Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Phoebe Gill: English athlete, 17, clocks stunning 1:57.86 800m in Belfast

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Nick Griggs’ hopes of achieving the European Championship 1500m standard of 3:36.00 were dashed as he could only finish third in a slow and tactical affair won by Corkman Darragh McElhinney in 3:42.48.

Hope of a fast time quickly evaporated as the contenders opted not to follow the pacemaker and as Griggs got boxed midway through the closing lap, his fellow Irishman McElhinney was able to make his decisive break.

Griggs did produce a strong closing 80 metres to get closer to the leaders but it was too late as McElhinney held off Dutchman Job Ijtsma (3:42.69) with the Tyrone man a further 0.05 seconds adrift.

“It was a really messy race but we’ve no-one to blame but ourselves,” said the Tyrone talent.

“I’d say there were a few tactical errors but you live and learn,” said the 19-year-old, who will continue to chase the European 1500m standard in the coming weeks.

Becker’s 4x400m women’s relay team-mate in the Bahamas Phil Healy moved down in distance to win the women’s 200m in 23.44 seconds – 0.45 outside her personal best set in 2018.

Another of Ireland’s World Relays heroes, Galway man Cillin Greene overcame his jet lag to bravely hold off training partner Jack Raftery in the men’s 400m in 46.37 seconds.

Glengormley man Callum Morgan, who trains with Griggs and Shanahan in coach Mark Kirk’s Belfast-based group, produced a new 3,000m personal best of 7:59.37 as outsprinted British steeplechase champion William Battershill

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