Davicia Patterson: Belfast athlete misses out on 400m final spot at World U20s

Davicia Patterson will race in the 400m semi-finals in Tampere on Wednesday
Davicia Patterson improved the Irish and Northern Ireland junior 400m record to 52.88 seconds last month

Belfast athlete Davicia Patterson missed out on securing a place in the women's 400m final at the World Under-20 Championships in Finland.

Patterson, 17, finished third in her semi-final in Tampere but her time of 53.57 seconds was 0.33 outside a fastest loser's spot.

Australian Ella Connolly took a big lead early in the semi-final and held on to win in 52.78.

Kenya's Mary Moraa (52.98) took the other automatic qualifying place.

Moraa won the World Under-18 title in 2017.

Patterson's time was 0.69 outside her personal best and Irish junior record set in Germany last month as she finished 11th overall.

The Beechmount Harrier clocked 53.20 in her first-round heat on Tuesday.

India's Hima Das, fastest qualifier in the first round, again produced the best semi-final time as she won her race in 52.10.

Patterson has improved her personal best on three occasions this year and is rapidly nearing Stephanie Llewellyn's Northern Ireland senior 400m record of 52.54 set in 1995.

Meanwhile, Irish sprinters Ciara Neville and Gina Akpe-Moses both qualified for the semi-finals of the women's 100m in Finland.

Both finished second in their first-round heats on Wednesday with Neville clocking 11.54 and Akpe-Moses, European Junior 100m champion last year, posting a time of 11.58.

The Irish pair were eighth and 10th fastest qualifiers for Thursday evening's semi-finals with the final taking place later in the same session.