Athletics

Day 2: European Indoor Athletics Championship

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Today we have Sarah Lavin, Phil Healy and Nadia Power all in action on Day 2 of the European Indoor Athletics Championships.
If you are looking for a quick recap and the schedule of the action click here!
Sarah Lavin competes in the 60m hurdles with the aim of qualifying for the semi-finals, while Nadia Power will look to book her place into the 800m final. Power will race at 18:16 this evening from lane five and is the fastest ranked contender in the field.
A few hours, the nation of Ireland will be holding their breadth as Cork’s Phil Healy takes to the track in the 400m final at 19.25. Healy is in lane 4 and is in real contention for that bronze medal.
Recap on Day 1 and Phil Healy’s extraordinary day!

400m

Preview
Phil Healy is in action in the final of the 400m tonight and while gold and silver may be out of reach, a bronze medal is a real possibility. Healy was in the slowest semi final running a time of 52.41. We know there’s more in the tank as Healy’s season’s best is 51.99 and while she’s a very speedy athlete, she also has a head for racing and understanding her competitors. Healy was ecstatic to make the final, her first final at a major competition and she will put everything out there as she attempts to claim a medal.
“When there’s no pressure on you, you’re dangerous. I’m going to go out [in the final] and give it my all.” – Healy
It seems that gold and silver could be a battle between Femke Bol and Justyna Swiety-Ersetic, as the only athletes under 52 seconds in the competition so far. Bol is on form as expected (51.17 in semi final) and Swiety-Ersetic ran a personal best and national record in the semi final (51.34). Swiety-Ersetic will need to keep her momentum as Lieke Klaver is a threat with her season’s best of 51.21. Jodie Williams ran a personal best of 52.09 in the semi final, the question will be can she do more? While Andrea Miklos was in Healy’s semi final and also ran 52.41 to qualify, her season’s best is 51.92.
Final

Apersonal best in a 400m European Indoor final and fourth place for Phil Healy. It was said, Healy would have to run the race of her life to earn herself a medal and she came agonisingly close.
Speaking ahead of the final last night, Healy said, “When there’s no pressure on you, you’re dangerous. I’m going to go out [in the final] and give it my all.” She certainly delivered on her words.
In a stacked field, the Bandon bullet gave it everything and almost pulled off an incredible comeback as she fought valiantly for that bronze medal position.
As expected, there was little in it in for the race for that podium position. GB’s Jodie Williams claimed third place with a time of 51.73, with Phil Healy just behind her with a time of 51.94.
Healy smashed her own personal best in a European final which doesn’t happen to often. Her time of 51.94 is just short of the All-Time Irish record set by Karen Shinkins back in 2002, which currently sits at 51.58.
It was tense and the silence was unbearable before the athletes were let off. Healy made it to the 100m mark in third and even when she got stuck in between the field she never gave up. Never giving up, the will and determination was evident as Healy left everything out on the track to pass the Netherland’s Lieke Klaver and just fall short of that third-place position.
As expected, the Netherland’s Femke Bol eased her way to victory with incredible ease to claim the title by some distance, with a time of 50.63. Poland’s Justyna Swiety-Erestic claimed silver with a time of 51.41.
Read the full report here.

800m

800m Semi-Final

A brave display from Nadia Power wasn’t enough to secure a place in the 800m European Indoors final.
The Dublin City Harriers runner ran a tactically superb race but did not quite have it in her legs to hold her position coming into the final 150 metres.

Disappointment for Nadia Power as she finishes 4th in the 800m semi and misses out on the final #Torun2021 pic.twitter.com/uccKdBuQj2

— RTÉ Sport (@RTEsport) March 6, 2021



Running in lane 5, Power positioned herself beautifully on the shoulder in third place after the first 400m. Not wanting to leave anything to chance, the former Irish record holder took the lead at the final bell and looked determined not to be caught.
It was not to be however and with just 140m to go, Power was not able to hold on as she was passed out on the outside by Angelika Chichocka, Ellie Baker and Sara Kuivisto. No one can question the bravery or the determination from Power.
No doubt the DCU star will be hurting but once the dust settles she will have the chance to acknowledge the incredible indoor season she has had alongside her coach, Enda Fitpatrick.
Speaking to RTE’s David Gillick, Power said. “Well I just wanted to run to my strength and hit it hard in the middle of the race.”
“I just wanted to do that and have no regrets. At least I was brave and went for it. It’s still a great season and I’ve learnt a lot.
“I’m super proud. It would have been nice to finish in a European final. The goal has always been the Olympics. I’m super disappointed but I’m so so motivated to train harder and be better for the summer.”

“It’s still been a great season and I’ve learned a lot” – Nadia Power reflects on her 800m semi-final in an interview with @davidgillick #Torun2021 pic.twitter.com/osIx3l65qO

— RTÉ Sport (@RTEsport) March 6, 2021

60m Hurdles

Preview

Sarah Lavin has been smashing her personal bests since the turn of the year. Alongside coach Noelle Morrisey, the pair have been consistently improving in the build-up to a busy summer.  With a personal best of 8.13 heading into the European Indoors, a semi-final is the least Lavin will be expecting. Defending champion Nadine Visser is the hot favourite to take the crown as she looks to defend her 2019 title. Visser competed against Lavin at the World Indoor Tour in Madrid and ran away in first place. Lavin finished that race against a quality field in third.

Heats

Sarah Lavin is into the semi-final of the European Indoor 60m hurdles after obliterating her personal best to finish third in the fastest heat of the day.
The race began with disqualification for Romania’s Anamaria Nesteriuc for a false start.
After a solid start, Lavin powered her way into her stride with the European Champion, Visser on her inside lane.  The Emerald AC star, looked in impressive form as she crossed the line in 8.06 – a whopping 0.07 seconds off her lifetime best. Only Derval O’Rourke has run faster with a time of 7.84.
The times keep dropping for Lavin, with a third personal best in a row. She ran 8.14 and 8.13 at the World Indoor Tour in Madrid and has now smashed her own personal best in a matter of days.
Lavin will run in tomorrow’s semi-final at 12:46.

“There’s always something to improve on. I don’t think any athlete has the perfect race. My coach, she’s a tough cookie, so I’m sure she’ll have plenty to work on. No job is done yet. I’m delighted, obviously, but I just need to reset, refocus and go again.”

— Cathal Dennehy (@Cathal_Dennehy) March 6, 2021


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