Belfast Telegraph

Friday 21 November 2014

Super Amy races towards her future shot at Euro glory

In a hurry: Amy Foster (right) qualifies for today’s 100 metres semi-finals at the European Championships in Zurich yesterday
In a hurry: Amy Foster (right) qualifies for today’s 100 metres semi-finals at the European Championships in Zurich yesterday

Amy Foster produced a classy display to qualify for today's 100 metres semi-finals at the European Championships in Zurich. The Lisburn AC star also managed to qualify for the semi-finals of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow two weeks ago.

The odds on a repeat of that feat in Zurich seemed slim as Amy's heat contained new Netherlands record-holder Dafne Schippers plus Great Britain's top Junior Desiree Henry.

However as usual the 25-year-old – Ireland's top sprinter – was one of the fastest out of the blocks and was with the leaders up to the 40 metres mark.

She then faded slightly over the final 50 metres and was unfortunate to lose out on fourth position to Lithuania's Lina Grincikaite who was timed at 11.51 seconds.

Amy was given the same time which qualified her as one of the four fastest losers for today's semi-finals.

The Newtownards runner's heat was won by Schippers in 11.10 seconds with Henry recording a personal best of 11.21 seconds.

Amy's Ireland team-mate Phil Healy was unfortunate to just miss out on qualification in her heat, finishing sixth in 11.53 seconds.

GB sprinters were in fine form, Ashley Nelson qualifying in second place with a PB of 11.19 secs.

Fastest time of the day went to France's Myriam Soumare with a European-equalling best time of 11.03 seconds.

In the men's 400 metres hurdles, Belfast's Jason Harvey finished seventh in his heat in 51.91 seconds.

Harvey, who is still recovering from a thigh injury picked up just before the Commonwealth Games, was unfortunate to hit the final barrier in the home straight.

The heat was won by Switzerland's Kariem Hussein in 49.70 seconds.

In the same event, Ireland's Thomas Barr, who is currently ranked third in Europe, had an impressively easy win in his heat in 49.79 seconds.

Apart from Foster, Ulster interest today sees Christine McMahon starting her 400 metres hurdles campaign.

The 21-year-old Queen's University student, a member of Ballymena & Antrim AC, competed in the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and has progressed quickly to become Ireland's number one 400 metres hurdler.

The competition in her event, though, is even stiffer at the Europeans than it was at the Commonwealths, and Christine will have to produce her very best to make an impact in Zurich.

Another of Ulster's Glasgow Commonwealth Games contingent, pole vault ace Zoe Brown from Bangor, was to have competed in Zurich but has been ruled out by injury. The 30-year-old has produced some impressive results this season.

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