MARK ENGLISH is out of the Olympic Games after finishing fifth in his semi-final in Rio.
English was in a loaded semi-final that included the reigning Olympic champion and world record holder David Rudisha, who won the race in 1:43.88.
English was eighth at the bell and while he came with a kick it wasn’t to be for the Letterkenny man, who finished just outside his season’s best in 1:45.93.
English needed the race of his life to advance to Monday’s final. The UCD medical student gave it his all over the final stretch.
English knew that he needed a new Irish record to qualify were he to finish outside the top two in his race, the last of three semis.[adrotate group=”81″]
Pierre-Ambroise Bosse of France won the opening semi-final in 1:43.85 with Algeria’s Taoufik Makhloufi second in 1:43.85; both of them season’s best times.
Marcin Lewandowsi also ran a season’s best 1:44.56 to get third in that quick semi.
The pace of the second semi-final was less swift with Kenya’s Alfred Kipketer winning in 1:44.38 and Boris Berian of USA also qualifying, coming home in 1:44.56.[adrotate group=”36″]
As a measure of the quality in the field, Poland’s fancied Adam Kszczot – the 2015 World silver medallist and holder of four European gold medals – bowed out after finishing third in English’s semi and Djibouti’s Ayanleh Souleiman, a World bronse medalist, finished fourth and also goes home.
Clayton Murphy was behind Rudisha, the America finishing in 1:44.30.[adrotate group=”37″]
English qualified for the semi-final thanks to a superb finish to his heat, when a late surge saw him finish in 1:46.40 yesterday, but luck eluded him in the draw and the task proved too tough for English.
Earlier this year, English missed eleven weeks – almost three months – of training after injury a metatarsal, but bounced back to hit form again heading to Rio.