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Ireland’s Sharlene Mawdsley takes the baton from Lauren Cadden as she competes in the Women’s 4 x 400m Relay heats during day five of the European Athletics Championships at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome, Italy, This morning. Photo: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

Sharlene Mawdsley produced another masterful step to propel the Irish women’s 4x400m team to victory in the heats in Rome this morning, recording the second fastest time ever by an Irish team, 3:24, 81.

Mawdsley was not expected to host the event, having competed in the 400m final last night, but she came to the stadium in case she was needed, and she was brought in late after Kelly McGrory withdrew during the warming up.

They were led by Sophie Becker who clocked 51.64 and gave way to Phil Healy, who kept the Irish in the lead after a time of 51.29.

Lauren Cadden kept them in the mix with a 52.12 before passing the baton to Mawdsley, who ran a patient race, biding her time behind the leaders before overtaking her rivals in the final stretch, sharing a blazing 49, 76.

More soon…