Rio 2016 Olympics: Kerry O'Flaherty 14th in 3,000m steeplechase heat

Kerry O'Flaherty's comes out of the water jump during her Olympic heat on Saturday
Kerry O'Flaherty (right) achieved a lifetime's ambition in securing an Olympic Games place

County Down woman Kerry O'Flaherty's season's best wasn't enough to progress to the 3,000m steeplechase final as she finished 14th in her heat.

O'Flaherty, making her Olympic debut at the age of 35, clocked 9:45.35 as she finished almost 33 seconds behind heat winner Ruth Jebet of Bahrain.

The Irish athlete was unable to stay with the fast early pace as the field was quickly strung out.

O'Flaherty set her personal best of 9:42.61 in Letterkenny last year.

The Newcastle woman was still able to reflect on a day of Irish athletics history as her country had a full quota of three athletes in the Olympic steeplechase for the first time.

"It was a season's best and it's been great on this journey with the girls and creating history with the three of us at the Olympics," said the county Down athlete.

Sara Treacy (left) gets up after falling in her 3,000m steeplechase heat in Rio
Sara Treacy (left) was among three athletes who fell in the last women's 3,000m steeplechase heat who have been given places in Monday's final

O'Flaherty' team-mate Sara Treacy will compete in Monday's final after being re-instated following an appeal by the Ireland team after she was brought down in the last heat.

Treacy bravely got back up and eventually finished 12th in 9:46.24 before the Ireland management launched their successful appeal.

"I caught up with the back of the pack and someone just stopped and everyone ran into the back of them," said the Meath woman.

"I tried to avoid it and I stepped on the inside of the track. I stood on a drainage grate on the inside of the track and fell completely.

"I just completely lost momentum and lost the whole pack and had to get going again."

Michelle Finn joined O'Flaherty in missing out on a place in the final as she clocked 9:49.45 to finish 11th in her heat.

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