Muir woe goes on

There was more frustration for Laura Muir in Zurich

There was more frustration for Laura Muir in Zurich

First published in National Sport News © by

Laura Muir's frustrations continued in the opening session of the European Championships, failing to make it out of the 1,500 metres heats just weeks after a heartbreaking Commonwealth Games.

The 21-year-old was seen as one of Scotland's best medal hopes in the athletics at Hampden Park, only to just miss out on a medal after being clipped on the home straight.

Muir wanted to make amends for that disappointment in a British vest this week in Zurich, but struggled in her heat and could only cross the line sixth.

Only the top four from each round automatically qualified for Friday's final and a far quicker second heat saw her hopes of progressing as a fastest loser extinguished.

"That's pretty gutting," Muir said after finishing in four minutes 14.69 seconds. "I knew it was going to be tough but I thought it should be more straightforward.

"It's disappointing to come out of that and the other race was faster.

"Even though I wasn't in the top four I knew it would go on times so I ran that last 100m as hard as I could to give myself the best chance possible.

"When I saw the time at the end I thought there's a good chance the second heat can go faster than that and it did."

Muir's British team-mates Laura Weightman and Hannah England fared better in their bid to make the final.

Commonwealth Games silver medallist Weightman comfortably finished fourth in the second heat in four mins 10.55secs, while England, silver medallist at the World Championships three years ago, qualified as a fastest loser.

Next up on the track at the sparsely-filled Stadion Letzigrund was the men's 400m hurdles, with the British trio of Niall Flannery, Seb Rodger and Tom Burton securing safe progress.

They will be joined in Wednesday's semi-final by Thomas Barr, who is third in the European rankings and looking to become Ireland's first male finalist in the event.

"It was good as I have not raced in a couple of weeks," the 22-year-old said. "Qualification is not too bad but tomorrow is the real test to fight for a place in the final. I need to attack each hurdle and really go for it from the start."

Great Brtain's Ashleigh Nelson and Desiree Henry impressed in qualifying for 100m semi-finals, both setting new personal bests.

Nelson knocked 0.09s of her previous best, crossing the line in 11.19, and Henry ran an 11.21 to progress from the heats along with Asha Philip.

Team captain Goldie Sayers eased through to the javelin final with a first throw of 58.07m, while James Wilkinson was unable to eke through to the 3,000m steeplechase final.

Martyn Rooney reached the 400m semis with the day's second fastest qualifying time - a feat made more impressive by the fact he jogged the closing stages.

"I found my rhythm so I felt good today," he said after crossing the line in 45.48.

"The Commonwealth Games took a bit out of my legs but I'm feeling good and I'm coming into this in good shape. It was a good race and a good way to start my championships."

A personal best from Richard Morrissey saw him join fellow Irishman Brian Gregan in the 400m semi-finals, where Great Britain's Conrad Williams and exciting prospect Matthew Hudson-Smith will also be in action.

Tiffany Porter, bronze medallist at the World Championships last year, was quickest in the 100m hurdles heats and heads into this evening's semi-finals on the back of a dominant 12.69 run.

"That was pretty encouraging as I felt easy so I hope that I feel like that again," she said. "I'm just going to go back and relax now to get ready for the next race - I'm always nervous before the first round."

Elsewhere, British triple jumper Julian Reid just missed out on Thursday's final and Ashley Bryant sat 16th overall in the decathlon after a disappointing opening session.

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