Healy bowed out of Euro Indoors after eventful 400m semi-final
PHIL Healy has vowed to bounce back stronger after her disappointment at the European Indoor Championships.
The Bandon AC sprint star was the fourth fastest in Europe heading to Glasgow last week but her weekend came to an abrupt end when she missed out on reaching the final.
In her heat on Friday morning Healy was quickest out of the blocks and led after 200 metres but she tied up in the final straight to finish third in 53.15. She qualified for the semi-final as one of the fastest losers but was handed a harder lane draw in lane two.
In the semi-final that night, Healy held her own and was third coming into the final straight. Just as she was about to launch an attack for second place and one of the two automatic qualification spots on offer, she was clipped by the Italian runner behind her. This knocked Healy off balance and finished any chance she had of earning a top-two finish. She came home in third in 53.65.
‘It shows the challenges of indoor running. I was getting ready to make a move on the girl who was in second in the semi-final and try to get that second spot – but when I was about to make my move, the Italian clipped my right leg and that totally ended the race,’ Healy told The Southern Star.
‘An appeal went in but they couldn’t do anything about it. Say, if there was a fastest losers’ spot I could have got one of them but because it was the top two that automatically qualified then they could do nothing.
‘Yes, I didn’t qualify and yes, I’m disappointed but I knew I gave it everything on the track up to that point and made the most of lane two.
‘I’ll learn from this and take it on to future championships. This just gives you the hunger to push on more.’
Considering Healy was starting the semi-final in lane two, theoretically she should have finished fifth instead of third. Instead, she’ll rue the third place in her heat that led to her lane two draw.
‘I would have got a better lane if I had automatically qualified,’ Healy said.
‘Still, I was well able to get a top two place in that semi that I was drawn in.
‘The heat didn’t go to plan. I was aiming to get an automatic qualification. I didn’t feel the Italian girl come on my inside and it was too late to react in the last ten metres. I got a fastest losers’ spot. When Plan A wasn’t executed properly, we had a new plan and I was ready to go out there in lane two and give it everything.’
Back home in Ballineen this weekend for the first time since January, she’ll reflect on her learnings from her latest major championships.
‘It just shows that the rankings go out the window in big events,’ she pointed out.
‘Even the number one ranked from Poland was behind me in my semi-final. Once you come to a championship, it’s all about qualifying, it’s all about who you are seeded with and then making the best opportunity out of that.’
With the indoors finished Healy now turns her attention to the outdoor season.