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English sets sensational p.b to make World ‘A’ standard

Mark English after his run in London.

Mark English after his run in London.

BY CHRIS MCNULTY

MARK English produced a sensational personal best in London tonight to make the A standard for the World Championships.

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Running in the 800m in the Diamond League in London’s Olympic Stadium, the 20-year old Letterkenny AC man scorched home in a blistering time of 1:44.48.

It was English’s debut in the Diamond League, but he was quite at home, finishing sixth in a race won by the American Nick Symmonds in a time of 1:43.67.

English sat off the early pace, but the UCD student powered down the finishing straight, picking off man by man to come home in sixth, following an incredible race by the talented Irish ace.

His time was only two hundredths of a second off the Irish 800m record (1:44.82) held by David Matthews – but it sees him make that all-important A standard for next month’s World Championships in Moscow.

Ilness had forced the Letterkenny athlete to withdraw from the Irish team for the European Team Championships in Dublin at the end of June and he then failed to get out of the heats at the European U23 Championships in Finland.

But English didn’t wait long in showing that it had merely been a minor blip.

He bounced back in some style, setting a new personal best of 1:45.32 to win the 800m at the Morton Games last week in Santry, a time that was just .02 seconds outside the A standard he made tonight.

Last year, English finished fifth in a loaded 800m final at the World Junior Championships in Barcelona, but now in Moscow Letterkenny’s rising star will go against the cream of the crop

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