Calamity hit Ireland’s bid for medals at the European Indoor Athletics Championships when Mark English was taken out in the 800m semi-final in Glasgow – but a successful appeal means he will still compete in tomorrow’s final.
Having won his first-round heat, the double European medallist lost all momentum when British team captain Guy Learmonth pushed through on the inside in front of the Irishman, before tripping himself up, falling and impeding English.
This coming with barely 300m to go of the 800m semi, where English was well-positioned in a tight race.
Instead, Learmonth’s pratfall saw English having to hurdle over the stricken Briton, losing his stride, seeing the rest of the field race away without him.
An appeal was lodged, and following Learmonth’s disqualification, English has been advanced to tomorrow’s final along with the six other athletes who qualified in orthodox fashion.
Mariano Garcia won English’s semi-final in 1:48.84, ahead of Britain’s Jamie Webb by 0.01 seconds, with Swede Andreas Kramer third in 1:49.06.
English trailed home fifth in 1:50.70, but wisely decided to finish the race to improve his chance of having a successful appeal.
While still in limbo, the Donegal athlete told Athletics Ireland’s social media: “I felt really good, that was the frustrating thing. There was nothing I could do.
“Learmonth cut in on the inside of me, then I think tried to claim it was my fault.
“He put his arm up in the air and then tripped up.”
The amended result means Ireland will have two finalists in action tomorrow night, with Ciara Mageean toeing the line in the women’s 1500m final, alongside English’s 800m redemption.
Both have previously won medals at European Championships.