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English & Travers into Euro finals
07 Mar 2015 23:11
Ireland's Mark English and John Travers have secured places in Sunday's finals at the European Athletics Indoor Championships in Prague.
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English comfortably qualified for the men's 800m decider (2.40pm Irish time), clocking one minute 50.54 seconds as he finished second in his semi-final.
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The 21-year-old travelled well throughout, leading on the home straight before being pipped by Scot Guy Learmonth by four hundredths of a second.
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"I’m through, that’s all that matters," he told RTÉ Sport. "My plan was to stay close to the leaders so I kind of sacrificed a bit of my energy to get to the final 400 meters.
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"I haven’t thought about how I’ll run the final, I just want to stay out of trouble and see how it goes.
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“The whole system is getting geared up, it takes about six races for me to get into shape” admitted English. Tomorrow’s final will be his sixth race of the season.
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“I felt the legs were able to dig in today and I was able to get power out of them”
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"I've been practising that speed all winter so thankfully I had enough to get through.
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"You need to be quick over the last 200 otherwise you're out the back door so I've been working on that over the last few months."
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Declan Murray finished fifth in his faster semi-final in a season's best time of 1:48.09.
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"Tactically I had to just try and get out of trouble," he said. "Between 118 to 119 meters it got bunched up and tactically I made a mistake and should have tried to get out of there, but hindsight is like 20/20 vision.
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"I thought I might have the legs to get past them, but I couldn’t get past, I might have left it a bit too late."
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Travers qualified for tomorrow's 1500m final 3.30pm (Irish time) as a fastest loser having run a personal best of 3:41.37 with a third-place finish in his heat this morning.
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However, Dan Mooney failed to reach the 1500m final after finishing sixth in his heat in 3:48.96.
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Speaking to RTÉ Sport in Prague, Travers said: "I’m happy with the race I ran, the best championship race I have ran so far.
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“I was there or there abouts for the whole race. I’ve come here and I’ve performed so I’m happy to get the fastest loser spot.
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“My previous personal best I ran the last 700 on my own. Today I ran the opening slow, if I had of gone out with a hard pace I would have gone out the back door, so I’m happy with that.”
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Mooney, meanwhile, was not disheartened by his failure to qualify, and said: "It was a tactical race where we should have gone fast as it was the final heat. You need a lot of pace to stick with those guys at the front.
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"I stuck it out at the front for as long as I could, my legs felt good, but others felt better. It was a slow tactical race so I’m happy to get that experience."
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Ciara Everard lost touch with the frontrunners after the first lap of her 800m semi-final, finishing last of the six runners in 2:06.14, over three seconds slower than the seasonal best she set while qualifying on Friday.
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Switzerland's Seline Buchel won the race as reigning champion Jenny Meadows of Britain faded on the home straight to finish fourth and crash out.
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Despite finishing last Everard's time was more than two seconds faster than the 2:08.15 that saw Nataliya Lupu win the other semi-final.
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"That was really tough," she said afterwards. "Probably the toughest race of my career, that's definitely something to work on.
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"They kept surging on me and I just couldn’t get back into the race. There was a lot of jostling for the first couple of meters but I was able to get back into it.
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"I lost momentum as the Swiss girl got ahead of me. I think at 800 you just have one or two moves, but I need to work on this, I need to be better."
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