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Sweltering temperature gets better of Belfast's Scullion on Euro stage


By Brian Hill

Belfast's Stephen Scullion had a torrid time in the 30 degree temperatures in last night's 10,000m final at the European Championships in Berlin.

The 29-year-old may have regretted his decision to switch to the track event as opposed to the marathon as he was exposed to the full pressure of top European athletes in front of a 30,000 crowd in the Olympic Stadium.

He made a brave effort to stay with the top half of the 32-strong field, and at the halfway mark he was timed at 14 minutes, 16 seconds which, if maintained over the gruelling 25 laps, would have been his second best time.

However, the heat and humidity took a toll and he eventually finished in 29 minutes, 47 seconds, over a minute slower than his personal best.

The race was won by France's Morad Amdouni in a relatively modest 28.11.22.

Meanwhile, in the men's 400m hurdles, Thomas Barr left it very late to qualify for tomorrow's final in a race where only the first two were guaranteed places.

Coming into the home straight, the Ferrybank man was a distant fourth and had to fight to his limit to overtake two athletes to take second, in what was for him a modest 49.10 seconds.

If he is to win, 26-year-old Barr knows he will have to approach his 47.99 seconds personal best in the final.

In the men's 400m, North Sligo's Chris O'Donnell ran a season's best 46.81 seconds, but finished sixth in his heat and did not progress.

There was disappointment for DCD's Claire Mooney in the women's 800m, where she led for the first half. The 26-year-old faded badly on the home straight to finish seventh in two minutes, 4.26 seconds.

Team-mate Siofra Cleirigh Buttner fared a little better in her heat, but finished among the non-qualifiers in sixth in 2.02.80.

In the men's 50km walk, Finn Valley's Brendan Boyce started impressively and was eighth at the 35km mark. But the temperature took its toll, and he finished 19th in four hours, two minutes and 14 seconds.

Competing today is Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Leon Reid, who recently switched allegiance from Team GB to Ireland, in the 200m. The 24-year-old was one of the 15 fastest who was given automatic entry into the semi-finals.

He has come to Berlin in top shape, with a recent NI record of 20.27 seconds under his belt.

QUB's Emma Mitchell will compete in the final of the 10,000m. She broke her own NI record in April's Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

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