Tokyo 2020: Mixed emotions in the mixed zone as Irish athletes’ race is run

Ciara Mageean, Thomas Barr and Mark English bowed out with no excuses

Ciara Mageean is dejected after the Women’s 1,500m heats at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo on Monday. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Ciara Mageean is dejected after the Women’s 1,500m heats at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo on Monday. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

The mixed zone in the Olympic Stadium where we talk to the athletes after their event is spread out behind a line of crash barriers and sectioned off into several pens. It’s within sight and earshot of the finish line, each athlete first walking up and down the ramp of TV interview crews before getting one last chance to gather their thoughts.

It’s not like previous Olympics where we could hurry up to them unannounced. The pens are sectioned off according to different events, we are given a ticket in as numbers are restricted, and when the athlete arrives we place our recording devices onto a tray which is then placed in front of them.

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