Mark English breaks Irish 800m record for the second time this week

Donegal runner had already qualified for this summer’s Olympics having ran well in Finland on Tuesday

Ireland’s Mark English has once again lowered his own national record. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Mark English has once again lowered his own Irish 800m national record for the second time in four days, running a brilliant 1:44.53 to finish fourth at the Continental Tour meeting in Madrid on Friday night.

This follows his 1:44.69 clocking in Finland on Tuesday, dipping inside the automatic Paris qualifying time in the process, this putting the 31 year old from Donegal into his third Olympics.

That time from Tuesday also improved his previous Irish record of 1:44.71 set three years ago, which at the time also qualified him automatically for Tokyo, and with that broke the 1:44.82 mark which had stood for David Matthews since 1995.

English had further motivation going to Madrid, part of the World Athletics Continental Tour Gold, given by his own admission the disappointing run at the European Championships in Rome earlier this month, where he exited in the first round, running 1:46.73.

Ian O'Riordan

Ian O'Riordan

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