BY CHRIS MCNULTY
MARK English produced a stunning performance in Santry last night to claim a sensational 800m win at the Morton Games that inches him ever closer to a place at his first ever World Championships in Moscow next month.
Just six days after the disappointment of failing to make the 800m final at the European Under 23 Championships in Tampere, Finland, English roared back in some style.
The Letterkenny AC man won the event in a time of 1:45.32, a new stadium record which smashed his previous personal best of 1:45.77. English’s time was just 0.02 seconds outside the ‘A’ standard for the World Champions, but English should still clinch a place on the plane to Moscow.
The UCD student had missed the European team championships in Dublin last month because of a virus and was clearly not at himself in Finland last week. In Santry, though, he was back to his blistering best.
English timed his finish to near perfection to claim the performance of a memorable evening at the Dublin venue.
“I just felt great,” he said.
“I had a real burst of energy on the second lap and felt heavenly coming down the home straight. I’m just pleased after the disappointment of last week.”
English said on Twitter that he was ‘absolutely buzzing’ and his coach Teresa McDaid was equally delighted. McDaid tweeted: “response to disappointment = impressed”.
A run at the World Championships in Moscow in August would be a massive boost for a young man who’s fast becoming a shining light in Irish athletics.
English’s LAC colleague Ruairi Finnegan, meanwhile, is one of Donegal’s representatives at the European Junior Athletics Championships in Reiti, Italy this weekend. Finnegan, who goes in the 1,500m is joined on the Ireland team by Tir Chonaill AC’s Karl Griffin (800m) and Finn Valley AC’s Sarah Collins (3,000m). Finn Valley’s Neil Martin is the Irish team manager with Teresa McDaid of Letterkenny a part of the coaching team.