Belfast Telegraph

Finn and Healy eye World bid after Irish call

Kerry O'Flaherty
Kerry O'Flaherty

By Brian Hill

Rio Olympics steeplechaser Michelle Finn and Irish 200m record holder Phil Healy have been added to the Ireland athletics team which will be competing at the World Championships in Doha, Qatar at the end of this month.

Their addition is part of an IAAF policy of accepting athletes who marginally fail to reach the very exacting qualification standards.

Finn (29) secured her place courtesy of her personal best time of nine minutes, 41.23 seconds in a race in Finland in July. This time is just over a second outside the required standard.

The Leevale ace was one of a trio of Irish athletes, including Newcastle's Kerry O'Flaherty, who competed at the Rio Games in 2016.

Last weekend, Finn finished second in a steeplechase in Spain in 9.44.91.

O'Flaherty's Doha hopes were shattered when she sustained a broken foot in the race after a fall at the second hurdle.

Meanwhile, Healy - of Bandon AC - also suffered a serious setback following a super-fast win in the Irish Universities Championships in Athlone in April in a time of 23.04 seconds, just 0.02 seconds outside the standard.

The 24-year-old, who holds the Irish record of 22.99 seconds, also broke a bone in a foot and is only now back to full fitness.

Northern Ireland athletes already announced for Doha are Belfast's Stephen Scullion (marathon), Portaferry's Ciara Mageean (1,500m) and Finn Valley's Brendan Boyce (50k walk).

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