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Olympic Breakfast: Irish heartbreak and Dutch miracle comeback on the track

Three Irish athletes were eliminated in the heats on Monday morning.

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IT HAS BEEN a disheartening outing for Irish athletes in Tokyo today, but we did get another stunning Olympic Stadium moment on day 10. Welcome to the latest of our overnight updates.  

The Irish Eye

A bitterly disappointing morning on the track as the three Irish contenders failed to make it out of their heats. 

In the women’s 1500 metres, Ciara Mageean finished 10th in her heat in a time of 4:07.29. She was in a promising position heading into the final lap. The typical strong finish failed to arrive and it later emerged she suffered a calf injury last week that hindered preparations. 

“I didn’t have an ideal week leading into it. Not one for sharing the troubles that arise and the toughness, but it wasn’t ideal,” Mageean told RTE post-race. “I picked up a little bit of a niggle. I am wondering did that just take my edge off.”  

sarah-healy Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

In the final heat, Sarah Healy finished 14th as the pace proved too much for the 20-year old. “This is definitely my poorest race of the season,” she said in the aftermath of the event. 

One of the youngest members of Team Ireland, Healy was hoping for more from her heat: “Everybody says that they’ll be back next time, but I’m here now, and I felt like I could make a semi-final if I ran to my potential. Obviously, I want to be back for Paris but it’s not going to take away from the disappointment I have today.”

In the women’s 200m heat, Phil Healy produced a season’s best time of 23.21 seconds yet it was not enough to progress. She finished fifth of five runners. 

 Who else is making headlines?

Dutch distance runner Sifan Hassan kept alive her hopes of an unprecedented Olympic treble after picking herself up following a fall to win her 1500 metres heat on Monday.

sifan-hassan-celebrates-wins-her-heat-after-falling Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

The 28-year old crashed to the ground when Kenya’s Edinah Jebitok tripped and fell in front of her as the bell went for the final lap. Incredibly, she picked herself up and hunted down the leaders.  

Puerto Rican Jasmine Camacho-Quinn took gold in the women’s 100m hurdle. clearing away from the sixth jump to cross the line in 12.37.

There was also bizarre scenes on the track this morning when Shericka Jackson, the 100m bronze medallist, was eliminated from the 200m after making a crucial error in her heat.

The Jamaican was expected to storm to the semi-finals, but she eased up before the finish. It proved costly as she missed out of the top three with a time of 23.26 seconds.

 Your must-see Olympic schedule for today

In diving, Oliver Dingley takes part in the 3m springboard at 7.00am. Dingley made the final in Rio and finished in an impressive eighth place.

At 9.00am, Sarah Ennis, Austin O’Connor and Sam Watson take part in the equestrian team final. The team medals will be decided after the first showjumping round, with the top 25 advancing to a second-round where they will decide the individual medals.

Cycling begins at Tokyo’s Iza Velodrome, with qualifying for the team pursuits and the women’s team sprint event from 7.30am-10.30am. 

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There are also two women’s football semi-finals, with the USA against Canada kicking off at 9am and Australia taking on Sweden at 12pm.

Highlight of the night

Step forward, Sifan Hassan. Her recovery and run to the front must be seen to be believed. Despite the small crowd, the gasps were still audible as the Dutch runner worked her way back to the front after falling on her final lap. 

Some further reading 

The Guardian’s Andy Bull delves into the inspiring story behind the fastest man on the planet, Marcell Jacobs.

Quote of the day 

“Being the first Irish person in three events, that’s making history, the relay made history, so there is so much to take from it but when you give so much to an Olympic year you just want to go out and perform to your best.”

Despite her elimination this morning, Phil Healy told RTE she is staying positive. The Cork woman returns later in the week for the 400m event. 

About the author:

Maurice Brosnan

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