Thursday, April 11, 2019

By Kieran Murphy

MARCUS Lawler has clocked the second fastest 200 metres in Europe this year as he retained his Irish Universities outdoors title in Athlone over Saturday.

Lawler’s time of 20.83 puts him behind only Britain’s Miguel Francis in the rankings for 2019.

The Rathcrogue sprinter breasted the tape a distance ahead of Craig Newall (Ulster University) and Paul McDermott (DCU) who pipped Carlow’s Adam Murphy for the bronze.

The win opens a range of doors for the Carlow sprinter who has put himself right into the mix for selection on Irish teams ahead of the World University Games, the European Team Champions in Naples in August and the World Athletics Championships in Doha in the autumn.

“First and foremost was to get the win,” Marcus said. “The time was secondary and I didn’t realise how quick it was until I crossed the line. Brilliant.

“This is my sixth [universities title] in a row now. I am delight with that. All have been around the 21.00 mark. This was the fastest so my final year in college representing IT Carlow is my fastest year. It is brilliant not in ideal conditions.”

Despite his success Lawler is not taking anything for granted and he will be putting a training and race plan in place immediately.

“The World University Games was a big target of mine. That time was a World University A standard so hopefully that will secure my place on the team. I think I have done enough today to make it,” said the Carlow man.

“I’m not really race-sharp yet. I’ll target the University games, take a bit of down time and go again.”

There was some consolation for Tinryland’s Adam Murphy when he combined with Lawler, Callan Byrne and Shane Aston to win silver for IT Carlow in the 4x100m final.

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