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Ireland's Olatunde makes history at European Championships

He finished sixth place in the final with a new national record of 10.17.

Israel Olatunde crossing the line in second place in the semi-final of the men's 100m.
Israel Olatunde crossing the line in second place in the semi-final of the men's 100m.
Image: Tom Maher/INPHO

Updated at 22.47

ISRAEL OLATUNDE tonight became the first Irish athlete to book a spot in the final of the 100m at the European Championships in Munich.

He then finished in sixth place in the final with a new national record of 10.17.

The UCD athlete was just 0.04 away from a medal. 

Olympic champion Marcell Jacobs of Italy triumphed with a time of 9.95, while there was a double medal haul for Britain as Zharnel Hughes (9.99) and Jeremiah Azu (10.13) claimed silver and bronze respectively.

The 20-year-old Irish star, who earlier was running in the second of three semi-finals, produced a brilliant final 50 metres to clock a time of 10.20 to take second place and progress to the final as an automatic qualifier.

Olatunde’s stunning performance follows Ciara Mageean’s brilliant run to see her through to the final of the women’s 1,500m while teenage sensation Rhasidat Adeleke has also progressed to the 400m final.

Elsewhere, Ireland’s Brian Fay clocked a time of 13.31.87 to finish in eighth place in the men’s 5,000m, while Norway’s Jakob Ingebrigtsen stormed to victory to defend his title. Darragh McElhinney was also in action for Ireland, coming home in 16th place in a time of 13:39.11.

“It’s amazing to be here in a European final… I’m just so grateful to be here,” a jubilant Olatunde told RTÉ after his heroics.

“I can’t believe it, this whole season has been such a blessing.

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“I think just believing in myself and my faith [was key], believing in those people around me that’s got me to this point. It’s been a long journey to get here, I know I’m still young and have a long way to go but I’m just grateful for the journey I’ve been on to get to this point.

“I know this isn’t going to be the end.

“I had no idea I ran that fast, it was kind of a blur, I didn’t know what was going on, I just knew I crossed the line and was happy.”

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