PATSY McGonagle praised ‘class act’ Mark English as he rewrote the Irish athletics record books last night in Spain.
English officially qualified for the Olympic Games with a stunning 1:44.71 run to break the long-standing Irish 800m record.
The 28-year-old took the 26-year-old record previously held by David Matthews.
McGonagle, the former Irish Athletics Team manager, has been working closely with English since the three-time European medalist joined Finn Valley AC in early 2020.
“He is class, but he has always been class,” McGonagle said.
“I have always looked at him and marvelled at his talent. He just needed to be at this Olympic Games.”
English had been so close to the automatic Olympic qualifying time of 1:45.20 in recent weeks, but tonight, with the deadline looming, he went to the soles of his shoes.
McGonagle said: “Lord save us, so delighted for the person himself. I can’t speak highly enough of him and the way he stayed focused.
“He goes to Tokyo with the greatest confidence. He is flying at 3,000 feet in his head tonight. He is buzzing. He rarely shows emotion but I know he is just absolutely delighted.”
Listen to the full interview below …Tags: