World Athletics 2011: Deirdre Ryan best of Irish in 6th

Deirdre Ryan
Deirdre Ryan after clearing 1.93m in the women's high jump final in Daegu

Deirdre Ryan's sixth place in the women's high jump final proved the Irish highlight of the penultimate day of the World Championships in Daegu.

Ryan cleared 1.93m, .02m behind her qualifying leap, as she continued her major championship breakthrough.

Ciaran O'Lionaird ran bravely to take 10th in 3:37.81 in the 1500m final.

Derval O'Rourke pulled out of the 100H semi-finals because of a calf injury while Colin Griffin was disqualified after three red cards in the 50K walk.

Griffin was in 31st place when he fell foul of the officials for the decisive third time in the distance event.

Ryan's superb performance in qualifying on Thursday also earned her a place in next year's Olympics and the Irish athlete did well to refocus for Saturday's final.

After an opening failure at 1.89m on in Saturday's final, she achieved that height before managing a first-time clearance at 1.93.

Ryan, 29, narrowly failed to extend her national record to 1.97m but a finish of joint sixth was an excellent day's work for the Dundrum South Dublin athlete.

Russia's Anna Chircherova took gold with a leap of 2.03m on countback from defending champion Blanka Vlasic with Italy's Antonietta Di Martino earning bronze with 2.00m.

O'Lionaird, in his first major final, was always going to have a tough task in the 1500m decider and he did get slightly boxed on the third lap.

The Corkman repositioned himself to move into sixth place by the bell but he was unable to stay with the leaders over the final 250 metres.

But a 10th place still represented a remarkable major championship debut for an athlete who was advised to quit the sport last year because of injury.

Kenya's Olympic champion Asbel Kiprop (3:35.69) took victory ahead of his compatriot Silas Kiplagat (3:35.92) and American Matt Centrowitz (3:36.08).

An Athletics Ireland statement said that O'Rourke, fourth two years ago in Berlin, had picked up the calf injury in Thursday's opening round.

"She subsequently received treatment. O'Rourke then tested it out during warm-up today for the semi-final but as it was not 100% she made the decision to withdraw," added the statement.

Ireland's remaining involvement in the Championships will be Alistair Cragg in Sunday's 5000m final (1140 BST).

Cragg performed heroics to reach the final and a top-10 finish would represent a great effort by the South African native.