Six GB & NI athletes progress to semi-finals in moscow
Six GB & NI athletes made it through to the semi-finals during the morning session of the third day at the IAAF World Championships in Moscow.
There will be three GB & NI representatives in the semi-finals of the women’s 400m hurdles. Perri Shakes-Drayton (Coach: Chris Zah) continued her excellent 2013 form as she was a comfortable winner of her heat in a time of 54.42 to qualify routinely for tomorrow’s semi-finals. She said: “That felt good, there was relief that I'm through. I just need to rest and look after myself and recover properly and tomorrow's another day.”
Eilidh Child (Malcolm Arnold) was similarly impressive as she booked her place in the semi-final thanks to a second place finish in a time of 55.17. After successfully navigating the first round in the tightest lane, the 26 year old is excited by the prospect of lining up in the semi-final tomorrow.
Child said: “That was alright. It was a bit messy but I'm just glad to get it out of the way. This is the fittest I've been going into a championship so I'm just focusing on tomorrow night as I really want to get into that final.”
Despite hitting a hurdle on the back straight, Meghan Beesley (Nick Dakin) also secured straightforward qualification as she finished second in the first of the five heats. Her time of 55.45 was just one hundredth of a second behind heat winner Denisa Rosolova of the Czech Republic and the 23 year old was satisfied to have recovered well to clinch second place.
Beesley said: “It was a bit scary on the back straight nearly falling over, but after that I felt strong. Hopefully I'll get a clean race in the next round. I’m so happy with second as hopefully I'll get a good lane in the next round.”
With the top four in each heat and four fastest losers progressing to the semi-finals, all three of GB & NI’s male 400m hurdlers also safely made it through their heats. Defending champion Dai Greene (Malcolm Arnold) finished fourth in a closely run final heat, crossing the line in a time of 49.79 to make it through to tomorrow afternoon’s semi-final in an automatic position.
After a difficult build-up, Greene was relieved to have made it through the heats: “It's been a tough last few weeks. I was ill on Friday and Saturday, so it's been a nightmare last few days to be honest. Hopefully I’ll be a bit better tomorrow. I've had this situation before where I've done one race and the next day I feel a lot better as a result of it, so fingers crossed I can step up and put in a better performance tomorrow.”
Although he didn’t run the cleanest of races, Rhys Williams (Adrian Thomas) was also fourth in his heat with a time of 49.85 to qualify automatically. Afterwards, he said: “It wasn’t a particularly super-fast race. I've been in faster races, but I know what I need to do tomorrow and I've got to do it. I’m through and that’s it. I’m feeling fantastic.”
Sebastian Rodger (Stephen King) finished fifth in his heat with a time of 49.66, the same time as fourth placed Cornel Fredericks of South Africa, meaning he had to rely on a fastest loser’s place but was 12th fastest of the 24 athletes that made it through to the semi-finals. He said: “I wanted to come here and get to the semi-final, that's what I wanted to do and I've done it. I'm in the semi-final now so I have nothing to lose what so ever.”
Katarina Johnson-Thompson (Mike Holmes) got her heptathlon campaign underway with a run of 13.49 in the 100m hurdles, just one hundredth of a second slower than her personal best, to go straight into seventh place. She followed that up with a best clearance of 1.83m in the high jump.
Competing in his first global championship, James Wilkinson (Phil Townsend) finished ninth in his heat of the 3,000m steeplechase with a time of 8:35.07 and was pleased with the way he acquitted himself. He said: “I think an 8:35 off a slow first kilometre is one of the best runs I’ve ever done, of course my personal best is faster but that was run a lot more even.”
In the field, Brett Morse (Andy Brittan) had a best throw of 59.23m in the discus to finish 11th in his qualifying pool and will not play a part in the final tomorrow. The 24 year old was disappointed with his performance: “It’s very frustrating. Obviously technically things were off and in the World Championships it's unforgiving. I'm angry at myself, I'm so much better than that.”