Mark English landed in Dublin airport yesterday with his second championship medal at the age of 21 and admitted it’s been a "roller coaster" ride.
The UCD student was delighted to claim silver in 1:47.20 in a high-quality 800m race won by Poland’s Marcin Lewandowski in 1:46.67.
“Another medal in the bag for me, two in the last 12 months, it’s just been a great roller coaster for me,” said English the day after proving his championship credentials.
“There’s a lot of people putting work in behind the scenes and you’ve got to thank them for the work that they do. Now I just want to celebrate this medal. They are not easy to come by. There was a good field out there. You had a past European outdoor champion (Lewandowski), a world finalist (Thijmen Kupers who was third in 1:47.25) and it’s just a great field to come home with the silver medal.”
English was a little race rusty two weeks ago when he came sixth in Birmingham in 1:47.17 and followed it up with a win at the national championships in Athlone the following day. He fine-tuned his preparations from that weekend to great effect.
“I just had to make sure my strength and endurance was there,” commented the Letterkenny man on what training he worked on in the final weeks leading into Prague. “That’s the real key to last to 600m and being able dig into the speed reserves. I was able to do that in the race. I think it was just about having the strength endurance and having the speed and acceleration at the end. I just had to make sure I was working on that over the last two weeks since nationals and thankfully those little sessions that I’ve been doing are working for me.”
He now has a two week break from his medical studies in UCD where he will recuperate and ease back into training for the World Track and Field Championships in Beijing in August. “The world championships has been the main goal for me all year. I’m more of an outdoor runner than indoor so I’m looking forward to the summer and seeing what I can do.”
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