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Amy vows to get even faster in Euro glory quest

By Brian Hill

Published 08/07/2016

Speed queen: Amy Foster qualifying for today’s 100m semis in Amsterdam
Speed queen: Amy Foster qualifying for today’s 100m semis in Amsterdam

Amy Foster of Lisburn AC qualified convincingly for the 100m semi-finals in the European Championships in Amsterdam. Foster finished third in her heat in 11.57 seconds, behind European silver medallist Olesya Povh who won in 11.37 ahead of today's semi-finals.

The Newtownards ace, Ireland's top sprinter, said: "It was nice to qualify and get the job done to get to the semis.

"The best runners in Europe are here and I was pleased to be so close to Povh early in the race. My start was good and I hope to go faster in the semis."

Finn Valley's Tori Pena cleared 4.35m in the pole vault but was a little disappointed not to jump 4.45, finishing 15th out of 30.

Donegal's Karl Griffin, who is recovering from injury, was unfortunate in his 800m heat when he ran a season's best time of 1.49.37 but did not progress to the semis despite being the 13th fastest qualifier.

Marcus Lawler of St Laurence O'Toole AC, Carlow made the 200m semis, finishing fifth in his heat in 21.06.

The Irish camp was still buzzing after the first day efforts of Fionnuala McCormack who was only just run out of the medals in the 10,000m, finishing fourth in 31.30.74, only half a second slower than her PB.

In an exciting race won by Turkey's Yasemin Can in 31.12.86, McCormack battled with the top runners before having to yield to Norway's Karoline Bjerkeli Grovdal for the bronze medal.

The triple European cross country champion just fended off the amazing 42-year-old Jo Pavey who was fifth in 31.34 - inside the qualifying time for the Rio Olympics.

Pavey, who needed to finish in 32.15 to qualify for Rio, has competed at every Olympics since 2000.

The 2014 European champion and Commonwealth Games bronze medallist finished sixth in the 10,000m at the British trials in May after struggling with a chest infection.

"I've been really up against it fitness-wise and each week I've been getting a little bit fitter," she said.

"It was only three or four weeks ago that I could run half a race at that pace."

Pavey must now wait to find out whether she will be selected for Rio.

"I have to wait and see what the selectors say - so many British girls have run well this season," she added.

"I really can't say what will happen.

"I'm pleased with my progress - I've given it everything that I could."

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