BY CHRIS MCNULTY
MARK English has made the qualification time for the 800m at the World Junior Championships, after winning a British Milers Club (BMC) meet in Manchester tonight.
The Letterkenny AC man won the event in a superb time of 1:48.19 – well inside the 1:48.3 standard.
“I’m delighted to get the time, it’s great to get the World Junior Standard,” English told the Donegal News from Manchester tonight.
“I actually felt comfortable right through the race. I was five or ten metres off the leader going through the bell and only passed him with 100m to go.”
English’s superb display tonight sees him become the second Donegal athlete in three days to make a qualification standard. On Sunday, Finn Valley’s Dempsey McGuigan threw the hammer to 70.02m – in doing so becoming the first Irish junior to break the 70m distance.
English has a busy schedule before the World Juniors in Barcelona, which are held from 10th to 15th July this year, but the DCU student believes there’s more to come.
He said: “I was running well tonight and I can’t wait for the summer – I still think there is a 1:46 in me somewhere.”
Neil Martin (Finn Valley) will be the Irish Team Manager for the World Juniors – and Letterkenny AC Coach Teresa McDaid is hoping that another of her prized assets will qualify.
“We’d be hoping that Ruairi Finnegan will qualify for the 1,500m too,” said McDaid.
On English’s display, she added: “It’s great for Mark to be under the standard because it is a tough standard, which has been lowered recently – a few years ago it was around 1:50.1.”
It was a positive night in Manchester for other Letterkenny athletes: Danny Mooney ran a superb 1:51.5 in the 800m and Ciaran Doherty set a new PB, running the 1,500m in 3:59.58.