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Phil Healy and Nadia Power make flying starts at European Indoor Championships

The Cork superstar was just one hundredth of a second off her lifetime best as she cruised into tonight’s semi-finals.

Phil Healy after winning her heat.
Phil Healy after winning her heat.
Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

PHIL HEALY HAS made a glittering start at the European Indoor Championships in Torun, Poland, winning her 400m heat and powering into tonight’s semi-final.

Ireland’s fastest woman was first home in 52.00, just 0.01 outside her recently-set lifetime best and all-time Irish record — and the fastest time recorded in the heats.

Controlled from start to finish, the Cork woman looked strong, comfortable and in fine fettle all the way through her opening race and her time, crucially, secures her a good lane for the semi-final.

26-year-old Healy had European 400m hurdles champion Lea Sprunger beside her for company at the start, but moved to dominate and finish strong, seeing off the challenge of second-placed Sprunger by over two seconds.

Sophie Becker, meanwhile, finished third in her heat with a time of 53.31, while Sharlene Mawdsley was fifth in hers, having been second at the bell.

With the top two qualifying automatically, Becker and Mawdsley missed out clocking one of the next four fastest times and taking that route to the semi-finals, so just Healy makes the cut.

Meanwhile in the women’s 800m heats, Nadia Power sealed a semi-final spot after holding strong to finish in second place in heat 5 after clocking 2:03:16.

Fourth place finishes for Georgie Hartigan and Síofra Cléirigh-Buttner in heat 6 and 3 respectively wasn’t enough to see them progress into the semi-finals.

Attention will switch back to this evening’s 400m women’s semi-finals.

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Mark English, Cian McPhillips and John Fitzsimons are all in action in the 800m heats later too, while Paul Robinson and Andrew Coscoran line out in the 1500m final after their exploits last night.

You can watch the action on RTÉ Player and BBC now, and live on RTÉ 2 this evening [6pm].

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About the author:

Emma Duffy

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