Sarah Lavin. Morgan Treacy/INPHO
On track

World indoors: Lavin runs new PB to cruise into semi-finals, Irish relay team qualify for final

It was another impressive morning on the track for Ireland.

SARAH LAVIN EASED into the semi-finals of the 60 metre hurdles at the world indoor championships in Glasgow this morning, winning her heat with a new personal best of 7.90. 

She will run in the semi-finals at 7.40pm this evening, hoping to earn a place in the final later tonight. 

The top three in each of the six heats qualified automatically for the semi-finals, but Lavin blitzed her field, finishing .07 ahead of Finland’s Reeta Hurske in second. Netherlands Maayke Tjin-A-Lim came third in 8.10. 

“I don’t know if anything is ever comfortable”, Lavin told Virgin Media. “I did well. I reacted well, that first cross over the first hurdle needs to be a bit quicker, but I ran very well between the hurdles and came through at the end.”

Lavin continues to target Derval O’Rourke’s national record of 7.84, which she ran in winning this event in 2006. 

“Better than an Irish record”, replied Lavin when asked what it would take to medal in the event tonight. “I would say, 7.82, 7.83 might do it. 

“Of course [I want the record.] Otherwise I wouldn’t be here. My God, this was her baby. That’s a high mark but I am going to give it everything I have.” 

Meanwhile, the Irish women’s 4x400m relay team qualified into another world final, earning a fastest loser’s spot by 12 hundredths of a second. 

The Irish team of Phil Healy, Sophie Becker, Roisin Harrison, and Sharlene Mawdsley ran a new national record of 3:28.45 to finish fourth in a stacked heat, which was won by a Dutch quartet anchored by Femke Bol. 

Mawdsley anchored the Irish run, earning a measure of redemption following her harsh disqualification from the individual event on Friday. Healy, meanwhile, showed a stunning return to form, leading the Irish side off and first to pass the baton, running her leg in 51.93. Mawdsley was the fastest among the final runners, clocking 50.48, which was faster than Bol. 

The top two in each heat qualified for final along with the two fastest losers across both, meaning the Irish side were left with a nervous wait for the second heat. The time was ultimately enough, finishing 0.12 quicker than the Czech team that finished third. 

Their final is at 8.30pm tonight.

“Phil stormed off and all the girls held their ground”, Mawdsley told Virgin Media after the race. “I had a bit of redemption, I can’t put into words what this means to me. I am so pleased we got a national record and a final, we couldn’t have asked for much more than that.” 

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