Disappointing start to Olympic athletics events as Irish athletes fall short in 800m heats

Nadia Power, Louise Shanahan and Síofra Cléirigh Büttner were all in action at the Japan National Stadium.

Nadia Power (file photo)
Nadia Power (file photo)
Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

IT WAS A disappointing start to the athletics events for Team Ireland this morning as all three Irish athletes competing in the women’s 800m failed to qualify from their heats.

Nadia Power, Louise Shanahan and Síofra Cléirigh Büttner were all in action at the Japan National Stadium.

Power, running in Heat 2, will be disappointed with a performance that saw her produce well below her best. Power spent much of the race in sixth place and slipped back into seventh as the leaders broke around the last turn.

The 23-year-old finished in a time of 2:03.74, with Jamaica’s Natoya Goule winning the heat at 1:59.83. Noélie Yarigo of Benin was second at 2:00.11, with Norway’s Hedda Hynne third at 2:00.76.

In Heat 3, Louise Shanahan also came in seventh. Shanahan kept pace with the leaders before falling away on the final 150m stretch, finishing in a time of 2:03.57.

Highly-rated 19-year-old Athing Mu took the heat with a time of 2:01.10, with Ethiopia’s Habitam Alemu Bayih second at 2:01.20 and Joanna Jozwik of Poland third at 2:01.84.

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The third Irish athlete out in the 800m heats was Dublin’s Síofra Cléirigh Büttner in Heat 4. The 26-year-old made an aggressive start but fell back to seventh and got caught behind the leaders, losing momentum twice as she got clipped trying to force her way back into contention.

Cléirigh Büttner finished in a time of 2:04.62. Raevyn Rogers of the USA won the heat at 2:01.42, with Keely Hodgkinson of the UK second at 2:01.59 and Kenya’s Mary Moraa third at 2:01.66.

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Ciarán Kennedy

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