Kerry O'Flaherty: Olympian's season over after she breaks foot in Spanish race

Kerry O'Flaherty represented Ireland at the 2016 Olympics in Rio
O'Flaherty was a controversial omission from the Northern Ireland Commonwealth Games team in 2018

Rio Olympian Kerry O'Flaherty's season is over after she suffered a broken foot in a race in Spain.

Running in the 3,000m steeplechase at the European Permit Meeting in Andujar, O'Flaherty was barged from behind as she was set to jump the second barrier.

This caused the 38-year-old county Down woman to land with her full weight on the outside of her right foot.

O'Flaherty attempted to continue but eventually dropped out and x-rays later revealed a broken fifth metatarsal.

The Newcastle athlete was making a last-ditch attempt to qualify for the World Championships which start in Doha at the end of this month.

O'Flaherty's summer campaign has been affected by a stomach problem although she has continued to race in the hope of clinching a world championships spot.

Her coach Richard Rodgers said he felt "gutted" for the athlete.

"It's been a very tough season but she will bounce back. It is her nature," he said.

The county Down woman achieved a lifetime ambition when she represented Ireland at the Rio Olympics in 2016 but was a controversial omission from Northern Ireland's Commonwealth Games team in 2018.

O'Flaherty's Rio team-mate Michelle Finn finished a battling second in Friday's race in Spain.

Finn, chasing the Doha standard of nine minutes and 40 seconds, clocked 9:44.91 to finish second behind Kenyan winner Daisy Jepkemei [9:38.78].

Cork woman Finn improved her personal best to 9:41.23 in Finland in July and may now be hoping that time could be enough to get her a Doha spot on world ranking.

O'Flaherty set her personal best of 9:42.61 in Letterkenny, county Donegal in 2015.

Also at Friday's meeting, Mark English dropped out of the men's 800m and he also remains short of the World Championship qualifying mark in his event.

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