Kerry O'Flaherty: Olympic qualifier fifth in Lucerne 3,000m steeplechase

Kerry O'Flaherty
Kerry O'Flaherty's next race will be the 3,000m steeplechase at the Irish Championships

Olympic Games qualifier Kerry O'Flaherty finished fifth as she ran her first 3,000m steeplechase of the summer at Tuesday's meeting in Lucerne.

In cold and windy conditions, the Down woman's time of 9:59.76 was over 17 seconds outside her personal best and Olympic qualifying mark set last year.

O'Flaherty, 34, was the second Irish finisher with another Rio qualifier Sara Treacy taking third in 9:56.81.

The Northern Irishwoman was in the leading trio for most of the race.

However, she was passed by Treacy and a couple of other athletes on the final lap at the Spitzen Leichathletik meeting.

After early leader Moroccan Fadwa Sidi Madane dropped out shortly after halfway because of injury, Swiss athlete Fabienne Schlumpf took victory in 9:53.61 ahead of Kenyan's Fancy Cherotich (9:55.76).

With Treacy in third spot, France's Claire Perraux also finished ahead of O'Flaherty.

Newcastle runner O'Flaherty will return to her French Pyrenees base of Font Romeu on Wednesday before travelling home for the Irish Championships on 25-26 June.

With the conditions badly affecting the sprints at Tuesday's meeting, Carlow man Marcus Lawler could only clock 21.58 seconds in the B 200m.

Lawler, 21, equalled his personal best of 20.74 in Spain last week.

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