European Championships: McMahon misses out on final spot

Christine McMahon ran impressively to qualify for the 400m hurdles semi-finals in Zurich
Christine McMahon will compete in the 400m hurdles semi-finals on Thursday evening

Christine McMahon's impressive European Championships came to an end as she finished eighth in her 400m hurdles semi-final on Thursday.

McMahon's time of 57.31 was .15secs outside her first-round heat but the 22-year-old can look back on an encouraging championships.

The Ballymena & Antrim athlete came into the Zurich championships after an early exit at the Commonwealth Games.

Her aim now should be to improve on her current personal best of 56.97.

In Wednesday's first round, McMahon had luck on her side as the false-start disqualification of Denmark's Sara Petersen reduced the field to five and Ukraine's Hanna Ryzhykova then fell at the final hurdle when looking likely to win the heat.

However, qualification for the final was always going to be beyond the Northern Ireland woman with all of the other semi-finalists quicker on the clock.

Britain's gold medal hope Eilidh Child won the semi-final in 54.71 while those finishers down to fifth place all progressed to the final with Russia's Vera Rudakova earning the last fastest loser's spot with 55.98 seconds.

Irish sprinter Kelly Proper improved her 200m personal best to 23.15 as she ran well to finish fifth in her semi-final.

Mark English didn't look as composed on Wednesday as in his opening heat
Mark English squeezed into Friday's 800m final after finishing fourth in his semi-final

Proper, who had progressed to the semi-finals with a morning heat clocking of 23.37, finished 10th overall which was an excellent effort by the Waterford woman.

Her new personal best cut .01secs off her previous mark set last month.

Earlier, Irish walker Laura Reynolds dropped out of the women's 20km event at the 12km mark after losing ground with the leading group early on.

Ireland will hope for much better in Friday morning's men's 50km walk as world champion Robert Heffernan aims to win another major medal.

The Corkman will be joined by Brendan Boyce in the event.

Donegal man Mark English goes in the 800m final in the evening session with an outside chance of a medal even though he only made the decider as a fastest loser on Wednesday night.

Frenchman Pierre-Ambroise Bosse will go in as favourite after going sub 1:43 earlier this season while Polish trio Marcin Lewandowski, Adam Kszczot and Artur Kuciapski are also likely to be in medal contention.

In the morning session, Ciaran O'Lionaird, John Travers and Paul Robinson will be involved in the men's 1500m heats.