lap. Coming into it I didn’t know where my form was at but I felt really good in the race, it was kind of stop-start, tactically.”

This afternoon, Waterford’s Kelly Proper was sixth in her 200m heat, finishing in 23.28 seconds.

“I felt good, a personal best and national record (23.02 by Sarah Reilly in Edmonton in 2001) was my goal,” said Proper. “It felt fast so I was hoping for 23-low, and it just didn’t happen.

“I’ve worked really hard and been consistent all year, every season I have a couple of races that are really good and the rest are okay but this year they’ve all been consistent, but I haven’t had that ‘wow’ race.”

Meanwhile, a relieved Mo Farah refused to lay the blame at any of his opponents’ feet after a stumble almost cost him a spot in the 5000m final.

Farah, who also stumbled on the last lap of his triumphant 10,000m final on Saturday, tripped in the closing stages of his heat over the shorter distance. Nevertheless, Farah kept his feet to finish second in a time of 13 minutes, 19.44 seconds behind Ethiopia’s Yomif Kejelcha (13:19.38) and keep his hopes of a second Worlds double alive.

Athletics - IAAF World Championships - Day Five - Beijing National Stadium Source: Adam Davy

The two-time Olympic champion said: “I nearly went down – again. I hope it doesn’t become third time bad luck.

“Somebody caught my leg. I’ve got a long stride, it’s the way I run. I don’t blame anyone, but even in training sometimes my training partners catch my leg which is why I sometimes have to be on the front or the back, or stay on the outside.

“I felt alright, I felt good. I have to recover now and get ready.” Farah was doubly thankful to make it through, admitting that his exertions in the 10,000m had taken their toll on his fitness.

“My right foot’s been a little bit sore but apart from that it’s all been good,” he explained. “It’s nothing to worry about.”

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