Brian Gregan has progressed to the semi-finals of the 400m.
Feidhlim Kelly reports from Belgrade.
Brian Gregan (Clonliffe Harriers) was the highlight Irish performer on the first morning session of the European Indoor Championships in Belgrade advancing to the semi-finals of the mens’ 400m.
Gregan was drawn with championship favourite Pavel Maslak (Czech Republic) and managed his race well to finish second in 47.62 to qualify automatically.
Maslak won in 47.52. The semi-finals are later this evening at 17:05 and Gregan said, "I got through and that’s the main thing. I'm looking forward to tonight."
Sinead Denny (DSD) got Irish interest underway finishing fourth in heat 1 of the women’s 400m heats in 54.20. Unfortunately the heats were redrawn and she had the difficult task of running from lane 1 and missed out on a fastest qualifier spot.
Phil Healy (Bandon) finished third in a physical 400m heat, where she was checked heavily at the bell, with her time of 54.80 not enough to advance. "It was just a disaster of a race, all around, out there, but I'll learn a huge amount," said Healy who will now turn her attention to the 60m heats tomorrow morning.
Zak Curran (DSD) was the last of the Irish in action finishing fifth in his 800m heat in 1:50.87 and didn’t advance.
The men’s 60m hurdles heats were cancelled so that sees Ben Reynolds (North Down) competing in the semi-finals later this afternoon at 15:45.
Irish afternoon schedule:
15:45: Ben Reynolds 60m hurdles men semi-final
16:05: Ciara Mageean and Kerry O’Flaherty 1500m women round 1
17:05: Brian Gregan 400m men semi-final
17:25: Tomas Cotter 3,000m men round 1
18:15: John Travers 1500m men round 1
19:10: Ben Reynolds 60m hurdles men final*
*should he advance from the semi-final