Coscoran misses out on place in Olympic 1500m final
ANDREW Coscoran was the final Irish athlete in action on the track at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and the Meath man acquitted himself admirably. No-one could have asked more of him than to reach the semi-final stage of one of the strongest men’s events, the 1500m, and then run the second fastest time of his career to date.
Drawn in the first semi-final of two, Coscoran was always well placed as world champion Timothy Cheruiyot cut out a hot pace from the gun. Although unable to make any impact in the final sprint, the Star of the Sea AC athlete crossed the line 10th in 3:35.84, just over a second away from qualifying for an Olympic final.
Scot Jake Wightman led the field home in 3:33.48 while Kenya’s Abel Kipsang took the second semi-final in an Olympic record 3:31.65. Surprise here was that reigning Olympic champion Matt Centrowitz failed to make the cut while another favourite for a medal Poland’s Marcin Lewandowski pulled up injured.
Irish fans can now look forward to the road events over the weekend. The first of these, the men’s 20km walk, took place yesterday in Sapporo with Ireland’s David Kenny finishing 29th as Massimo Stano added another gold medal for Italy. The 22-year-old Kerryman, coached by former world champion and Olympic bronze medallist Rob Heffernan, came home in a time of 1:26:54. Stano finished in 1:21:05 to claim his country's third gold medal of the Games.
Donegal man Brendan Boyce, along with Alex Wright, kept the ball rolling in the early hours of this morning taking part in the gruelling 50km walk. Tonight, it is the turn of the female marathon runners, Aoife Cooke and Fionnuala McCormack, with the race scheduled to start at 11pm. On Saturday night (11pm), the all-Ulster trio of Paul Pollock, Kevin Seaward and Stephen Scullion take to the start line of the much-anticipated men’s marathon.
Apart from the 20km walk, seven other events were decided yesterday with the USA claiming two of the golds through Katie Nageotte (4.90m) in the pole vault, where Britain’s Holly Bradshaw took third, and Ryan Crouser who set a new Olympic record of 23.30m in the shot putt.
Jamaica’s Hansle Parchment lifted the 110m hurdles crown in 13.04 seconds; Pedro Pichardo continued a successful Games for Portugal by winning the triple jump with a 17.98m effort and Steven Gardiner of the Bahamas reigned supreme in the 400m with a 43.85 seconds clocking.
After two days of intense competition in both men’s and women’s contests, the multi-events titles also came to conclusion. Nafi Thiam put Belgium on the medal table with a victory in the heptathlon while Canada’s Damian Warner set a new record of 9126 points in the decathlon, becoming the first athlete to surpass 9,000 points in the event at the Olympic Games.