Mark English says the stress is off after qualifying for his first ever senior final in the 800 metres at the European Championships in Zurich. 

The UCD runner’s semi-final run of 1:46.23 saw him claim a place in Friday’s final as a fastest loser. 

And with his main goal achieved, he says he can relax somewhat with no weight of expectation on his shoulders. 

The 21-year-old told RTÉ Sport: “I’m just happy that I made the final because that was my main aim. I’ll go in there now trying to run the plan but with no huge stress hanging over me about doing anything.

“The stress is gone now and I’ve made the final and maybe the expectations are lower from other people so I’m just going to go out there and enjoy it and execute my plan as best I can.” 

The Donegal man was understandably content with his semi-final performance. 

He added: “I ran it pretty much according to how I planned it would go. I knew it would go out fast. My aim was to stay on the outside of lane one and make sure nobody came by me.   

“I tired up a bit on the home straight but the wind was playing a part in that. It was fast. The two guys who finished ahead of me were fast. I’m just delighted, it’s my first senior final. I’m not going to complain. I’ll have a full day to rest up and then have a rejuvenated go at it.”