Donegal’s Mark English qualifies for Olympics with new Irish record

Donegal’s Mark English broke his own Irish record for the 800 metres on Tuesday evening when running 1:44.69 to finish second at the Paavo Nurmi Games in Finland.

The time, inside the Olympic ‘A’ qualifying standard of 1:44.70,  also secures the 31-year-old Letterkenny doctor a place on the Ireland team for the Paris Olympics.

English put a disappointing European Championships in Rome behind him – he was eliminated in the first-round heats – to finish a close second behind Sweden’s Andreas Kramer.

He improved his previous Irish best of 1:44.71 for the distance, set three years ago.

It will be the Donegal athlete’s third Olympic Games having previously competed in Rio (2016) and Tokyo (2021).

English becomes the 10th Irish athlete with an automatic time for Paris, along with the mixed 4x400m relay and the women’s 4x400m relay.