Sarah Lavin falls short of medal in finals after recording PB in Athletics Championship semi-final

The Emerald AC athlete just missed out on a medal in Munich at the European Athletics Championships.

Limerick’s Sarah Lavin finished in fifth at the finals of the 100mH at the European Athletics Championships in Munich on Sunday evening.

Lavin’s time of 12.86 was .12 of a second behind third placed Ditaji Kabundji. Pia Skrzyszowska of Poland took gold with a time of 12.59 ahead of Hungary’s Luca Kozak (12.69).

Earlier on Sunday evening, Lavin had stormed into the finals with a PB of 12.79 in her semi-final heat. Skrzyszowska and Kozak were also in that heat with Lavin qualifying for the finals as one of the two fastest outside of automatic qualification.

Her final display was slightly slower but it brings her tally of sub-13 second performances this year to seven, with four of those coming at world and European championships.

The fifth place finish also equals her run at the world’s last month.

Speaking to David Gllick of RTÉ after, Lavin was disappointed not to win a medal but acknowledged a ‘great’ run.

“It was a great run. I had my best ever run in the heat and I thought I could find a little more in the final. Of course you want that medal, it’s the only currency we deal in.

“If you think back to the start of the year, if you had said fifth in the European championships final, you have to be happy, relatively.

“You hit one out there and its .1. But credit the girls out there, it’s fine margins. We are all lunatics really for doing this sport.

“But I want more, of course I do and that’s just who I am.

“The medal was so close tonight, I could feel it, I could smell it!”

Lavin spoke eloquently of her second experience at the European Championships, eight years after her first venture to the setting where she finished last in her heat.

But this time around, the Lisnagry athlete proved she belonged with the best and with the World Championships to come next year and Paris 2024 around the corner, that elusive medal seems closer than ever before.

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Jack Neville