Tokyo 2020 digest: Mark English misses out in 800m as the golf hots up

The Morning Sports Briefing: Keep ahead of the game with ‘The Irish Times’ sports team

Mark English trails during his 800m heat in Tokyo - the Irish runner finished fourth. Photograph: Christian Petersen/Getty

Mark English trails during his 800m heat in Tokyo - the Irish runner finished fourth. Photograph: Christian Petersen/Getty

 

It has been a disappointing morning for Ireland on the track, with Mark English finishing fourth in his heat in the 800m - not enough to secure a place in the semi-finals. 28-year-old English was left to rue what might have been at a sweltering Tokyo Olympic Stadium, as he left himself with too much to do in the final 100m as he ran a time of 1:46.75. Afterwards, English said: “I’m gutted. I was ready for that race. I just got outkicked, there’s nothing else to say, really. “The plan was to stay in contention without wasting too much energy. I felt like kind of got to the front at 200m and then they all just closed in and got in front of me. At that point, I didn’t feel like it was worth wasting energy to move out but over time I might regret that. It’s tough to take to be honest.” Ian O’Riordan was there to see English fall short in a tactically messy race, as well as Sarah Lavin’s seventh-place finish in her 100m hurdles heat which was won by world record holder Kendra Harrison.

Elsewhere this morning Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry are firmly in contention in the men’s golf - McIlroy is currently two strokes off America’s Xander Schauffele after he signed for a third round of 67 at Kasumigaseki Country Club, Lowry a stroke back after a 68. Later this afternoon the Ireland women’s hockey team will take on defending champions Britain in a must-win match (12.45pm) - you can see the rest of the day’s schedule HERE. Meanwhile with the nation still basking in the warm afterglow of the medals earned on the water earlier this week, Johnny Watterson has looked at the intense training culture which has given Ireland unprecedented rowing glory at the Olympics. And there could be more medals on the way this weekend - Aidan Walsh is guaranteed at least a bronze as he takes on Britain’s Pat McCormack in the welterweight semi-finals, while Kurt Walker can secure bronze as he meets the USA’s Duke Ragan in the featherweight quarter-finals. You can keep up to date with all the latest Olympics action HERE.

Tokyo 2020

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Away from Japan and the Lions can secure a series victory later today as they meet the Springboks in the second Test in Cape Town, off the back of last weekend’s 22-17 first Test victory. The tourists will be braced for a serious ‘Boklash’ from the world champions - however Gerry Thornley believes they will be well-equipped to cope with whatever South Africa throw at them. He writes: “Murray’s selection also points to a more pragmatic approach toward the territorial battle from the start. The Boks have their Bomb Squad back intact, but the Lions’ bench looks better suited to upping the tempo in the last quarter. Several of the Lions combinations ought also be sharper. There’s also the suspicion that Warren Gatland has got under Rassie Erasmus’s skin. Yes, the Boks beat Wales in the World Cup semi-final, but only just, and that was after Wales had beaten them four times in a row.” The third Test kicks off at 5pm Irish time - you can follow it all via the Irish Times liveblog.

It is also a huge day of GAA action, with the Ulster football final sandwiched between two All-Ireland hurling quarter-finals. And in his column this morning Nicky English has looked ahead to the last-eight clash between Tipperary and Waterford at Páirc Uí Chaoimh (1.30pm). He writes: “For me, Tipp still look more likely to score with less effort - as evidenced two weeks ago by Jason Forde, Jake Morris and Bubbles O’Dwyer, every one of them looked dangerous. Waterford work harder for theirs. There won’t be much in it and it’s a huge challenge for Tipp but they do have a scoring edge. What though is their ultimate ambition? Have they still the hunger to want to face Limerick again?” In the day’s second hurling clash, Dublin meet Cork in Thurles (7pm). You can follow both - as well as what is likely to be a highly-charged clash between Monaghan and Tyrone (4pm) - via Eamon Donoghue’s liveblog.

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