SHANAHAN AND 4X400M RELAY TEAM SECURE EUROPEAN FINAL PLACES

SHANAHAN AND 4X400M RELAY TEAM SECURE EUROPEAN FINAL PLACES SHANAHAN AND 4X400M RELAY TEAM SECURE EUROPEAN FINAL PLACES

It was another superb morning for the Irish team in Munich, with Louise Shanahan (800m) and the women’s 4x400m relay team of Sophie Becker, Phil Healy, Rhasidat Adeleke, and Sharlene Mawdsley securing places in their respective European Athletics Championship finals.

The women’s 4x400m relay team earned their place in tomorrow’s final in a new national record time of 3.26.06 which smashed the previous record of 3.27.48. It was an outstanding performance from the quartet who dominated the race from the gun, allowing Sharlene Mawdsley to coast home in second place to secure automatic qualification for tomorrow’s medal decider.

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Sophie Becker (52.21), who decided to focus on this week’s relay team ahead of her own individual competition, exploded from the starting blocks to put Ireland right in contention from the gun. Becker handed over to Phil Healy (51.75) who produced a superb 400m before passing on the baton to Irish 400m record holder Rhasidat Adeleke.  Adeleke showed no ill effects from her exploits earlier this week and powered her way to a 49.49 400m to hand over to Mawdsley (52.58) who brought it home for the Irish team in a new Irish record.

The team, which also includes Roisin Harrison and Cliodhna Manning, will return to the stadium for the final set for 8.45pm (Irish time) tomorrow evening.

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Louise Shanahan produced the race of her life in a women’s 800m semi-final stacked with quality athletes. The Tokyo Olympian ran a tactically excellent race, positioning herself expertly coming into the home straight which allowed her to claim 3rd place and one of the automatic qualification places for Saturday’s final (7.15pm) in a time of 2.01.15.

It marked another huge milestone for the Leevale athlete who has moved to another level this season, buoyed by her first Olympic Games appearance last year as well as setting a new Irish record (1.59.42) earlier this season.

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