Conor McIlveen finished in 7th place in his heat this evening as Team Ireland’s World Para Athletics Championships got underway.
McIlveen was the first of the Irish athletes to see action at the World Para Athletics Championships in Dubai today as he competed in the men’s 400m T38 Heat this evening in the searing temperatures in Dubai where it reached 34 degrees for the race.
This was always going to be a very tough assignment for the Derry man as he faced quality opposition including from the World Record Holder, Chida Mohammed Farhat, from Tunisia who ran an incredible 49:33 earlier this year.
McIveen’s race was not helped when the Spanish runner in the lane beside his was disqualified after a false start leaving Conor with an empty lane to his right and a huge distance to his nearest runner before the race had even gotten underway. Conor recovered and ran a strong time of 58:86 but it was only enough for 7th position despite a strong final 50m from the Derry man.
Iraq’s Ali Al Rikabi took first place in a time of 53:13 after he ran a PB to deny the world record holder by 2 tenths of a second. They will be joined in the final of the event by Anton Feoktistov from Russia who finished in the third automatic qualification place.
Despite the disappointment Conor was still upbeat after the race ‘All I can take is the positives of the experience and try and enjoy the rest of it and support the rest of the team.’
Team Ireland history will be made tomorrow when Alex Lee becomes our first ever ‘Blade Runner.’ The Galway based teacher will take his place on the blocks in the Men’s 200m T64 heat at 7:27pm Irish time.
World Para Athletics Team Ireland Day 1 Result
Men’s 400 Metre T38, Conor McIlveen, 58:86, 7th Place
World Para Athletics Team Ireland Day 2 Schedule
Alex Lee, Fri, 07/11/19, Men’s 200m T64, 7:27pm (3:27pm Irish Time)