France won the other semi-final as they finished ahead of Belgium

Northern Ireland athletes Craig Newell and Andrew Mellon helped Ireland’s 4x400m team reach the final at the European U23 Athletics Championships.

The Irish team qualified fourth fastest for Sunday’s final in Bydgoszcz.

Ballymena & Antrim’s Newell and Bangor’s Mellon were joined by Donegal man Karl Griffin and Trim’s Harry Purcell in the Irish quartet.

The Irish were just short of automatic qualification but their time of 3:07.63 left them as the fastest losers.

Germany won the semi-final in 3:06.19 as they finished only 0.01 seconds ahead of Britain with Italy third in 3:07.05.

Dublin-based Mellon reached the semi-finals of the individual 400m in Poland as he equalled his personal best of 47.23 seconds.

On a good Saturday morning for the Irish team, Dublin athlete Sarah McCarthy qualified for the women’s long jump final by setting a new personal best of 6.33m.

McCarthy’s leap was 10 centimetres beyond the qualifying distance.

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