BRIAN GREGAN FINISHED sixth in this evening’s final of the men’s 400m at the European Athletics Championships in Helsinki, clocking a time of 46.04.
Coming into the home straight Gregan looked certain of at least the bronze medal when agony struck. Gregan’s visible cramped and was forced to slow down with the pain to his groin. Gregan limped across the line in sixth place, inches away from a bronze medal.
“I am devastated with that,” he said afterwards. “I felt the groin go around 80m into the race. I pushed on for the next 300m before succumbing. If it hadn’t been for the injury I know I would have got a medal. I had no injury worries coming into the race, so it is just so unlucky.”
Paul Hession snuck into the men’s 200m final; initially finishing fifth in his semi-final and out of the qualifying positions, the Greek athlete Likourgos Tsakonas was subsequently disqualified and Hession was upgraded to the final.
Hession said: “That was shocking; I didn’t run well at all. I cannot emphasis enough how difficult it is to run the bends. I feel sorry for the Greek athlete as he is a good championships runner. My time (20.84) will only get me lane one or two in the final, hopefully I get lane two. If anything these championships have given me good experience for London, getting to run three rounds in 36 hours”
Amy Foster (City of Lisburn) was also in action in the women’s 200m heats. Foster finished sixth in a time of 24.04. This was unfortunately not good enough to qualify her for the semi-finals. Foster’s heat was particularly tough, it was won in a very quick time of <22.77 by Ukranian Mariya Ryemyen.