/ Athletics

Robinson edged out of medals as O'Lionaird falls

Updated: Sunday, 17 Aug 2014 16:50 | Comments

The calm before the storm as Ciaran O'Lionaird moves to the front of the 1500m pack Paul Robinson enjoyed a great finish to the 1500m but had to settle for fourth Sean Hehir was best of the Irish finishing 20th in the Zurich sunshine
The calm before the storm as Ciaran O'Lionaird moves to the front of the 1500m pack Paul Robinson enjoyed a great finish to the 1500m but had to settle for fourth Sean Hehir was best of the Irish finishing 20th in the Zurich sunshine

Paul Robinson was just edged out of the medals in a controversial 1500 metre final at European Athletics Championships in Zurich.

The race, which was won by France's Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad, was marred by two mid-race collisions, the first of which saw Cork's Ciaran O’Lionaird bundled over as he took the lead in the race around the 800-metre mark.

But then O'Lionaird appeared to get spiked before being pushed over as he staggered backwards through the pack, the Leevale AC man falling to the track clutching his hamstring.

A further incident occurred at the bell with two more runners falling as Mekhissi-Benabbad - he of steeplechase infamy earlier this week - powered clear, followed by a pack of about six athletes, including St Coca’s AC's Robinson.

The Kildare man started to make his way past the group and was in contention coming down the home straight but Robinson was just beaten for pace and had to settle for fourth place.

Ireland finished fifth in the men’s 4x400m final, as Britain took gold medal

The quartet of Brian Gregan, Mark English, Richard Morrissey and Thomas Barr again broke the national record in a time of 3:01.67.

The Irish men’s marathon team matched the women by finishing seventh in the Marathon Team Cup on the final day in Zurich.

The team of Sean Hehir (Rathfarnham WSAF), Kevin Seaward (St Malachy’s AC) and Thomas Frazier (St Malachy’s AC) had a combined time of 7:01.02 to finish seventh.

Hehir led the way for the Irish as he ran a remarkable race to place 20th in a time of 2.17.59, less than 30 seconds outside his personal best of 2.17.35 set in 2012.

The time is even more remarkable considering the tough nature of the course and the searing heat that the all the athletes had to deal with on the day.

Hehir said: “I am delighted with that; I have been away training at altitude for this, a big thanks to everyone who supported me on this. There was so much Irish support out there on the course; it was like running the Dublin Marathon!”

Both Seaward and Frazier worked together in the early part of the race reaching halfway in a little over 70 minutes both running outside the top fifty at the point.

Seaward upped his effort level throughout the second half of the race as he stormed through to finish in 28th place in a time of 2.20.30.

Frazier was also passing people over the second half of the race as he finished in 35th place in a time of 2.22.33. 

Meanwhile, despite failing to qualify for the 4x100m women’s relay final yesterday, the team took great consolation in breaking the Irish record. 

The quartet of Amy Foster, Kelly Proper, Sarah Lavin and Phil Healy finished fourth in 43.84 in the second semi-final at the European Track and Field Championships in Zurich, breaking the Irish national time of 43.93.

Speaking afterwards to RTÉ Sport, first-leg runner Foster said: “[It’s] the first time we’ve raced together, and to run a national record, it’s great. European sprinting is very tough at the minute so I think we all did ourselves proud. 

“In other years [that time] would have made the final. We’re disappointed not to make the final. We thought we could do it but to run a national record certainly is something to be proud of."

User contributions and/or comments do not, unless specifically stated, represent the views of RTÉ.ie or RTÉ.
Click here for Terms of use
Live!
Powered by NewsWhip