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Nicola Tuthill qualifies for hammer throw final at European Championships

Nicola Tuthill has qualified for the final of the hammer at the European Athletics Championships, setting a new Irish U23 record in the process.

The 20-year-old from Bandon managed a distance of 69.85 on her third throw, which was enough for second place in her qualifying group A.

The qualification standard was 71.50, but the top 12 athletes would also qualify for the final, with Tuthill finishing seventh after the Group B athletes had completed their throws.

She'll be back in the Stadio Olimpico for the final tomorrow night.

Just prior to confirmation of her qualification, Tuthill told David Gillick: "I'm happy enough, I think it's my second farthest (throw) in a competition ever.

"To do it out here in my first senior international, it's really nice to be able to perform on the day."

'It's really nice to be able to perform on the day'

Nicola Tuthill spoke to @DavidGillick after this morning's Hammer Throw semi-final at the Stadio Olimpico#Roma2024 #RTESport

Elsewhere this morning, Mark Smyth advanced in the heats of the 200m with a season's best time of 20.93.

It was good enough for fourth place in heat 3 and his semi-final takes place this evening. The Raheny sprinter qualified 12th fastest over all for the semi-finals.

Earlier, Hiko Tonosa finished 43rd in the men's half marathon in a time of 1:05:42.

While Shona Heaslip and Emily Haggard-Kearney came home 34th and 64th respectively in the women's equivalent. Both ran season's best times, with Heaslip crossing the line in 1:12:19, and Haggard-Kearney clocking 1:17:04.

'I gained valuable experience being here as I look to move up to the marathon' - Shona Heaslip on her 34th place finish in the half-marathon#Roma2024 #IrishAthletics