Sharlene Mawdsley helps relay team into 400m final

Sarah Lavin also advances to semi-finals of 60m hurdles at World Indoor Championships

A redemption run of sorts, Sharlene Mawdsley clocked the fastest split time to help send the Irish women’s 4x400 metres relay into the final of the World Indoor Championships in Glasgow, with a new national record to boot.

Clearly fired up after her disqualification from the individual 400m semi-final on Friday night, when Mawdsley was deemed to have caused a minor infringement entering the last bend, the Tipperary athlete brought the Irish team home in 3:28.45, enough to advance this evening’s final as one of the fastest non automatic qualifiers.

That final goes off at 8.30p. The relay team’s record-breaking performance followed Sarah Lavin’s qualification for the 60m hurdles semi-final in a lifetime best of 7.90. That semi-final is set for 7.40pm.

Phil Healy led the team away with a blistering opening 200m which saw her storm to the lead, before passing over to Sophie Becker in first place. As the pace quickened Roisin Harrison held on in fourth, with Mawdsley then taking on the anchor leg where she closed a significant gap on the leading trio which contained World 400m record holder Femke Bol.


Mawdsley finished in fourth, with her split coming in at a superb 50.48 which, the fastest leg of any athlete in either of the heats. Healy clocked 51.93, Becker 53.05, and Harrison 52.99.

Earlier, Lavin’s 7.90 was enough to win her heat, improving her previous best of 7.91.

“It’s going to take better than an Irish record, which is 7.84, 7.83 might sneak in,” said of her final ambitions. “Obviously indoor 60m hurdles was Derval’s baby as World Champion, but I’m going to give it everything I have to make the final.

“I’m taking it round by round, nothing is a given, and this morning wasn’t a given even though I knew it was more than within my capabilities to win that heat, but I’m not taking anything for granted. I’m going to go back and recover, and I’ll ramp up preparations again for this evening”.

Lavin’s qualifying time ranked as the sixth fastest overall, with Poland’s Pia Skrzyszowska setting the fastest heat time with7.80.

Ian O'Riordan

Ian O'Riordan

Ian O'Riordan is an Irish Times sports journalist writing on athletics