Exciting English ready to take on the world

UCD’s Mark English underlined his world-class potential at the Woodie’s DIY AAI Games in Athlone yesterday with a national 800m indoor record (1:46.82) which qualifies him for the world indoors.

Exciting English ready to take on the world

Despite being pipped on the line by the Netherlands’ Thijmen Kupers (1:46.78), Letterkenny man English showed why there has been such excitement in athletics circles about his talent.

English was thrilled with his opening race of the season and breaking Daniel Caulfield’s national record of 1:47.21 set in Boston 13 years ago.

“It was a good race,” said the 20-year-old. “David McCarthy (Le Cheile) did a great job pacing, it was even and perfect pace. I felt good, I just didn’t have enough to hold him off in the home straight, but he’s a class athlete.

“I’m hoping to run in Stockholm on Thursday night and get a good fast race there. Things are going well through the winter, I’m working a lot more on endurance this year, and I’ve stayed healthy.

“It’s great to break a national record, and the next one I’ll be looking at is the outdoor Irish record (1:44.82).” Alex Rodriguez of Spain was third in 1:48.05.

Transferring course in UCD from physiotherapy to medicine hasn’t hindered his progress. “I find study and training compliment each other well,” said the Teresa McDaid-coached athlete.

The men’s 1500m produced two more world indoor qualifying times (3:41.00) and a national record, with an ecstatic Jakub Holusa setting a new indoor mark for Czech Republic ahead of David McCarthy (West Waterford) who broke 3:40 for the first time. Holusa ran 3:38.79 to McCarthy’s 3:39.14 while John Coghlan (MSB) rounded out the top three with 3:43.31.

“I wanted to produce it today for the home crowd,” said a relieved McCarthy.

“It’s always been there,” said McCarthy about breaking the 3:40 mark for 1500m in what could prove to be an important stepping stone for the DCU student. “It’s a relief. I’ve been around a while but I’m still a novice to proper racing. The lack of turnover was the difference between winning and second,” said McCarthy, who will be targeting the 3,000m at the World Indoor Championships in Sopot, Poland next month.

Adel Michaal of Spain was an impressive winner of the men’s 3,000m in 7:52.29 in what was a Spanish armada with Alberto Sanchez (7:57.63) and Victor Corrales (8:02.72) completing the top three.

Eoin Everard (KCH) was best of the Irish in 8:14.45 and his sister, Ciara, was pipped in the women’s 800m international, running 2:04.69 behind Anna Rostkowksa (2:04.01).

Amy Foster (City of Lisburn AC) put her name atop the Irish 60m season ranking list with a 7.40-second clocking ahead of Bandon’s Phil Healy (7.43) and Celtic DCH’s Catherine McManus (7.59).

Elsewhere DSD junior women’s team were the best Irish club performers at the European Clubs Cross Country Championships in Albufeira, Portugal finishing fourth with Siofra Cleirigh-Buttner also finishing a place outside the medals. At the Briggs Track Classic in Australia Paul Robinson (St Coca’s) set a new 5,000m best of 13:54.34 with Mark Hanrahan (Leevale) 7th in 14:05.82. An Riocht’s Laura Crowe was 3rd in the women’s 1500m in 4:13.84. In Karlsruhe Gezebe Dibaba ran a world indoor 1500m record of 3:55.17.

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