Mark English added to his increasing credentials in London on Friday last by obtaining qualification for the World Athletics Championships.
The Letterkenny native finished the 800m at the London Anniversary Games in sixth place in 1:44:84 in front of more than 60,000 people in the Olympic Stadium.
The time, a World Championship A standard, improved his recently-set personal best by .48secs.
“I love going to championships to race and although it’s all about fast times I’m just going to focus on getting to the semi-finals and I will see what happens from there,” English said of Moscow.
“I’m still only 20 so it’s about learning. But further down the road it will be all about the medals.
English was at the back of the star-studded 12-man field as pacemaker Matthew Scherer produced an opening lap of 49.54 seconds but moved past a number of athletes in the closing 400 metres.
American Nick Symmonds took victory in 1:43.67 ahead of his compatriots Duane Solomon on 1:44.12 and Brandon Johnson with 1:44.19.
“It was a real pleasure for someone from Donegal to go over to the Olympic Stadium,” English continued. “My gameplan all along was to sit off the leaders and run my own race.
“I wanted to run even pace, which is the best way I feel to run at 800m.
“You need awareness of where to kick in an 800m. I like to break an 800m into four segments and you just need to have enough kick for the last 200 metres.
“The crowd were fantastic. It was like being in the Olympic Stadium last year. The atmosphere was incredible as was warming up alongside Usain Bolt. That really made me realise the magnitude of the event.”
The World Championships in Athletics are scheduled to be held in Moscow, Russia, from August 10–18.