Ireland’s Sharlene Mawdsley. Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Mawdsley loses place in 400m final after galling DQ, while Healy falls in 1500m heat

A day of twists, turns, and ultimate disappointment for Sharlene Mawdesley and Sarah Healy.

LAST UPDATE | Mar 1st 2024, 11:15 PM

ON A DRAMATIC day of racing at the world indoor championships in Glasgow, Ireland’s Sharlene Mawdsley appeared to secure her place in the final of the 400m, only for the Tipperary native to be later disqualified following an appeal from Austrian runner Susanne Gogl-Walli.

Mawdsley finished third in her semi-final heat, telling Virgin Media that she was “absolutely ecstatic” to book her place in tomorrow’s final.

The 25-year-old found herself in fourth place approaching the home strait before a strong finish pushed the Tipperary native into third, finishing with a time of 52.16.

However, Austria’s Gogl-Walli, who finished fourth, appealed the result based on an apparent infringement by Mawdsley on the final turn.

That appeal was successful, with Mawdsley adjudged to have cut in on the Austrian’s line without first being a stride clear.

Gogl-Walli was promoted to third and Mawdsley lost her place in the final.

The Irish athlete’s counter-appeal against her DQ was unsuccessful.

The devastating development was the latest twist on a remarkable day of action in Scotland. Earlier Mawdsley has reached this evening’s semi-finals after a dramatic heat, in which she finished in a three-way tie for second place to earn an automatic qualification position. 

Mawdsley ran in the third heat, which was won by American Talitha Diggs in 52.17. Mawdsley finished strongly to force her way through a gap either side of challengers Amandine Brossier (France), and Henriette Jaeger (Norway). 

Incredibly, the trio could not be separated, and after a lengthy wait, all three were deemed to have tied for second place, in a time of 52.23. All three were therefore sent through to the semi-finals as automatic qualifiers. 

Lieke Klaver of the Netherlands was the fastest qualifier across all four heats, finishing in 51.31. Her compatriot Femke Bol cruised to victory in the fourth and final heat, in a time of 52.00. 

Klaver then ran in the same semi-final as Mawdsley, with the Dutch athlete receiving a warning for a false start before the race restarted.

Klaver won the race in 51.18 with Diggs second at 51.28 and Mawdsley third before the later appeal moved her out of the qualifying places.

Bol won the second semi-final (50.66), with the USA’s Alexis Holmes (50.99) and Great Britain’s Laviai Nielsen (51.44) also advancing.

Earlier, a fast start from Israel Olatunde saw him finish fourth in a season’s best time of 6.70 in Heat 3 of the 60m. 

The Tallaght AC sprinter finished just outside the automatic qualifying spots, sitting in third position of the non-automatic qualifying places.

Unfortunately, his time was not enough to progress to this evening’s semi-finals. 

Elsewhere, a late fall proved costly for Sarah Healy in the 1500m heats.

Healy was pushing for a top three finish before a collision saw the Dubliner tumble on the home straight – her sixth-place finish with a time of 4:18.86 not enough to see her advance.

“I wouldn’t say I ran very smart,” Healy said.

“I felt great and totally in control until the last few metres, but I’ve no idea then what happened. That doesn’t normally happen to me so it’s really disappointing.

“I honestly have no words. It’s quite embarrassing really because it’s just not what I came here to do.”

Additional reporting from Ciarán Kennedy.

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