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Dublin: 7°C Thursday 13 May 2021

Irish sprint sensation breaks record en route to European 100m final

16-year-old Patience Jumbo-Gula will run for gold tomorrow evening.

Ireland's Patience Jumbo-Gula.
Ireland's Patience Jumbo-Gula.
Image: Athletics Ireland

IRELAND’S PATIENCE JUMBO-GULA will go into tomorrow’s U18 European Championships 100m final as one of the leading contenders for gold, after she showed all her potential in today’s heats and semi-final.

The St Gerard’s Dundalk athlete coasted through this morning’s heats in Gyor before smashing a championship record in her semi-final, clocking a time of 11.59 seconds into a wind of +0.7m/s.

Jumbo-Gula’s performance completed an encouraging opening day for the Irish team in Hungary, with Sophie O’Sullivan claiming victory in her 800m heat on international debut.

16-year-old Jumbo-Gula will be looking to emulate the achievement of Ireland’s Gina Akpe-Moses, who won a silver medal in the same event two summers ago.

The 100m final takes place at 7.09pm Irish time on Friday evening, with the action live on Eurosport 2 as well as the European Athletics website here.

Speaking after her sensational semi-final performance, she said: ”I’m really happy. My start was really bad in the heat and I was just thinking, relax and run through the line. Everything is coming together and I’m in good shape.

”I’m going to go to bed early, relax and concentrate again. We’ll see what happens.”

There was, however, disappointment for Ireland in the boys’ 1500m and 100m events in the evening session.

Cian McPhillips (Longford) was placed well in a tactical affair in the first heat of the 1500m but lost his spike after two laps, resulting in a 14th place finish in 4:10.84.

Brian Maguire (DSD) battled well in heat two as he finished 10th in 3:59.74.

Conor Morey (Leevale) went in the first semi-final of the 100m, where a false start and a late recall gun saw him and some of the other athletes run the full race.

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It was subsequently re-run 10 minutes later when Morey came 6th in 11.17 — evidently tired having two 100m races in quick succession.

Israel Olatunde (Dundealgan) finished fifth in the second semi-final in 11.09 seconds.

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Sophie O’Sullivan finishes strongly to win 800m heat on Ireland debut

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