World Athletics Championships round-up: Mark English shows class to deliver on the big stage once again 1 month ago

World Athletics Championships round-up: Mark English shows class to deliver on the big stage once again

Mark English showed his class to advance to the semi-finals of the 800m at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest.

The Donegal athlete came into these championships very much under the radar, having endured an injury and illness-hit season.


But English is a championship performer, as he has shown so many times down through the years, and he delivered once again on Tuesday night at Hungary's National Athletics Centre.

Running in the second of seven heats, the 30-year-old doctor was hampered early on when he tangled legs with Jamaican athlete Navasky Anderson on the first lap, but typically, he showed great composure to work his way back into the race.

English didn't panic and, with some of his rivals running to their limits, he bided his run to perfection to make ground up the home straight.

And so, in the fastest of all of the seven heats, English finished in fourth place in a 1:45.71 time that, after an anxious wait in the q room, was enough to earn him a spot in Thursday night's semi-finals.


After the race, English spoke of his satisfaction in peaking at these championships and sounded some positive signals about his form over the last few weeks.

"I'm relieved but happy to be in the semi-final," he told Virgin Media afterwards.


"My plan was to be in position. I got a trip early on in the race but we'll not dwell on that because I'm through. So all-in-all, happy to be through.

"I always like to be ready for the championships every season and thankfully, managed to get there this year with my coach Feidhlim Kelly and all my support team and sponsors MCR group and Asics.

"My speed training has been going good for me over the last two or three weeks for me, so that's a key for me."

"I'm excited about my chances in the semi-final. I'm excited now about my chances in the semi-final. Somebody said to me coming in here that it's my sixth world championships which is an Irish record, so I'm happy to be here."


Meanwhile, Kildare athlete John Fitzsimons didn't progress from his heat of the 800m, while Ciara Mageean finished an agonising fourth place in her 1500m final.

Elsewhere in Budapest, Irish athletics journalist Cathal Dennehy had a frosty encounter with Nigerian athlete Tobi Amusan after her 100m hurdles heat. Dennehy asked Amusan, the world record holder, about the controversy surrounding her three missed drug tests over the last 12 months.

Amusan, however, was not keen to answer the question.

“I’m talking about my fans, and you’re talking about charges. What charges?" she asked.

“Mr. Cathal," she then said, "I am not going to answer your question. You’ve asked the same question five times now and I am not answering it,”


Amusan had been provisionally suspended prior to the championships but was cleared in time to run her heat on Tuesday evening, which she qualified from at her ease. In the same event, Limerick's Sarah Lavin ran an impressive 12.69 to also qualify for the semi-finals.

Rhasidat Adeleke, one of Ireland's main medal hopes goes in the 400m final at 8.35 tonight aiming to become the first Irish sprinter to medal in the world championships in almost 100 years. Bob Tisdall was the last Irish athlete to medal in a global sprint back in 1932.

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