Mark Smyth made his senior international debut as Ireland found the going tough at the European Team Championships First League in Vaasa Finland.
Smyth ran the third leg of the 4 x 100 metre relay for the Irish team which was led out by Christian Robinson, in the B final which included Romania, Estonia, Bulgaria, Belgium and Denmark.
Robinson got off to a fast start, however the wheels came off the Irish challenge with a very suspect hand over to Eanna Madden.
Ireland had lost ground in the race after another suspect hand over to introduce 18 year-old Smyth into international athletics. Smyth battled hard for the third leg.
By the time of Smyth’s hand over to Marcus Lawler for the final leg, Ireland had themselves pulled back into the race somewhat, Lawler brining the team home in fourth place clocking 40.45 seconds.
The race itself was won by Romania in 39.99 seconds with Estonia (40.01) second and Bulgaria (40.12) third.
After the A final which was won by Switzerland in 39.65, Ireland were ranked eighth overall which is worth a total of five points.
After day two the Irish team are in seventh place with a total of 129 points, 45 points off league leaders Switzerland and 33 points off promotion to the super league.
It was a fantastic effort and achievement by Mark Smyth, becoming a senior international just three days after completing his leaving cert, no doubt the start of a long international career.
The third and final day of the European Team Championships starts Sunday at 11:24 Irish times and is streamed via the European Athletics Website.