What a performance!
The Irish mixed 4x400m relay team have qualified for the Olympic final this afternoon, finishing second in what was a hugely eventful heat in Tokyo.
The Irish team, featuring Cillin Greene, Phil Healy, Sophie Becker, and Christopher O'Donnell, ran a phenomenal race, smashing the national record by four seconds with a time of 3:12.88.
That looked as though it would be good enough for fourth place in the heat, with the top three reaching the final. This meant we were now hoping to make it as one of the two fastest losers.
However, news would soon emerge that both the USA and Dominican Republic had been disqualified from the race, moving Ireland up to second place.
This is the first time that this event has been in the Olympic games, with Ireland fully deserving of their place in the final.
Cillin Greene, who ran the first leg of the race, even ran a personal best time to give Ireland a strong start.
Speaking to RTÉ after the race, all four members of the team were absolutely thrilled to make tomorrow's decider.
'We all stepped up to the mark, I'm absolutely delighted' - the Irish 4x400m team of Cillin Greene, Phil Healy, Sophie Becker and Chris O'Donnell react to reaching the Olympic final in a new national record#Tokyo2020 #RTESport #Olympics
📱 Updates - https://t.co/RB2R16yhlb… pic.twitter.com/8D7zcYApkD
— RTÉ Sport (@RTEsport) July 30, 2021
Greene: It was my first ever time leading out a relay, so it was a bit surreal to have to do it in the Olympics. I'm really confident with the way training was going and I've been racing really well, so I was confident that if we executed our races together that we would produce in this fashion.
Everyone did that today, we all stepped up to the mark. I'm absolutely delighted, I don't think it could have gone any better...
Healy: I'm really happy. This is the Olympic games, to qualify for a final is just unbelievable. We shattered the national record that we ran in order to qualify, taking four seconds off it. That is just unbelievable...
Becker: Im ecstatic, I can't believe we're in an Olympic final...
I'm so happy with my performance and the team's. We came in here hoping to run 3:14, we shattered that! Delighted...
O'Donnell: We brought the spirit that we had in world relays where we made the final, we're in an Olympic final now.
Even at 3:12, there is much more left in the team. We have one last roll of the dice tomorrow to do all the amazing supporters at home proud...
Healy: It's so exciting. The Olympics is something that athletes dream of, but to make an Olympic final is just surreal right now.
The final will take place tomorrow afternoon at 1.35pm.
Ireland will not be considered amongst the medal favourites, but after this performance you wouldn't back against them upsetting the odds once again.