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Phil Healy falls short in 200m heat at World Championships, but optimism shines through after

‘The whole season hasn’t been the ideal set-up but I’m grateful to be out here and competing against the world’s best.’

Disappointment for Healy after finishing fifth in her heat.
Disappointment for Healy after finishing fifth in her heat.
Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

IRELAND’S FASTEST WOMAN Phil Healy’s fifth-place finish and time of 23.56 wasn’t enough in her 200m heat at the 2019 World Athletics Championships in Doha.

The Cork sprint star finished down the field in heat one, but there was a small glimmer of hope that she may progress with the top three and six fastest losers across the board qualifying.

But after all three heats, Healy — who struggled with a nasty injury earlier this year — was down to eighth in the fastest losers table and subsequently bowed out.

“It was a lot tougher than I thought,” she said afterwards. “I was expecting a higher up finish and maybe a quicker time. But look, I’m really looking to be in this position and to be here competing at the World Championships.

“The whole season hasn’t been the ideal set-up but I’m grateful to be out here and competing against the world’s best.”

Bahamian sprinter Anthonique Strachan won Healy’s heat in a time of 22.86, while Bulgaria’s Ivet Lavola-Collio (22.79), USA’s Brittany Brown (22.33 PB) and Great Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith (22.32) were first home in the others.

healy1 Today's photo finish. Source: IAAF.

phil-healy-after-finishing-5th Healy crossing the line in Doha. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Reigning champion Dafne Schippers of the Netherlands pulled out of Healy’s heat due to injury.

Healy’s personal best is 22.99 while her season’s best stands at 23.04. She suffered a hairline fracture in her foot earlier this year and that likely hampered her preparation for these championships.

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The 24-year-old enjoyed an immensely successful 2018, becoming the first athlete in 40 years to hold both the 100m and 200m records in Ireland at the same time.

“It’s a stark difference to last year where it was Irish record after Irish record,” she added on this season.

“It wasn’t ideal preparation breaking a foot in April and then there’s a knock-on for the whole season. The hardest part, I found, was actually learning how to run again maybe from week six on after the break.

“It’s just getting that momentum back, getting the performances out again, getting back into training and getting the blocks back-to-back. We’ve learned an awful lot from this season that we can take into the next.”

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Emma Duffy

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