Brian Gregan had to settle for sixth place in the final of the men's 400m at the European Championships in Helsinki.

He had been in the medals, but faded in the closing stages.

The Clonliffe Harriers runner was visibly hurt and his body language suggested he had sustained a groin injury during the race.

A devastated Gregan said afterwards: “I am devastated with that. I felt the groin go around 80m into the race.

“I pushed on for the next 300m before succumbing. If it hadn’t been for the injury I know I would have got a medal. I had no injury worries coming into the race, so it is just so unlucky.”

Earlier, Jessie Barr never landed a blow in the 400m hurdles final, finishing last behind Irina Davydova of Russia.

Barr clocked a disappointing 56.83 seconds, almost a full second outside the personal best she set in Thursday’s semi-final.

“I am gutted with that,” Barr said.

“I expected to a do a lot better. I would have been happy with the time last year. But now I have moved on and I expect myself to do much better.

“I am really disappointed but I am sure when I reflect back in a few days I will be proud of what I have achieved here.”

There was also disappointment for 21-year-old Steven Colvert who finished fifth in his 200m heat in a time of 21.24.

Despite being some way off his best run, the time would have been good enough for Colvert to progress as a fastest loser, but the Crusaders AC man was disqualified for running outside his lane.

He became the second Irish competitor to suffer this fate after Joanne Cuddihy was disqualified in the women's 400m heats.

Amy Foster of North Down AC finished sixth in her heat of the 200m in 24.04, and failed to progress to the semi-finals.