We were very nervous there for a few minutes. Heading into this week's European Athletics Indoor Championships, Mark English was perhaps considered as Ireland's best medal hope. Those hopes were given a boost yesterday, when he eased to victory in his 800m heat.
Many expected him to do something similar in today's semi-final, but disaster struck midway through the race. Having found himself at the back of the field, he was caught in a tangle with British runner Guy Learmonth. Learmonth would hit the deck, impeding English in the process and knocking him out of contention.
A disappointing night for Mark English, he is out of the 800m semi-final at the European Indoor Athletic Championships after a collision in his heat pic.twitter.com/y8YsJNv8hC
— RTÉ Sport (@RTEsport) March 2, 2019
It was hugely disappoint for the Irishman, and his hope of a medal seemed to be gone. Speaking to after the event, he indicated that he would appeal the race result.
Mark English on a frustrating race. pic.twitter.com/XVDXO1b4FW
— Athletics Ireland (@irishathletics) March 2, 2019
He had a case. Moving up along the inside as Learmonth had done is not permitted, and that ultimately was what caused English to miss out. Considering the pace that the race ultimately finished with, he likely would have finished in the top two if that incident had not occurred.
Thankfully, his appeal was successful. He will now run in the 800m final tomorrow as an extra participant, and has a real chance of bringing home a medal.