Phil Healy has been eliminated from the 200m at the World Athletics Championships in Doha.
The Bandon AC/WIT sprinter finished fifth in her first-round heat at the Khalifa Stadium in a time of 23.56 seconds, as Anthonique Strachan of the Bahamas won in 22.86.
Healy – who missed a lot of the season through a broken foot – wasn’t able to move up after falling behind in the first half of the heat, and couldn’t overtake Kamaria Durant of Trinidad and Tobago (23.08), Shashalee Forbes of Jamaica (23.15) and Switzerland’s Sarah Atcho (23.29) in the closing straight.
With only the top three automatically progressing, Healy was perched among the six fastest losers until the third heat, when she learned she had fallen out of that list.
In the end, the Irish record holder was 13th fastest of those who missed automatic qualifying, and was ranked 37th overall.
In a big shock, the two biggest names due to line up alongside Healy - defending champion Dafne Schippers and 100m bronze-medallist from last night, Marie-Josée Ta Lou - did not start.
Dutch ace Schippers had been seen warming up for the race, but succumbed to the groin injury that had kept her out of last night’s 100m final as a precautionary measure.
Healy set the Irish record of 22.99 at last year’s Cork City Sports, and had blitzed to an incredible 23.04 seconds in winning at the Irish Universities Championships on a cold wet day in Athlone in early April.
Faster had seemed very possible for later in the year, until the foot injury that set her back a couple of months before making her major comeback by finishing seventh in Naples at the Universiade (World University Games) in July.
Speaking to Athletics Ireland, Healy after her heat: “It was a lot tougher than I thought, and I was expecting a higher up finish with a quicker time.
“I’m in luck to be competing at these World Championships. The whole season hasn’t been an ideal set-up.
“I’m quite lucky to be competing against the best in the world this week.
“It obviously wasn’t ideal preparation – it had a knock-on (affect) for the whole season.
“Even I found it hard, as I was actually learning how to run again, maybe from week six after the break.
“It’s about getting that momentum back, getting the performances out again, and just getting back into the blocks again.”
100m silver medallist and European champion Dina Asher-Smith was among the other heat winners, along with former European champion Ivet Lalova-Collio of Bulgaria.
Healy was the only Irish athlete in action today, with Ciara Mageean next up in the 1500m heats on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Thomas Barr has seen his overall ranking in the 400m hurdles bumped by one place to 11th ahead of tonight’s final in Doha.
European bronze-medallist Barr had originally been given tenth after Saturday’s semi-finals, but the reinstatement of Kyron McMaster into the decider after the Virgin Islander was originally disqualified, has seen all those not making the final being bumped down a place overall.
Estonia’s Rasmus Magi misses out on the final due to McMaster’s reinstatement, after originally making it into the field of eight.