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Dublin: 6°C Thursday 29 October 2020

European Championships: Smyth hits the ground running in Helsinki

Derry’s Jason Smyth got his European Championships off to a flying start, securing automatic qualification for the 100m semi-finals.

Image: ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

JASON SMYTH PROMISED further improvement after booking his place in the 100m semi-finals on day one of the European Athletics Championships in Helsinki.

The Derry native ran 10.47 in this morning’s heats, finishing fourth behind Lithuania’s Rytis Sakalauskas who won in a time of 10.23.

Smyth is bidding to become the first athlete to qualify for both the Olympic and Paralympic Games in the same year, but time is running out if he is to hit the “A” standard time of 10.18 before the 8 July deadline.

He was 14th fastest overall this morning but speaking to Athletics Ireland afterwards, he said that he was just “glad to get qualifying out of the way.”

“I hope to go quicker later on,” he added ahead of this evening’s three semi-finals, which begin at 6.15pm Irish time.

Earlier, Ferrybank’s Thomas Barr ran a season’s best to qualify for the semi-finals of the men’s 400m hurdles. Barr’s finished second behind Germany’s Georg Fleischhauer (50.22) but his time of 50.59 was enough to see him through to tomorrow.

But there was disappointment for Jason Harvey who failed to progress after he finished fifth in his heat in a time of 51.83.

North Down AC’s Amy Foster was the first of the Irish athletes in action at this year’s championship but her 100m bid ended all too soon as she failed to qualify, finishing seventh in her heat with a time of 11.58.

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About the author:

Niall Kelly

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