World Championships: Mark English through to Beijing semis

Mark English sprints for the line in his 800m heat in Beijing
Mark English sprints for the line in his 800m heat in Beijing
World Athletics Championships
Venue: Beijing National Stadium, China Dates: 22-30 August
Coverage: Live on BBC TV, Red Button, Radio 5 live, online, mobiles, tablets and app.

Mark English has progressed to the 800m semi-finals at the World Championships as a fastest loser in the heats.

The Letterkenny athlete was fifth in his heat in 1:46.69 but did enough to make Sunday's semi-finals in Beijing.

English, who needs a top-two finish to qualify automatically for the final, said he was "delighted" to make his first global semi-final.

A back injury severely inhibited English during the early stages of his summer campaign.

The 22-year-old UCD runner finished out of the medals at the European Under-23 Championships in the early part of July.

However, he showed a return to form as he mixed it with several of the world's best when he took fourth at the London Anniversary Games with his time of 1:45.49 also a qualifying mark for next year's Olympics.

That time was .65 outside his personal best set in 2013.

"I knew if I got boxed in and was sitting any further back than fourth I'd leave myself too much work to do so I wanted to have no regrets," English added after his Beijing heat.

Irish 400m hurdles star Thomas Barr missed out on a place in the final after finishing fourth in his semi-final.

Waterford man Barr, 23, ran 48.71 on Sunday, an improvement on his 49.20 in Saturday's heats.