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Dublin: 10°C Friday 7 May 2021

English frustrated by mid-race collision but qualifies for 800m final in Glasgow

The Donegal star’s appeal was successful after his 800m semi-final at the European Indoor Championships.

Mark English after the race.
Mark English after the race.
Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Updated 8.32pm

THE LUCK OF the Irish had well and truly deserted us at the 2019 European Indoor Championships in Glasgow, with yet another athlete falling victim on the track.

But thankfully, some of it has returned.

The in-form Mark English — one of Ireland’s biggest medal prospects — faced into a nervous wait, lodging an appeal after being involved in a collision in his 800m semi-final.

English’s appeal was successful and he was reinstated for the final. There then was another slight complication how and ever, as Athletics Ireland stated on Twitter:

“qR indicates ‘qualified by referee’. However, another appeal on the same race is being heard, so all decisions will have to be reviewed by a jury of appeal.”

But it’s official now — he’s in tomorrow’s final.

Great Britain and Northern Ireland team captain Guy Learmonth was disqualified for the offence, which looked like it would cost English a final spot. The Donegal man battled on to finish 5th with a time of 1:50.70, after winning his heat in 1.49.38 last night.

“He’s disqualified. I’m going to put in a protest and see what happens. Yeah, I guess we’re just going to have to wait and see,” English said afterwards, explaining the incident.

“He came through on the inside of me and then I think tried to claim it was my fault by putting his arms up in the air. Then he tripped up and I fell over him. It’s difficult but,” he shrugged.

When asked if hanging back a little bit almost invited a difficulty, English said:

“I knew what speed I wanted to run for the first 100m, and then going through 200m. I don’t want to overkill it either because I knew there’d be people moving, as there was in the first semi-final. I don’t think staying back was inviting any more trouble.

“I feel really good which was the most frustrating thing. What can I do? You just have to wait and see what the appeal says.”

Well now, he’ll surely show what he can do in tomorrow’s final.

Bernard Jackman joins Murray Kinsella and Gavan Casey to discuss the backlash to World Rugby’s league proposal, captaincy styles, sports psychology and more in The42 Rugby Weekly.

Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloud

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Emma Duffy

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