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Aussie record-holder Deng eliminated in 800m semis


Australian record-holderJoseph Deng made the early running before coming up well short in his bid to qualify for the 800m final at the world championships in Budapest.

The 25-year-old led the field through the opening lap of his semi-final on Thursday (early Friday AEST) but was unable to sustain the pace and faded to last spot in a race won by Algerian Slimane Moula in one minute 43.93 seconds.

"I came here to have a crack and tonight a better man beat me on the day," said Deng, who was representing Australia on the global stage for the first time since the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

"I came to Europe chasing the Olympic qualifier and got that, and got to the semi-finals of my first world championships, so I'm walking away successful."

Consistent Australian middle-distance runner Stewart McSweyn was advanced to Sunday's men's 5000m final by the race referee after he was clipped throughout the closing stages of his heat and stumbled to the track.

McSweyn crossed the line in 19th place in a heat won by Spain's Mohamed Katir in 13:35.90.

Tokyo Olympian Morgan McDonald was 16th in the other heat in 13:43.58.

Earlier in the day, teenager Allanah Pitcher was a solid 21st in the women's 35km walk in a time of 2:57:55 on her international debut.

"It was tough out there, and I think I was a little bit too excited," she said.

"I went out too fast for the conditions and I felt that towards the end in the last 10km, but I did a great job of keeping the emotions in control and fighting through the discomfort."

As the 35km event is not on the Olympic program, Pitcher will shift her focus to the 20km race next year in Paris.

Australian team co-captain Rhydian Cowley collapsed on the track and was forced to pull out at the 28km mark of the men's 35km walk.