Mark English books place in Olympic semi-final

Mark English is through to the semi-finals of the men’s 800m at the Rio Olympics thanks to a strong second lap at the Engenhao Olympic Stadium, writes Will Downing.

The Donegal athlete, twice a European medallist, went through in third place after putting on the heat in the closing stages, having started the race quite conservatively.

Mark English books place in Olympic semi-final

Morton Games winner Jeff Riseley of Australia and Abu Baker Haydar Absalla of Qatar were in control heading for the final bend, but found themselves pushed right down in the reckoning for the three qualification places, as English, Brandon McBride of Canada and reigning European indoor champion Marcin Lewandowski of Poland fought through. McBride took the win in 1:45.99, ahead of Lewandowski’s 1:46.35 and English’s 1:46.40.

The Letterkenny athlete returns to the track late tomorrow night (2:30am Sunday morning, Irish time) in his bid to reach the final.

Mark English books place in Olympic semi-final

Later today, Alex Wright of Leevale AC competes in the men’s 20k walk at Pontal, underway at 6:30pm Irish time, while after midnight, European 1500m bronze-medallist Ciara Mageean starts her campaign over her medal-winning distance.

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