The European Athletics Championships are underway in Berlin, and Carlow’s Marcus Lawler has surprisingly bowed out in the opening round heats of the 200 metres event.
It was a fifth place finish for Lawler in his heat this morning, having previously been tipped as a medal prospect for this year’s Championships.
Lawler finished in a time of 20.80 seconds, having posted a 20.40 on home soil at Cork City Sports in July of this year to make him the second-fastest Irishman of all time over 200m.
28 year old Likoúrgos-Stéfanos Tsákonas, a former European U23 champion, took the heat in a time of 20.49.
“Yes, this was easy but it will be a completely different race in the afternoon. I am well prepared and feel good, just need to stay focused for the semi-final as it will be much more serious. The conditions, everything is OK.”, said Tsakonas in the wake of his heat victory.
For Lawler, it’s about making sense of this morning’s race.
“I had set myself a realistic goal of making the final – or as close as possible to that – and I think that was realistic”, said Lawler following this morning’s fifth placed finish.
“I’m after having a brilliant season, I was in good form coming in, posting big PBs all year. That’s just not good enough, it’s not going to cut it – gone in the first round. I ran 20.40, on paper I was the fastest and it doesn’t pan out like that on paper, still I should have – should have – been in the top three there. I just don’t know what went wrong.”
“I ran my own race the whole way through, definitely used a lot of energy on the bend. I thought the bend was decent enough and lane two is a little bit tight. I know the Italian guy caught me coming down the end, but I ran my own race, stayed fighting to the end, just wasn’t good enough.”
The 200m semi-finals take place at 7.15pm this evening.