Women's 4x400m relay storm into final while superb Shanahan advances in 800m

It’s another action-packed day for the Irish athletes at the European Championships.

Louise Shanahan in action in Munich.
Louise Shanahan in action in Munich.
Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Updated Aug 19th 2022, 12:00 PM

THE IRELAND WOMEN’S 4X400m relay team has stormed into the final at the European Championships in Munich, while Louise Shanahan has also booked her spot in the final of the 800m.

The team of Sophie Becker, Phil Healy, Rhasidat Adeleke and Sharlene Mawdsley combined for a powerful performance over the four legs to clock a new national record of 3:26.06 as they finished their semi-final in second place. Becker gave Ireland a brilliant start with an assured run in the first leg.

Healy complimented that run on the second leg and Adeleke maintained that lead on the third lap to put Ireland in a strong position heading into the final run. Mawdsley then completed the job with a brilliant run in the final leg.

In the women’s 800m, Louise Shanahan produced superb run to book her place in the final.

Shanahan stormed through as an automatic qualifier after finishing in a time of 2:01.15 to clinch third place and a spot in tomorrow’s final. The Tokyo Olympian was nicely positioned throughout, and was tucked in behind Polish athlete Anna Wielgosz who lead for most of the race.

The pace quickened coming down the final stretch as Keely Hodgkinson of Great Britain stormed forward to take first place. 

Wielgosz held on for second while Shanahan edged over the line in third, impressively holding off Germany’s Majtie Kolberg and Olympic silver medalist Ekaterina Guliyev of Turkey to power through to the final with automatic qualification.

Meanwhile, there was disappointment for Ireland’s 4x100m men’s relay team. They bowed out of their heats after dropping the baton during the second exchange which prevented them from finishing the race.

The team of Israel Olatunde, Mark Smyth, Colin Doyle and Joseph Ojewumi made a strong start after Ireland’s new 100m record-holder Olatunde took them through the first leg. Smyth took over after a clean handover in the first exchange and Ireland looked to be in second or third place as he transferred the baton to Doyle.

However, they failed to complete the handover, meaning their race finished there and Ojewumi was unable to see them through the final leg of the relay.

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There will more Irish interest in the championships later today. Mark English will be running in the 800m semi-finals at 7.34pm and Ciara Mageean is in action in the final of the 1,500m at 7.45pm.

Patrick O’Leary’s 200m kayak semi-final will take place at 11.30am and Jenny Egan-Simmons will be in the 500m kayak semi-finals at 4.30pm.

- Originally published at 10.41

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