Phil Healy misses out on 400m final spot despite strong run

By Will Downing

Despite a strong performance, Phil Healy has missed out on a place in the final of the women’s 400m at the IAAF World Indoor Athletics Championships in Birmingham.

Healy finished fourth in her semi-final in 53.26 seconds, behind race winner Courtney Okolo of the United States in 51.79 and fellow qualifier Maria Belimpasaki of Greece in second with a lifetime best 52.17.

However, the Greek would become the latest victim of the over-zealous officiating that has seen a rash of disqualifications throughout the day – including all five starters in a men’s 400m heat early this morning.

Jamaican Tovea Jenkins was instead given second and a place in the final with 52.42 – with Healy advanced to third. But only the top two would advance in each of the three semi-finals.

The Bandon AC athlete had earlier become the first Irish athlete since 2010 to get through the opening round at a World Indoors, registering a 52.75.

Her personal best set in Vienna in January was 52.08.

The result comes off the back of Ciara Mageean’s elimination in the women’s 1500m semi-finals within the past hour.

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