Ohuruogu powers into 400m final in Moscow
GB & NI team captain Christine Ohuruogu (coach: Lloyd Cowan) put in another impressive performance as she qualified for tomorrow’s 400m final in emphatic style in the evening session of the second day at the IAAF World Championships.
The 2007 world champion and 2008 Olympic champion overhauled the lead of American Natasha Hastings in the final 100m to win her semi-final in a time of 49.75, a season’s best and only 0.14 seconds slower than the personal best that she set en route to the gold medal in Osaka in 2007.
Ohuruogu, who won Olympic silver in London last summer, ran the second fastest time of all three semi-finals and afterwards she said: “I'm just really happy to be in the final. I wanted to make sure I finished well at the end.”
After going under ten seconds for only the second time in his career in the semi-finals, running a time of 9.97 to qualify for the final as a fastest loser, James Dasaolu (Steve Fudge) went on to finish eighth in the men’s 100m final. In his first global final, the 25 year old ran a time of 10.21 and was positive about his World Championships experience.
“I got to 50 or 60 metres but then they just started to run away from me. I think the semi-final took it out of me but I made it through three rounds and I’m happy that I’m injury free and I can continue with the rest of the season.
“I didn’t have all the training behind me so it certainly took a lot out of me and my body didn’t have enough to give come the final. But I gave it my best and just ran out of energy for the last 20 or 30 metres.”
Dwain Chambers (Reider) and Harry Aikines-Aryeetey (Reider) missed out on a spot in the final as they finished sixth and seventh respectively in their semi-finals with times of 10.15 and 10.34.
Chambers said: “Being part of the World Championships has been great, it’s been great to be back here again and part of the team. Other than that it’s disappointing.”
Aikines-Aryeetey said: “I wanted to view today as an achievement, but I don’t feel like I’ve done that. It’s a disappointment; I came here to run fast and be competitive and I don’t feel like that happened.”
In an incredibly close long jump final, Shara Proctor (Rana Reider) finished in sixth place with a best jump of 6.79m, only three centimetres away from the bronze medal position. After jumping 6.85m in qualifying yesterday, Proctor was hampered by a calf injury during the final and was disappointed to miss out on a medal.
She said: “I didn’t deliver today, I was feeling good until the first jump but my calf started to cramp up. I didn’t come all this way to give up so I kept pushing. As an athlete you have to have a short term memory, yesterday was in the past and I forgot about it and came here with a new mind-set to win a medal but it just didn’t happen.”
2012 Olympic finalist Andrew Osagie (Craig Winrow) made it through to Tuesday’s 800m final after finishing fourth in the semi-final with a time of 1:44.85, enough for one of the two fastest loser positions. The 25 year old believes that concentrating on a fastest loser spot paid off with a final berth.
“I knew a top two qualification would be tough for me as I'm just finding my way but I kept an eye on what was going on. I knew it was a decent pace so I even dipped for the line which I think saved me a couple of hundredths and it's got me in the final.”
Michael Rimmer (Norman Poole) exited the 800m at the semi-final stage as his time of 1:47.06 placed him sixth in his race. He said: “I'm in the best shape of my life but I'm just not quite there. It’s frustrating but I’ve just got to take it on the chin.”
Alex Wright (Raphael Rinaldi) finished 31st in the 20km race walk, timing his race perfectly to move through the field as his competitors tired in brutally hot conditions and crossed the line in 1:26:40. Wright was pleased that his race plan paid off with a strong performance.
He said: “I’m really happy with that. I was overtaking people all the way through to the end so I can’t complain. I felt really strong towards the end.”