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McMahon records second fastest time of her career in Amsterdam, writes James Sullivan.

Despite elimination, Christine McMahon produced a strong performance at the European Championships in Amsterdam this evening. The Irishwoman finished fifth in her semi-final of the 400m hurdles, and 15th overall, with a clocking of 56.87, the second fastest of her career, a big improvement on her 57.73 run in yesterday’s heats.

“That was brilliant. The atmosphere in the stadium was a lot better today and it had a lot more energy around the place. I enjoyed that,” remarked a pleased McMahon afterwards.

The Ballymena & Antrim athlete produced a hugely competitive opening 300m, reaching the eight hurdle among the top two spots needed for automatic qualification for tomorrow’s final, before fading in the closing stages.

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Christine McMahon

“The first 300m went bang on to plan, I was very happy with how that went. The legs just started getting tired in the last 100m, and I just tried to hold on as much as possible. A few girls passed me then, and the stride pattern just didn’t quite work out over the last couple of hurdles, but I’m happy with the progress I’m making.”

Despite the progression she has made this season, which has included a sizeable PB of 56.42, time has unfortunately now run out for the 24 year old to achieve the Olympic qualification standard of 56.20.

“It’s the second fastest I’ve ever ran so to produce that in the semi final of a championship I can’t be too disappointed. Obviously a PB or a Rio qualification time would have been the cherry on top but I’m happy with that performance.”

Despite missing out on Rio, McMahon has many years ahead of her in the sport and is already looking towards securing qualification for next year’s World Championships in London, and hopes to continue racing this season in order to secure the qualification time.

“They haven’t set the standard for London yet, but hopefully I can get the time this season. Then I can carry that into next season.”

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