Sprint duo storm through in Sopot
Richard Kilty (coach: Rana Reider) and Dwain Chambers (Reider) stormed through their respective heats to secure their berths in the 60m semi-finals at the World Indoor Championships in Sopot, Poland. The sprint duo finished the first and second fastest qualifiers clocking 6.53 and 6.57 respectively.
Kilty equalled his personal best and in doing so took the scalp of World Indoor silver medallist and 9.78 100m man Nesta Carter and was understandably delighted with his performance.
“I feel great – I’m enjoying it so much out there. It’s my first World Indoor Championships and first senior individual championships and it feels great to produce good performances here,” said Kilty, who has run 6.53 on three occasions in 2014.
“A lot of people questioned whether I could come out here and perform with it being my first one but I’m coming fearing no-one and I want to win.”
Chambers, who has won the complete collection of medals at the last three World Indoor Championships was happy to come through the first round and qualify for tomorrow’s semi-final.
“I feel good, it’s a bit nerve-wracking being in lane eight but the main thing I had to do was keep my cool, go out there and qualify and I’m pleased I was able to do that.”
Andy Vernon (Nic Bideau) was in superb form as he took four seconds off his personal best and qualifying for Sunday’s final. Vernon took his previous best of 7:49.84 down to 7:45.49 and was ecstatic to advance with a world-class field trailing in his wake.
Vernon said: “I feel good but I’m glad it’s done (the heat) and through to the final. It’s always a nerve wracking time when you are in the heats as you want to get through but anything can happen.
“I’m going to out and enjoy the final. Run as hard as I can. Hopefully finish in the top half if I can and do my best.”
Tiffany Porter (Rana Reider) got her 60m hurdles campaign underway, and the World Indoor silver medallist didn’t disappoint as she raced comfortably to victory in heat four in a time of 7.95.
Porter said: “At this point it’s all about qualifying for the next round. You can't get to the final without clearing the qualifying and semi-final. That's what I did today and I'm looking forward to doing a better job tomorrow.
“I've got to go into tomorrow fit, healthy, confident and just let it rip in the final if I hopefully make it there. Once I do we'll see how it goes.”
With only one person from each heat guaranteeing a place in the 800m final this morning, Andrew Osagie (Craig Winrow) had to produce his very best to secure his place as a fastest finisher. The World Indoor bronze medallist came through in 1:45.88 and feels in good shape in the lead up to Sunday’s finale.
The 26 year old said: “Tough is the first word I can think of. I knew it was going to be a decent pace or it needed to be and I had prepared for that. I felt quite strong at the end and quite good. I knew I was in the time with about 100m to go and I knew if I finished strong I would be within the time. I am and now I’m looking forward to another final.”
After navigating his way through a first round, which included reigning World Indoor champion Nery Brenes and Olympic 400m silver medallist Luguelin Santos, Nigel Levine (Linford Christie) was unable to secure a place in the final despite his best efforts.
Levine said: “It was a messy race. I got boxed in and when you’re boxed in you can’t do anything. It takes a lot of energy to get back in the race and if you try to kick you end up clipping someone, then you end up disqualified. It’s a case of just having to wait.
“I’ve got to put that race to the back of my mind now and prepare for the relay.”
Levine’s training partner Margaret Adeoye (Christie) missed out on the final as well finishing fifth in her semi-final posting a time of 53.59, but overall was content with her day’s work.
“I’ve got mixed emotions,” she said. “I’m happy to have made the semi and to actually be here because last year I was the fifth girl on relay team. To come here alone shows progression from last year and then to make the semi and run a season’s best I can’t complain. I came here to compete and I think I did that.”
Jemma Simpson finished in fifth place in the women’s 1500m clocking 4:11.93, which wasn’t good enough to reach the final. However, the 30 year old believes that there is more to come from her after a strong winter’s training.
“I felt pretty good until the last lap and that’s the bit I’ve got to keep working on. That’s the bit that’s going to take me the longest to get back from,” said Simpson.
“Each race I feel I’m getting that little bit stronger but it’s just taking time. I’m happy with where I am this winter and to be running this sort of speed is a lot better than I normally am.”
Jonny Mellor (Steve Vernon) was unable to follow his teammate Andy Vernon into the 3000m final and despite admitting he didn’t run well, the Liverpool Harrier was happy to see his teammate go through to the final.
“It was tough, I struggled out there today. I can honestly say I gave it my all, and on the startline I knew I had to run a PB to go through. Unfortunately it’s probably the worst I’ve raced all season and with one kilometre to go I just fell flat.
“I’m made up for Andy (Vernon). I heard it on the tannoy downstairs and it was a great run from him to reach the final.”
Earlier in the day, Mukhtar Mohammed (800m) (Jon Bigg), Laura Muir (800m) (Andy Young), Chris O’Hare (1500m), Lee Emanuel (1500m) (Joe Franklin), Richard Buck (400m) (Nick Dakin) and Shana Cox (400m) (George Williams) failed to advance from their respective heats.