Euro Athletics: Fionnuala McCormack finishes fourth to miss out on medal

Fionnuala McCormack finished a heartbreaking fourth in the 10,000m at the European Championships in Amsterdam
Fionnuala McCormack finished a heartbreaking fourth in the 10,000m at the European Championships in Amsterdam

Fionnuala McCormack has narrowly missed out on a medal at the European Championships after a fourth-place finish in the women's 10,000m final.

The Wicklow runner produced the second fastest time of her career with 31.30.74 which was just seven seconds outside of the bronze medal.

David Gillick was unable to turn back the clock as he finished 22nd of the 23 runners in the 400m heats in Amsterdam.

Gillick's time of 47.81 seconds was 1.37 outside his 2016 best.

The 2009 world finalist retired from the sport two years ago after struggling for form since 2011.

The 32-year-old will be in action in the relay over the weekend when he hopes to help Ireland achieve Olympic qualification.

"It's great to be back here given where I've come from," continued the Irish 400m record holder.

David Gillick will run the 4x400m relay later in the championships
David Gillick (left) finished seventh and last in his first-round heat

Heartbreak for McCormack but Barr delight

On lifetime bests, Fionnuala McCormack was third fastest of the hopefuls with her 31:29.22 clocking but was regarded as an outsider for a medal, yet defied expectations with a season's best time.

It was another four-place finish, however, the same position she finished at the 2012 European Championships in Helsinki.

Kenyan-born Yasemin Can, who took up Turkish citizenship 15 months ago, won gold in 31.12.86.

Ireland's Tara Jameson finished in 14th place.

Thomas Barr qualified for the semi-finals of the 400m hurdles with a season's best time of 50.17.

The Waterford man was second fastest in the heats, with Slovakia's Martin Kucera quickest in 49.56.

Barr's season has been affected by injury and the time is still some way off his national record of 48.65.

Paul Byrne failed to qualify with a time of 53.12.

Gregan progresses to 400m semi-finals

Gillick's team-mate Brian Gregan did secure a semi-finals spot as he time of 47.02 left him 11th fastest as none of the competitors managed to duck under 46 seconds in the windy conditions.

Gregan finished fifth in the heat won by Britain's Martyn Rooney (46.57) but the third Irish entrant Craig Lynch exited as clocking 47.61.

In the women's 400m, Sinead Denny progressed after a third place in 53.95 saw her achieving automatic qualification but Claire Mooney exited following a 55.66 clocking which left her seventh in her heat.

Siofra Cleirigh-Buttner finished 0.07 seconds outside of progressing to the next round of the 800m after an impressive senior championship debut, clocking 2.04.97.

Northern Ireland's Olympic Games qualifiers Ciara Mageean and Kerry O'Flaherty will not open their Amsterdam challenges until Friday when Christine McMahon and Ben Reynolds will also be in action.

Other Rio-bound Northern Ireland athletes Paul Pollock, Kevin Seaward and Breege Connolly will run in the half-marathon events on Sunday as part of an Irish squad which will also include North Belfast's Glady Ganiel.

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