Day 7: Olympic Final For 4x400M Relay & Harrington One Fight Away From Bronze

Team Ireland's 4x400M relay team have booked their place in an Olympic Final while Kellie Harrington moves one fight from bronze.

Day 7: Olympic Final For 4x400M Relay & Harrington One Fight Away From Bronze
HerSport Editor
HerSport Editor

The Irish 4x400m mixed relay team of Cillin Greene, Phil Healy, Sophie Becker and Chris O'Donnell posted a time of 3:12.88 set a new national record to qualify for the Olympic final on Saturday. Ireland qualified straight into the final after the Dominican Republic and the USA were disqualified. If both countries weren't disqualified, Ireland would have still booked their place in the final as one of the quickest in the heats.

The new Irish record broke the old record by almost four seconds.

Coming into the race, Becker admitted that they were looking for a time around 3:14.00 so for them to run 3:12.88 is a massive improvement. Phil Healy ran the second leg for Ireland and her split was 51.51 while Becker went around the track in 51.58.


Speaking after the race, Healy told RTÉ Sport “This is the Olympic Games and to qualify for a final is unbelievable.

“We shattered the national record that we ran in order to qualify for here. We took four seconds off it. That is just unbelievable. There is so much more in this team."


Elsewhere, it was a tough morning for Team Ireland’s 800M athletes who won’t progress into the semi-finals after missing out on qualification into the next round.

Nadia Power, Louise Shanahan and Síofra Cléirigh Büttner were all in action and were eliminated after seventh-place finishes in their heats. Nadia Power finished in a time of 2:03.74, Louise Shanahan in 2:03:57 and Siofa Cléirigh Büttner in 2:04.62.A learning curve for all of these talented 800M runners.



Top lightweight seed Kellie Harrington has moved into the quarter-finals after a dominating performance against her Italian opponent Rebecca Nicoli. Harrington put on a boxing masterclass as she made lightwork of the Italian to win by a comprehensive unanimous-decision. Harrington will now face Algeria’s Imane Khelif who beat Tunisia’s Zayani.

Harrington was in fine form and showed her array of skills as she landed numerous counter-strikes as she dipped in and out of range. The Italian found it difficult to keep up with Harrington who set the pace and was incredibly accurate as she picked off her opponent in all three rounds.

The 2018 World Champion earned a unanimous decision victory with the five judges scoring the bout of 30-27, 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28.

Speaking after the fight, Harrington said, "I'm glad to get started and underway, I was a bit anxious coming in.

Harrington now moves on to a medal fight on Tuesday against Algerian Imane Khelif with the winner

“It felt good to get started. We arrived out here on June 30th and now it is July 30th. So, we are a month out here now.

"If I get a medal that will be great, but as long as I give it everything, as long as I step out of the ring knowing that I have given everything I will be happy."


Rio 2016 silver medallist and three-time Olympian, Annalise Murphy, has finished 18th overall in the Laser Radial. Murphy who had fought valiantly to put herself back into contention for the medal race, wasn’t able to force her way back into the top 10 as she finished 30th and 40th in the final two races.

Murphy  was left frustrated with her start in her opening races but after a first and second place on Thursday morning, the Rathfarnham sailor put herself back within 14 points of the top 10. Unfortunately with little wind and no opportunity to put pressure on the field, Murphy finished 30th and 40th – it wasn’t to be.

Murphy was hoping to make her third Olympic final in a row but it didn’t pan out they way she would have hoped. In an extremely honest and emotional interview with RTE, Murphy revealed it was time to give the next generation a chance as she contemplates stepping away from the sport. Etched into the history books of Irish sport forever, Murphy a Olympic and European medallist, has put Irish sailing on the map.


Ireland’s quarter-final hopes will go down to the wire as Navneet Kaur’s 57th minute winning goal denied the Green Army what would have been a crucial point at the Oi Stadium. 

The deflection from Rani Rampal’s reverse-stick cross finally broke the Irish defences as India eventually took advantage of their large volume of control on the game. 

Sean Dancer’s side defended heroically with Ayeisha McFerran producing another slew of brilliant saves. But just as it looked like a vital draw was on the cards, India nicked their winner. 

It means Ireland remain in fourth place on three points in the chase for the fourth quarter-final berth, just ahead of India on goal difference. India face bottom side South Africa while Ireland conclude their group against reigning champions Great Britain (12.45pm, Irish time). 

It was a shaky start with Ireland penned back for long periods of the first quarter as the Indians – gunning for revenge for their 2018 World Cup quarter-final elimination – burst into life from the start. 

Oustanding penalty corner running from the likes of Sarah Torrans and Katie Mullan charged down the majority of chances from the set piece. Navneet Kaur and Neha both tested Ayeisha McFerran’s pads from play while the Green Army’s big moment was a break-out which ended with Deirdre Duke – in her 150th cap – seeing her strike well blocked. 

Quarter two saw Ireland grasp a measure of control, picking up a couple of corners and Anna O’Flanagan’s bullet of a shot was excellent padded away by Savita. 

A sequence of five more India corners closed out the first half but with no tangible benefit on the scoreboard as McFerran and Róisín Upton batted away the chances. 

And they carried that flow of corners into the second half. Navneet Kaur contrived to miss two huge chances, one from their 13th corner when she swept into the outer boarding of the goal, the next a deflection from Lalremsiami’s clever under the arm pass. 

As time wore on, with Nicci Daly getting more and more onto the ball, Ireland carved out more meaningful chances. Again, O’Flanagan’s rising shot was saved by Savita and, with five minutes to go, the pair showed down again, the goalkeeper again doing enough to palm out of reach of the rebounding Duke. 

The game was becoming more and more open, though, and India profited from the extra space. Rani was found in the right corner and she worked it back to a nice angle to deliver the killer pass for Navneet to touch home the key touch. 


Sanita Puspure who was due to compete in the single-sculls B final, withdrew from the race after revealing she had been unwell for several days.

"Over the past few days, I have not been well, and I had to make the difficult decision to withdraw from the Olympic regatta," the statement read.

"This is really disappointing as I had been going well over the past few months and had hopes to continue this good form.

"The Olympics is always a big goal so it's heart-breaking to have to pull out in this manner."


Larne's Danielle Hill closed out her Olympic debut as she  finished 6th in her 50m Freestyle heat. Hill swam a time of 25.70. The time wasn't enough advance to the semi-finals this time, but no, at just 21 years old, the countdown to to Paris 2024 begins.

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