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Disappointment as Mark English misses out on 800m semi-finals

English’s time of 1:46.75 wasn’t enough to see him progress.

English finished fourth in his 800m heat.
English finished fourth in his 800m heat.
Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

MARK ENGLISH’S OLYMPIC Games ended in disappointment as he was run out of a place in the semi-finals of the men’s 800m on Saturday.

English found himself boxed into the inside lane of his heat, and when space finally emerged, finished fourth in 1:46.75 — more than two seconds slower than the Irish record he ran last month to secure his Tokyo qualification.

Crucially, it was 0.16 seconds behind Poland’s Patryk Dobek who held off the Donegal runner for the third and final automatic qualification place in 1:46.59.

The heat was won by Jesus Lopez of Mexico in 1:46.14 with Belgium’s Eliott Crestan second in 1:46.19.

With six heats across the morning, the first three finishers in each heat all qualified for Sunday’s semi-finals, with the six next best times overall also progressing.

English’s time, however, was only good enough for 14th place among the non-automatic qualifiers.

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Speaking afterwards, the 28-year-old tried to put a positive spin on his disappointment.

“Coming into the year, my two goals were to qualify for the Olympics, and get a new Irish record, and I did that,” English said.

About the author:

Niall Kelly

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