Sarah Lavin makes strides towards Olympic qualification with third place in Madrid

Nadia Power continues her fine run of fast times as she takes third in the 800m

Ireland’s Nadia Power in action during the women’s 800m at the World Athletics Indoor Tour Madrid 2021 on Wednesday. Photograph: David Ramos/Getty Images

Ireland’s Nadia Power in action during the women’s 800m at the World Athletics Indoor Tour Madrid 2021 on Wednesday. Photograph: David Ramos/Getty Images

 

Two personal bests and third place outright in the World Indoor Tour final in Madrid saw Sarah Lavin add further momentum to her quest to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics this summer.

The Limerick athlete first clocked 8.14 seconds in her heat of the 60 metres hurdles, her third place seeing her through to the final just over an hour later. Lavin went faster again in that race, clocking 8.13 to take third behind Spain’s Teresa Errandonea (8.08) and Nadine Visser of the Netherlands, who won in a new Dutch record of 7.81.

With that the 26-year-old edges ever closer to the sub-eight second barrier, Derval O’Rourke the only Irish woman to go under that, while also adding valuable ranking points towards qualification in the 100m hurdles in Tokyo. Lavin’s previous best was 8.18 run in Ostrava earlier this month.

Likewise for Nadia Power in the women’s 800m, who just lost out on second place but still ran the second fastest time of her life, finishing third in 2:01.55. A week after running what was then an Irish record of 2:00.98, Power again found herself chasing Habitam Alemu of Ethiopia, who took the win in 1.58.94, with Spain’s Esther Guerrero coming past Power for second in the last 50m in 2:01.13.

The Dublin runner finished joint second overall in the World Indoor Tour standings, based on points secured throughout the World Tour, which effectively qualifies her for Tokyo at this stage. In fourth place in Madrid was compatriot Louise Shanahan, who finished in 2:05.62.

For Lavin and Power it was a final test run before the European Indoor Championships which take place in Torun, Poland from March 5th-7th. So too for Leon Reid, who just missed out on a place in the 60 metres final, running 6.74 seconds to finish sixth.

Andrew Coscoran also had a final test in the men’s 1,500m, and went out fast with the pacemaker and eventual race winner Selemon Barega from Ethiopia, who took the win in 3:35.42 – Coscoran finishing fifth in 3:39.61. The men’s 800m saw some impressive European times, the top three, led home by Spain’s Mariano Garcia in 1:45.69, all running sub-1:46.

Providing a suitable climax to the World Indoor Tour was American Grant Holloway, who eclipsed the long-standing world indoor 60m hurdles record when running 7.29 seconds to secure his overall victory in the World Athletics Indoor Tour.

This took 0.01 off the previous mark, set by Colin Jackson back in 1994, and extends his winning streak in indoor sprint hurdles races to 54 races. Holloway’s last loss in an indoor sprint hurdles race came in 2014 when he was aged 16.

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