Ireland quartet fifth at Penn Relays in Philadelphia

Mark English

Ireland finished fifth in the distance medley relay event at the Penn Relays.

The Irish team included Letterkenny athlete Mark English whose split time for the 800m leg was a solid 1:46.9.

Paul Robinson's opening 1200m leg (2:52.8) had the Irish in third place and Brian Gregan's 400m lap kept (45.9) kept them in touch in fourth place.

The Irish dropped to fifth during English's leg and while Ciaran O'Lionaird did move them up to fourth again, they eventually took fifth.

This year's European Indoor Championship bronze medallist, O'Lionaird, did pass American Bernard Lagat during the third lap of the mile leg but the Kenyan-born athlete moved ahead of the Irishman again on the final circuit.

O'Lionaird's split time was 3:58.7 which left Ireland clocking an overall time of 9:24.10 in Philadelphia.

Ethiopia took victory in 9:16.34 which saw them pipping their great rivals Kenya (9:17.03) with the two USA squads (9:18.21 and 9:19.33) also ahead of the Irish.

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