The sprinter enjoys a dream start for Ireland at the European Championships in Berlin.
After a long wait, Leon Reid made his debut for Ireland competing in the 200m semi-finals at the European Athletics Championships in Berlin on Wednesday (August 8).
Running from lane three the 24 year-old, who has been sharing his journey this year on Fast Running, ran a strong finishing straight to secure the second automatic qualifying spot for the final clocking a time of 20.38.
“It’s a dream come true to finally run for Ireland and make the final,” said Reid after his performance that sees him now at number two on the Irish all-time list.
Earlier on Wednesday, fellow Irish sprinter Marcus Lawler bowed out in the heats of the 200m finishing fifth in 20.80.
“I’m bitterly disappointed with that,” said Lawler. “I had a target of making the final so I’m really disappointed. My preparation was good. That performance wasn’t good enough and didn’t cut it.”
Reid’s eligibility to represent Ireland was only confirmed by the IAAF on Friday (Aug 3) after the governing body recently lifted its ban on athlete transfers.
The double Irish sprint champion will be joined by British athletes Adam Gemili and Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake in Thursday’s final.
Thomas Barr will also compete in the 400m hurdles final on Thursday, and like Reid, will aim to become the first Irish sprint athlete to win a medal at the European Championships since its inauguration in 1934.
Fly the flag high tonight, we go again tomorrow. 🇮🇪
— Leon Reid. (@LeonReid_Woody) August 8, 2018
Meanwhile, Emma Mitchell was also in action on Wednesday evening and finished 17th (34:08.61) in a gruelling women’s 10,000m final.
“I gave it everything I had but there was nothing there, she said afterwards. “It was really hot but it was the same for everyone.”
Other Irish athletes in action on Thursday (August 9) are Mark English and Zak Curran in the heats of the men’s 800m.