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Brilliant Olatunde clocks new PB to win 100m heat at European Championships

Olatunde was just 0.01 off the Irish record as he stormed through to the semi-finals.

Israel Olatunde celebrates his victory.
Israel Olatunde celebrates his victory.
Image: Tom Maher/INPHO

ISRAEL OLATUNDE TODAY set a new PB of 10.19 to storm to victory in his heat in the men’s 100m at the European Championships in Munich. 

Olatunde’s time was just 0.01 from Paul Hession’s Irish record, and was an improvement on his U23s record of 10.24. That he set the record at his first major outdoor championships and while running from lane eight made it all the more impressive. 

Victory earns Olatunde qualification for tomorrow’s semi-finals, which begin at 7.05pm Irish time. 

Olatunde finished 0.11 clear of second-placed Dominik Kopec of Poland, who nonetheless qualified for the semis along with Emre Zafer Barnes of Turkey and Carols Nascimento of Portugal. Spaniard Sergio Lopez was disqualified for a false start. 

“It’s great to be part of such a big Irish team, it motivates you to give your best”, Olatunde told David Gillick of RTÉ. “This is where it matters. That’s the first round done, and I am set for the semi-finals now. This is just the heats, I just wanted to come out and compete with the guys. I am happy to win, but now it’s all about the semi-finals.  I know I am so young, but I have a decent level of experience. I am still learning, but my experiences in the past have helped me today.”

Meanwhile, Eric Favors just missed out on progressing to the shot put final.

The record-breaking Raheny Shamrocks star finished in 15th place, with the top 12 prevailing. His efforts were 19.34m, 19.38m and 19.71m. 

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There are further Irish athletes in action in the stadium later this evening. Phil Healy and Sharlene Mawdsley run in the heats of the women’s 400m, while Luke McCann and Andrew Coscoran are in action in the men’s 1500m. 

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Gavin Cooney

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