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Paul Hession in 200m Heats


Best of luck to our contributor Paul Hession in the first round of the 200m tonight Paul Hession, Europe’s fastest man this year, will have America’s Wallace Spearmon for company in his 200 metres heat on Monday at the Bird’s Nest Stadium. On current form, Hession should join him in the quarter-finals but he would have hoped for a more favourable lane draw than lane two.

Apart from Spearmon, the Athenry man’s main competition will come from Norway’s Jaysuma Saidy Ndure, who has run under 20 seconds, Ghanian Seth Amoo (20.36) and Bryan Barnett of Canada (20.31).

Hession’s Irish record stands at 20.30 and he ran a season’s best of 20.37 at the London Grand Prix last month. Of his heat rivals, only Spearmon has run faster this year.

Hession’s heat will get underway at 10.40am local time/3.40am Irish time with three sprinters from each heat and the eight fastest losers overall progressing to the next round.

The 200m quarter-finals will be run off during tomorrow’s evening session on the track, beginning at 8.05pm local time/1.05pm Irish time.

Hession described his last race in London as exactly what he needed before Beijing and feels that he is peaking at just the right time for his Olympic debut.

‘Last year I maybe peaked a bit little early. This year I pushed it back slightly and I think I’ll just be ready right on time. I’ve done all I can, we’ll leave the rest up to fate,’ he said.

The 25-year-old, who is coached by Stuart Hogg in Scotland, arrived in Beijing on Thursday and has his last main training session on Friday.

Resting today, Hession is confident that he can handle of the pressure of an Olympic heat.

‘I’m pretty relaxed now, things have gone to plan. I’m excited. I suppose I’ll be a little nervous before the race but I’m a pretty calm type of guy and I usually handle these things pretty well.’

Read Paul’s training diary here at runireland.com and his preparations in the run up to the Olympics.