By Mark Jones
DUBLIN — There was a medal at last for an Irish woman sprinter when Karen Shinkins picked up a bronze in the 400 meters at last weekend’s European Indoor Championships in Vienna, Austria. While Shinkins was understandably pleased at her exploit, there was also a hint of frustration as she was pipped on the line for the silver.
The 25-year-old from County Kildare looked assured of the silver as she dipped for the line. However, she was deprived by two hundreths of a second by Germany’s Claudia Marx. The race was convincingly won by Natalya Antyukh in 51.65 seconds, while Shinkins clocked 52.17.
“I’m proud of what I did even though I felt I was holding on for the silver,” she said. “Looking back, perhaps I might have started to push for the gold, but I felt that I gave it everything. Now I’m looking forward to challenging for a medal at the outdoor championships.”
There was less success for Ireland’s two other finalists, James Nolan and Peter Coghlan. Nolan finished sixth in a tactical 1500 meters, and Coghlan came in seventh in the 60 hurdles. However, Tomas Coman lowered the national record to 46.34 in his 400 meter semifinal, while Dervla O’Rourke set a mark of 8.22 in the 60 hurdles.
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