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English improves his own Irish 800m record again

Mark English broke his own Irish 800m record for the second time in three days as he clocked one minutes 44.53 seconds in Madrid on Friday night.

The Letterkenny man's time cut 0.16 seconds off the time he set in Finland on Tuesday.

English's run in Turku secured his Olympic spot as he was 0.01 seconds inside the Paris standard and he improved on that in Friday night's run where he took fourth place.

Prior to this week, English's national record was the 1:44.71 time he produced in 2021 which broke David Matthews' long-standing mark.

The Finn Valley athlete has bounced back impressively from a disappointing performance in an admittedly very difficult first-round heat at the European Championships when he failed to progress.

Belgium's Eliott Crestan won the Friday night's race in 1:44.28 as he finished ahead of Spain's Adrian Ben [1:44.41] and South Africa's Edmund Du Plessis [1:44.49].

Griggs runs his second fastest 1500m

There were a number of other impressive Irish performances in Madrid.

Tyrone talent Nick Griggs finished sixth in the 1500m in 3:35.64 which was the second fastest time of his career and only 0.24 seconds outside his personal best set last weekend in Nice.

Griggs (51st) is currently outside the top-45 position in the world rankings required to earn him Olympic 1500m selection with Luke McCann (37th) and Cathal Doyle (43rd) on course to join the already qualified Andrew Coscoran on the plane to Paris.

However, Griggs will have a further chance to improve his ranking at next weekend's Irish Championships, when considerable points will be available.

Double European Championships relay medallist Sharlene Mawdsley finished second in the women's 400m in 50.82 seconds which was the second fastest time of her career and just 0.10 seconds off her personal best set last month.

Sarah Healy finished second in the 800m B race in 2:01.30 while Nicola Tuthill was seventh in the hammer with a best throw of 69.33m which was 0.99m outside her personal best.