Donegal athlete Mark English (pictured) secured his place on Team Ireland for the Tokyo Olympics on Tuesday night with a scintillating run at a race meeting in Spain.
English finished second in the men’s 800 metres in a time of 1min 44.70secs, which was inside the Olympic qualifying standard AND breaks David Matthews 26-year-old Irish record for the distance.
NR for @markenglish_ and now an AUTOMATIC QUALIFIER for @Tokyo2020 for @irishathletics Entries close at midnight tonight. He left it close but he did it! Fair play and commiserations to @DavidMatthews2 who loses his NR. Well done too to coach @FeidhlimKelly and @dublintrackclub pic.twitter.com/JKNh2eYg9p
— Seamus Carey (@SeamusCarey) June 29, 2021
English spoke to Chris McNulty of the Donegal Sport Hub shortly after his record-breaking run.
Elsewhere, North Sligo Athletic Club’s Chris O’Donnell also had a night to remember as he set a new PB for the 400 metres in Lucerne, finishing second behind world record holder Wayde van Niekerk (South Africa) in a time of 45.55 – the third quickest time for the distance by an Irish athlete of all time.
Watch O’Donnell’s race here:
— Connacht Athletics (@ConnachtAths) June 29, 2021