Tokyo 2020 Day 11: Aidan Walsh presented with medal, while Warholm smashes world record

All three showjumpers go clear in qualifier; Leon Reid and Andrew Coscoran advance

Aidan Walsh is presented with his bronze medal. Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

Aidan Walsh is presented with his bronze medal. Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

 
  • Boxing: Kellie Harrington guarantees at least bronze with lightweight quarter-final win (click here to read full report); Aidan Walsh presented with bronze medal
  • Athletics: Andrew Coscoran advances to semi-finals in 1,500m; Leon Reid reaches 200m semi-finals and exits, Marcus Lawler misses out in 200m, Phil Healy exits after 400m heats
  • Equestrian: Bertram Allen, Darragh Kenny and Cian O’Connor all go clear in showjumping qualifier

Boxing

Ireland’s Kellie Harrington remained on track to repeat Katie Taylor’s Olympic gold medal win at the London 2012 Olympics by guaranteeing herself a bronze medal at the Kokugikan Arena in Tokyo and becoming only the second Irish woman to win an Olympic medal in boxing.

Harrington won by unanimous decision over the long limbed Imane Khelfi 30-27, 29-28, 30-27, 30-27, 30-27 to earn a place in the semi-final of the women’s lightweight competition and will meet Thailand’s Sudaporn Seesondee in the semi-final.

Harrington catches Khelif during their quarter-final. Photo: Luis Robayo/POOL/AFP via Getty Images
Harrington catches Khelif during their quarter-final. Photo: Luis Robayo/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Later in the morning Aidan Walsh was presented with his bronze medal in the welterweight division after the 24-year-old was forced to pull out of his semi-final on Sunday with injury.

Walsh came through his quarter-final against Mervin Clair last week to set up a semi-final fight but sustained an ankle injury while celebrating the win.

On Tuesday he made it to the presentation ceremony at the Kokugikan Arena on crutches inwhat was a bittersweet moment for the Belfast fighter.

Athletics

Never in the 125 years of Modern Games history has a so-called morning session produced a performance like this – Karsten Warholm from Norway running a world record of 45.94 seconds to win his first Olympic gold medal on the track.

There were positive performances from some of the Irish athletes inside the Olympic Stadium too, Andrew Coscoran advancing to the semi-finals of the 1,500 metres after a positively determined run, before Leon Reid did likewise over 200m, which by the closest of margins booked him a lane in the semi-finals.

Ireland’s Andrew Coscoran qualifies for the semi-finals of the 1,500m at the Tokyo Olympic Games. Photo: Bryan Keane/Inpho
Ireland’s Andrew Coscoran qualifies for the semi-finals of the 1,500m at the Tokyo Olympic Games. Photo: Bryan Keane/Inpho

In that semi-final Reid ran 20.54 which saw him finish seventh, not good enough to reach the final but capping a successful performance as one of the few Irish sprinters ever to reach an Olympic semi-final.

Back briefly to that 45.94 seconds by Warholm, which by the way was over the 400 metres hurdles, as in one lap of the track with 10 barriers standing in his way. It’s hard not to believe it was the single most extraordinary run ever witnessed inside any Olympic Stadium. That time would have won him the 400m flat at the Olympics without any hurdles up to 1960.

It completely smashed his own world record of 46.70 that Warholm ran in his native Oslo in June, that beating the 29-year-old world record of the American Kevin Young and his 46.78 set at the 1992 Olympics on Bercelona.

Tokyo 2020

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It was an insane race on some many levels: Rai Benjamin clocked an American record of 46.17, well inside the previous world record, to take silver, Brazil’s Alison Dos Santos takes bronze in 46.72 which, up until a few weeks ago, would have been a world record.

Karsten Warholm crosses the finish line to win break the world record in the men’s 400m hurdles. Photo: Jewel Samad/AFP via Getty Images
Karsten Warholm crosses the finish line to win break the world record in the men’s 400m hurdles. Photo: Jewel Samad/AFP via Getty Images

Running 47.08 for fourth was Kyron McMaster of the British Virgin Islands, every place fastest time for that position in Olympic history.

Back to Coscoran, who nailed his semi-final berth in the always super competitive heats of the 1,500m, easing his way through with two places to spare in his heat after finishing eighth in a time of 3:37.11.

“It doesn’t always go right, at the right time,” said the north Dublin runner, who with that gave credit to his coach Feidhlim Kelly. “We got it right, we’re fit, we’re here, we’re fresh. We’re ready to go. We wanted to put ourselves in the mix, and we did. We’ve raced a lot, got good at racing, did the European circuit, there was no being soft. We just kept driving on.

“Nick Willis (the New Zealand runner who also qualified) said to me in the warm-up, 3:37 would get us through, and he went and ran 3:36 obviously. My coach (Feidhlim) said get in behind him, or Jakob, latch on to them, and I got it done. Let them to the work for me.”

Sporting a magnificent green harp tattooed under the top of his left arm, Coscoran added; “This is the biggest competition you’re ever going to run, so if you’re not nervous there is something wrong with you. But I calmed the system down, got real tactical about it. It’s semi-finals now, and there is no one more dangerous that someone who has nothing to lose. I’ll go out there and give it a lash, see what happens. For me, the more races I do back-to-back, the better I can get. Maybe the semi-finals is the race to that.”

Later in the morning session, Reid also made it through to the semi-finals of the 200m , advancing by .002 of a second when it came down to the fastest qualifying times.

Reid also endured an uncertain build-up to Tokyo, as he faced criminal charges at his home in Bath which he has denied: “Not that difficult at all,” Reid said when asked about that distraction. “It’s always been a goal for the past 11 years. It’s doesn’t matter if I get hit by a car, whatever happened, happened. That’s in the back of my mind now, and I’m here to focus on the running. We’ll sort that when we get back.

Leon Reid crosses the line to qualify for the 200m semi-finals. Photo: Bryan Keane/Inpho
Leon Reid crosses the line to qualify for the 200m semi-finals. Photo: Bryan Keane/Inpho

“It wasn’t the best run, but a gritty run, and got the job done. It’s quite good the crowds aren’t here, so get the first run out of the way, the second one will just be easy. It’s been amazing mixing with the other sports, mixing with a lot of old friends. It came to thousands today, so you have to push all the way.”

No such joy for Marcus Lawler who finished sixth in his heat in 20.73 seconds, a best for season but not enough to go through

Likewise for Phil Healy, competing in her third event in Tokyo, who fell just short of a place in the semi-finals of the 400m despite running a season best of 51.98 seconds to nail fifth.

“Those are the fine margins,” said Healy, “just missed out the semi-finals of the 200m yesterday too. Look, the relay did take its toll, it was an Olympic final after all, and today we were unsure if we would run this event or not, but I didn’t want to be sitting in the stands wondering what could have been, so I came out here and gave it my all, my second fastest outdoor time ever.

“This is my fourth race, so to fall just short again is disappointing, but this is what I trained for, to prove I can do it, sub 52 is massive, and that has given me comfort going home, knowing I did perform at the Games. Looking ahead, focusing on one event maybe, this has given me a massive boost to go on. It’s been a crazy year, on the back of Covid, to represent Ireland in three events, and I will look back on it very, very happy.”

Equestrian

It was a successful morning for Bertram Allen, Darragh Kenny and Cian O’Connor who all went clear in the individual showjumping qualifier, confirming their places in tomorrow’s final.

Kenny was the fastest of the trio on VDL Cartello, getting around in 82.01, while Allen and Pacino Amiro clocked 85.18 and O’Connor went round in 88.16 on board Kilkenny, all three avoiding any penalties.

Bertram Allen riding Pacino Amiro competes during the jumping individual qualifier. Photo: Naomi Baker/Getty Images
Bertram Allen riding Pacino Amiro competes during the jumping individual qualifier. Photo: Naomi Baker/Getty Images

With some riders still to complete their circuits, the scores from Kenny, Allen and O’Connor were enough to guarantee that they would be in the top-30 and ties who will advance to Wednesday’s final.

“I was very happy with that. Cartello jumped super, he feels in great form,” Kenny told RTÉ Sport.

“We have a very strong team and a great group of horses. My horse feels in great form and we’re very motivated to do some damage

“I’ve never actually jumped him under lights. There’s a bit of shadow, the jumps become a bit brighter a bit spookier.”

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