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Dublin: 15 °C Monday 16 July, 2018
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Neville and Akpe-Moses ride the crest of the wave to cruise into World semi-finals

The sprint pair produced strong performances in Finland this morning.

Ciara Neville is through to the 100m semi-finals.
Ciara Neville is through to the 100m semi-finals.
Image: Sam Barnes

TWO OF IRELAND’S leading medal hopes at the World U20 Championships have comfortably cruised through to the semi-finals of the 100 metres, leaving real grounds for optimism heading into the business end of the meet.

Ciara Neville and Gina Akpe-Moses both finished second in their respective heats on day two of the championships in Tampere, as they advance to Thursday evening’s semi-finals.

Neville, who has recently completed her Leaving Certificate, ran a season’s best of 11.54 and looked strong as she crossed in second, while Akpe-Moses — the current U20 European champion — clocked a time of 11.58 in Heat 5.

Limerick athlete Neville has been drawn in the third of tomorrow’s semi-finals, with the first two finishers of each to qualify for the final along with two of the fastest losers.

“I felt great in the warm-up,” she said earlier. “I know I am in the best shape I have ever been, so I was hoping to come out and run fast and I did that with a season’s best. I am absolutely delighted.

“My focus was on myself and executing my race properly and I definitely think I did that.”

Akpe-Moses will run in the first semi-final, which is due to start at 4pm Irish time.

Meanwhile, Jo Keane produced a brilliant run in this evening’s 800m semi-finals, clocking a lifetime best of 2:06.91, although it wasn’t enough to see her through to the final.

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Ryan Bailey

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