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A Clare athlete has qualified for the semi-finals of the World U20 Athletic Championships.

Jo Keane finished in seventh place in the fifth heat for the 800m with a time of 02:09:59 on Tuesday morning. Ethiopia’s Diribe Welteji was the winner in a time of 02:05:18. However the St Flannans student was the fastest qualifier and subsequently secured a semi-final spot.

It comes in the wake of successful performances for Team Ireland in the European Championships. Rhasidat Adeleke stormed to gold in the 200m and Sophie O’Sullivan sped to silver over 800m at the European Athletics U18 Championships in Gyor, Hungary.

Jo Keane.

Sophie is the daughter of the World Champion and Olympic silver medallist, Sonia O’Sullivan. Only last month, Jo Keane who runs for Ennis Track outsprinted Sophie in the 800m Irish U20 Championships.

Speaking in Helsinki following confirmation of her semi-final place, the seventeen year old admitted that she thought she was out following “a good tough race”. However her eyes are firmly set on Wednesday’s semi-final. “I’ll give it my all tomorrow and hopefully do well”.

Kilfenora GAA and the Keane family have long held strong links, the North Clare club now ply their trade at senior where they face Kilmurry Ibrickane in the first round of the Clare SFC. For now instead of Kilmurry, they will be hoping for the demise of athletes from Kenya, Jamaica, Italy, the USA, Switzerland, Ethiopia and the UK tomorrow as Jo races against them at 3:10pm Irish time.

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Subscribe for just €3 per month

If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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