By Will Downing
Despite a strong performance, Phil Healy has missed out on a place in the final of the women’s 400m at the IAAF World Indoor Athletics Championships in Birmingham.
Healy finished fourth in her semi-final in 53.26 seconds, behind race winner Courtney Okolo of the United States in 51.79 and fellow qualifier Maria Belimpasaki of Greece in second with a lifetime best 52.17.
However, the Greek would become the latest victim of the over-zealous officiating that has seen a rash of disqualifications throughout the day – including all five starters in a men’s 400m heat early this morning.
Jamaican Tovea Jenkins was instead given second and a place in the final with 52.42 – with Healy advanced to third. But only the top two would advance in each of the three semi-finals.
The Bandon AC athlete had earlier become the first Irish athlete since 2010 to get through the opening round at a World Indoors, registering a 52.75.
Phil Healy finishes 4th in 400m semi-final... well done Phil #wicbham2018— Cork Athletics (@AthleticsCork) March 2, 2018
Her personal best set in Vienna in January was 52.08.
The result comes off the back of Ciara Mageean’s elimination in the women’s 1500m semi-finals within the past hour.