Leon Reid Coasts to 200m Final

09 August 2018

Leon Reid Coasts to 200m Final

Photo credit: Keith McClure

NI Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Leon Reid proved once again that he is a man for the big occasion when he coasted through his semi - final 200 metres in the European Championships in Berlin.

The 24 year old had his usual subdued start but in the home straight he forged ahead along with current World champion Ramil Guliyev of Turkey. Both men eased up in the last 20 metres with Guliyev getting the verdict in 20.33 secs to Leon's 20.38 which is in fact his 3rd fastest ever. They compete again in tonight's final at 8.05pm.

This peformance  invigorated a rather subdued Irish camp which has been struggling for success in these Champs. A smiling and relaxed Leon said to reporters:
"I kept my form to the end and could easily have won. Running for Ireland for the first time felt like wearing a super suit . My Mum to whom I owe everything is here with her boyfriend and I have 10 friends flying in for the final. I fear no-one and I might medal in the final but I am not building up expectations. I have settled in really well with the Irish team."

Asked about the long controversy before Berlin about his selection for Ireland Leon said:
" I felt the pressure at the recent Irish Champs but here I am much more relaxed. I don't let any bad publicity get to me."

QUB's Emma Mitchell raced under oppressively hot conditions in the 10,000 metres. She maintained a useful pace to 5,000 metres which she completed in 16 mins 24 secs . Thereafter she faded back and eventually finished in 34 mins 9 secs.

There was unwelcome news for two NI athletes who have withdrawn from the Championships. Marathon runner Laura Graham (Mourne Runners) has an Achilles' tendon problem while high hurdler Ben Reynolds (North Down) has an aggravated back issue.