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Treacy added to steeplechase final after Irish appeal proves successful

The Meath native took a tumble in her heat and will now line out in Monday’s Olympic final.

Sara Treacy in action in her heat.
Sara Treacy in action in her heat.
Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Updated at 16.00

With reporting from Sinead O’Caroll

SARA TREACY HAS been added to the final of the women’s 3,000m steeplechase after a fall hampered the Meath woman’s efforts in the heats.

Treacy was going well in the third heat of the day, after Kerry O’Flaherty and Michelle Finn had already failed to advance to Monday’s final, but was one of a number of athletes to take a fall after Ethiopia’s Etenesh Diro appeared to lose her footing just over six minutes into their race.

Diro, Jamaican athlete Aisha Praught and Treacy, 27, appealed the result after their heat and have since been added to the field for Monday’s final (3.15pm Irish time).

Earlier in the day, Kerry O’Flaherty ran a season’s best in the first heat (9.45.35) but the Co Down native’s time was only good enough for 14th position and saw her fail to progress, with the top three in each heat and six fastest losers advancing.

Michelle Finn went a little better in the second heat, the Cork woman finishing 11th but in a slower time of 9.49.45.

Treacy was the last of the Irish trio to take to the track and was going well before disaster struck. But she bravely picked herself up and still registered a 12th place finish in 9.46.24.

And now after Ireland’s appeal proved successful, Treacy will get a chance to test herself in an Olympic final.

After the race Treacy couldn’t hide her disappointment.

“Unfortunately, the adrendalin is wearing off so it’s starting to sting a bit — my legs. I’m disappointed but I’ll make the most of being here,” she said after the third heat.

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“I was just running along. I had caught up with the back of the pack and we were running along at a nice, ol’ pace and then somebody just stopped and then everyone ran into the back of them.

“At one point, I let it drift and I was trying to pick it up in the middle of the race and I got back onto the back of the pack and was starting to feel really good.

“I was just having those really positive thoughts that you have that this race could actually, I could do something really special, get a PB, I could do this. Next thing, I’m on the floor.

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“I tried to avoid it and stepped onto the inside of the track. It all happened so quickly. You don’t plan to step into the inside of the track, but I did and I stepped onto a metal, drainage grate and then I just fell completely.

“I don’t know [how much it cost me]. I completely lost my momentum and kind of hurt my legs a bit. I lost the whole pack and had to pick myself up and get going again.

“When I fell, I thought, ‘This is not going to define my Olympics, get up and get going’. It’s harder to get going again, than you think.

“Even if I was only on the ground for a couple of seconds, it probably took more than that out of me. These things happen, I guess.

“I finished the race and said, ‘My Olympics doesn’t end here’.”

It turned out she was quite prophetic. She better rest those legs for Monday now.

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Alan Waldron

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