BY CHRIS MCNULTY
THE Olympic flame, for now, went out for Letterkenny AC’s Mark English in Madrid on Saturday night.
English ran the 800 grand prix race in the Spanish capital, seeking to make the Olympic ‘A’ standard time for the distance – 1:45.60.
However, the Letterkenny ace was only 0.6 seconds away. English finished fourth in the race in a time of 1:46.20.
It was the last chance for the DCU student to make it in time to be selected for Team Ireland for the London Olympics.
A recent hamstring injury hadn’t helped his preparations and his time was a little slower than the 1:45.77 he set earlier in the year to break his own National Junior 800m record.
His time was still excellent, however, and he is straight back into action this week as he competes in the World Junior Championships in Barcelona.
English is one of five Donegal athletes to compete in the games and is a medal hope.
He runs in the 800m on Friday and is joined at this distance by Tir Chonaill AC’s rising star Karl Griffin.
They are joined at the World Junior Championships by Letterkenny AC’s Ruairi Finnegan, who is first off tomorrow morning – he competes in the 1,500m.
Also tomorrow, Finn Valley Sarah Mary Collins is off in the women’s 3,000m, while Finn Valley lad Dempsey McGuigan competes in the hammer event on Friday. McGuigan is the Irish Junior record holder (70.02m).
Finn Valley stalwart Neil Martin is the Irish team manager for the World Junior Championships, which begin in Barcelona tomorrow.
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