CORK'S Phil Healy was in action this morning in her third and final event of the Games and missed out on a place in the Women’s 400m semi-finals by the narrowest of margins, finishing fourth in her heat in 51.98, just one place from an automatic spot, and one away from a time qualifier position.
It was just 0.07 seconds that separated Healy from a semi-final berth, posting the second fastest outdoor time of her career in her fourth race of the championships.
However, it wasn’t to be for the Bandon athlete, who leaves the championships as an Olympic finalist, and the first Irish woman to compete in three track and field events at one Olympic Games.
After her race, Healy knew that fresh legs would have made the difference, but was content with her time and performance.
“I went out there and gave it my all and that’s my second fastest outdoor time ever, but I know if I was fresh it would certainly have been a PB.
"To fall short again is disappointing, but it definitely gave me comfort today knowing what I did on top of yesterday.”
Meanwhile, Ireland’s Kellie Harrington is now guaranteed at least a bronze medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games as she put in a gritty performance this morning against Imane Khelif of Algeria in the Women’s Light (57-60kg) quarter final.
Khelif had the edge in the opening minute of the first round, with her long rangy jabs and reach seeing her settle in quickly.
Harrington quickly got the measure of her though and, by the end of the round, was given a 4-1 advantage going into the second by the judges.
A measured performance followed from the Dubliner, as she put the pressure back on Khelif throughout the second and third rounds, to take home the win by unanimous decision and secure her spot in the semi-finals where she will face Sudaporn Seesondee of Thailand on Thursday.
Speaking afterwards, Harrington said: “Yeah, she was a very game opponent, very, very rangy. I was trying to slip inside, and found it hard enough to do so but I could hear John shouting ‘move your head, move your head’ and Zaur shouting ‘back hand, left hook, back hand’.
"That was working for me - it was the simple things that were working for me. It wasn’t a spectacular fight, but this is what champions do, champions just do enough when they need to win and that’s exactly what happened there today.
"I did enough to get the bout, I wasn’t going inside the pocket to be caught or anything. It was good, I enjoyed it.
“To be honest, I don’t feel pressure about medals or anything like that because at the end of the day, I’m just here to perform and give my best.
“That wasn’t my best today but again, it’s very hard when you’re up against a tricky opponent to get the best out of you.
"So yeah, medals are medals. If I hadn’t gotten one I’d have been very upset, but it wouldn’t have been the end of the day, because a medal doesn’t define me as a person. I am more than just a boxer. I am a person and a human being and I have a loving family and a great community and I have a fantastic job so!”