Mark Shearman/INPHO
Rio 2016

After a brave run, Mark English fails to qualify for Olympic final

The Donegal man came across the line in fifth position, not quite enough to progress.

MARK ENGLISH HAS failed to qualify for the 800m men’s Olympic final following a brave effort in Rio on Saturday night.

In a tough semi-final featuring Olympic champion and world record holder David Rudisha, the Donegal man finished 5th place with a time of 1:45.09.

Only the top two from each of the three semi-finals automatically earned their place on the start line on Monday night.

English came in 17th overall. He would have needed to beat the Irish national record to progress.

Speaking immediately after the race, English was content with his performance.

After a gruelling year plagued with injury, the medical student conceded that his legs were tired and sluggish coming into the second 400 metres.

The 23-year-old UCD student was happy – and has no regrets – about the race, looking to the future.

“I said to the lads back home, I want to run 51.5 to 51.7 in the first lap and I did… but I just didn’t have that kind of strength and endurance,” he said of his race tactics.

“The legs were just a bit tired and running a bit to sludge.

“I didn’t want to have any regrets. I gave it everything. I ran as fast as I could over that first lap to put me in contention. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t there in the last lap.

“I probably missed a good bit of fitness work and endurance,” he said, referring to the three months he was out of running completely with an ankle injury.

It does tell when you’re trying to put two races back to back. You’re alright for one race.

“I have good speed but the speed endurance isn’t there… it needs to be at a higher end.

“Hopefully I can work on that over the winter and come back and give those guys a good fight next year.”

More from Day 8 at the Olympic Games: 

More: Incredible Olympic moment as unseeded Puerto Rican Monica Puig wins women’s tennis final

Read: Another Olympic epic for Del Potro as he continues superb comeback to reach gold medal match

Related: Ireland’s Annalise Murphy well-placed to claim Olympic medal after super Saturday

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