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Ireland’s Sean Tobin expresses regret after 11th place finish in final

The Tipp man was running in his first major championship final.

Sean Tobin after the 3000m final.
Sean Tobin after the 3000m final.
Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

NORWAY’S SUPERSTAR JAKOB Ingebrigtsen made history today, becoming the first male athlete to complete a 1500m/3000m double at the European indoor championships.

Having controlled the early pace, the 20-year-old then changed the direction of the race with 800 metres remaining, posting back-to-back 28-second laps to burn off his challengers.

One of those was Sean Tobin, the Irishman running in his first European final, who had come into this race with a personal best in qualification.

He started confidently here, too – staying within sight of Ingebrigtsen in the opening seven laps, moving as high as third after three laps, remaining a comfortable fifth after six.

sean-tobin-running-in-the-mens-3000m-final Tobin made a solid start to today's final. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

As a couple of pretenders – Hugo Hay and Adel Mechaal – tried and failed to make an impact, the pace gradually began to intensify.

And yet Tobin remained unflustered. Then, with four laps to go, Ingebrigtsen took flight and the race changed.

While 26-year-old Tobin clearly felt the pace, he remained sensible in his approach, holding some energy in reserve for the closing laps.


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Ingebrigtsen was never going to be caught – although Spain’s Mohamed Katir tried, a tactic which cost him a medal as he ran out of gas in the closing straight.

In contrast, Tobin timed his finish well, holding off the challenge of Robin Hendrix to come home in 11th place. However, he expressed regret about his mental approach to the race afterwards.

“That was fairly disappointing,” said Tobin afterwards in an interview with RTÉ. “Clearly the head wasn’t there. My mind was screaming at me to go (when Ingebrigtsen made his move) but I switched off. That shouldn’t happen.

“I felt pretty good coming off yesterday’s semi-final. We are good enough to get to a final, it is a step in the right direction but while I did everything right up until a kilometre to go, I probably need another year to get stronger and gain a bit more experience of being able to put back-to-back performances together in events like this.”

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Garry Doyle

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