Brian Gregan and Sinead Denny progress at European Championships

David Gillick bows out of 400m during heat two in Amsterdam - ‘it’s great to be back here’

Ireland’s Brian Gregan in action in Amsterdam on Wednesday. Photograph: Karen Delvoije/Inpho

Brian Gregan and Sinead Denny were the only Irish athletes to safely negotiate their first round heats at the opening session of the European Championships in Amsterdam, both over the 400 metres flat.

Gregan was part of a trio of Irish men in the one-lap event, finishing fifth in his heat in 47.02 seconds, running in lane one, and enough qualify for the semi-finals as the fastest non-automatic qualifier.

“The main thing was to get through to the semi-finals in what were windy and difficult conditions for everyone,” said Gregan.

No such joy for Craig Lynch and David Gillick in the earlier two heats: Lynch finished seventh in heat one in 47.61, while Gillick finished eighth in heat two in 47.81, some distance off his long-standing Irish record of 44.77.


“I got out hard over the first 150m but I just didn’t quite have it in the home straight,” said Gillick. “But it’s great to be back here given where I’ve come from, and the main priority this week is the relay.”

Denny did seal an automatic qualify spot for the women’s 400m semi-finals, finishing third in heat three with 53.95 seconds. “I’m delighted with that,” said Denny. “It was very windy down the back straight and I always find something in the last 100m to pull through. So ‘ll go again tomorrow.”

Claire Mooney missed out however, finishing seventh in her heat in 55.66.

In this evening's session Thomas Barr and Paul Byrne compete in the men's 400m hurdles, Tomas Cotter competes in the men's 3,000m steeplechase, Siofra Cleirigh-Buttner goes in the women's 800m heats and Tara Jameson and Fionnuala McCormack are in the women's 10,000m final at (6.0 Irish time).

Ian O'Riordan

Ian O'Riordan

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