NO joy for Cork runners Louise Shanahan and Phil Healy in their European Championship finals but both vowed they'll learn from the experience to challenge for elite glory again.
Shanahan had exceeded expectations in reaching the 800m final and while a medal was an outside possibility in what was considered an open field, finished at the back of the field of eight in a time of 2:01.64.
The Leevale athlete started brilliantly but couldn't sustain an impressive first 200-metre burst.
“It was a bit faster than I usually go through and, yeah, I probably could have played it safer and I would have been stronger in the second lap and maybe run a bit faster and possibly picked up a couple of the girls, but I didn’t really want to play it safe," she explained.
Shanahan, who is completing a quantum physics PhD in Cambridge, will aim to build on her breakthrough in Munich. “I’m not delighted, but I’ve come out here to these championships and run three days in a row 2:20, 2:01, 2:01 and I wouldn’t have been able to do that at any point in my career up to this. Being in a European final is a huge step up.”
Healy and Ireland’s women’s 4x400m relay team will be hoping to next compete for medals at the World Championships in Hungary next year and then the Paris Olympics in 2024.
Sophie Becker, Healy, Rhasidat Adeleke and Sharlene Mawdsley ended up sixth at the Olympiastadion.
The Netherlands posted a 3:20.87 to claim gold while Ireland’s 3:26.63 was nearly half a second off the national record time they set in the semi-final.
"It’s unbelievable, to see two 3:26 performances,” said the Ballineen Bullet Healy.
"The old record was 3:27, so to come out two days in a row, perform in a European final, the first Irish women’s 4x4 team in a European final...
"We have a massive squad, two great subs in the warmup in Roisin (Harrison) and Cliodhna (Manning), waiting to come on this team.
"This squad will grow and grow for years to come. To see the young girls coming up...
"I’m the oldest [at 28 in November] on the team so it’s great to see them coming up and taking this on to the future. To have a women’s 4x4 team in Paris is one hundred percent the aim.”