Mari Smith misses World Student Games final by a fraction

Mari Smith was a British 800m silver medallist indoors this winter and reached the European Indoors Championship final on her senior international debut EMN-191007-143348002
Mari Smith was a British 800m silver medallist indoors this winter and reached the European Indoors Championship final on her senior international debut EMN-191007-143348002
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Fast-rising middle-distance runner Mari Smith agonisingly missed out on the chance to run for a World Student Games medal on Tuesday.

Smith eased through to the semi-finals of the women’s 800m after winning her first-round heat on Monday in a comfortable time of 2min 07.66secs in Naples, Italy.

The University of Birmingham student returned to the Stadio San Paolo the following day to run in the second of three semi-finals, where the top two from each heat would qualify along with the two fastest losers.

Smith, who grew up in Frisby, became involved in a furious three-way sprint for the line, but finished third.

The 22-year-old was eight-hundredths of a second behind heat winner Christina Hering, of Germany, and an agonising two-hundredths behind second-placed Canadian athlete Jenna Westaway.

Smith’s time of in 2.33.44 still had her in the final as the second-fastest loser after two heats, but this mark was eclipsed by Irish runner Siofra Cleirigh-Buttner who finished third in the final heat in 2.33.00.