25 August 2007
Jo Pavey went agonisingly close to her first-ever global medal when finishing fourth in the women’s 10,000m final, the full quota of six British athletes progressed to the men’s 100m and women’s 800m semi-finals and Jessica Ennis (City of Sheffield) and Kelly Sotherton (Birchfield Harriers) put themselves right in contention after the first day of the women’s heptathlon.
Here’s a full run-down of the evening session from the Nagai Stadium, Osaka on Day 1.
Kelly Sotherton and Jessica Ennis lie 3rd and 4th respectively after day 1 of the women’s heptathlon was completed with the shot and 200m. In the shot, Sotherton was just 13cm down on her lifetime best with a fine effort of 14.14 (803 points). Ennis would have been disappointed with her best of 11.93m (656), almost one metre below her PB.
Ennis went some way to making up for the shot with a storming 200m of 23.15 (1064), the fastest time overall and a PB by 0.4 secs. Sotherton also scored a PB with 23.40secs (1039). Afterwards, both athletes said they were pleased with their first day performances.
Sotherton said: “That was a first day PB for me so I’m very pleased with the way things have gone. Every performance was consistent and I know I can take that consistency into tomorrow.
“We set a goal for every event and I went over that mark. I feel like I’ve brought myself to the big day and I’m now looking forward to tomorrow.”
Ennis said: “The hurdles this morning was brilliant and I was pleased to start the day in that way. The high jump was a solid performance, but the shot was absolutely gutting. I was a bit down after the shot. But I am absolutely thrilled with the 200m and to come out and set a PB like that was extremely pleasing.”
Marilyn Okoro (Shaftesbury Barnet), Jennifer Meadows (Wigan & District) and Jemma Simpson (Newquay & Par) all finished second in the respective heats of the first round of the women’s 800m to grab automatic qualification spots for Sunday’s three semi-finals.
Meadows clocked a new outdoor PB of 2:00.14 in heat 3, whilst Okoro and Simpson were clocked at 2:01.79 and 2:00.47 in heats 2 and 4 respectively.
Marlon Devonish (Coventry Godiva), Mark Lewis-Francis (Birchfield Harriers) and Craig Pickering (Marshall Milton Keynes) all qualified for the last 16 of the men’s 100m from Saturday’s quarter-finals.
Devonish was second in heat 2 in 10.13 (-0.5m/s), Lewis-Francis was second in heat 3 in 10.17 (-0.6m/s) and Pickering won heat 4 in 10.21 (-0.3m/s).
Men’s triple jump
Phillips Idowu (Belgrave Harriers) qualified for Monday’s final in fourth place overall with his opening round effort of 17.07m (-0.1m/s).
Men’s 400m hurdles
Dale Garland (Channel Islands AC) was eliminated in the first round of the men’s 400m hurdles, after finishing 7th in heat 3 with 49.98 secs, 0.19 outside his PB.
Reinforcing her image as one of the UK’s gutsiest athletes, Jo Pavey (Exeter Harriers) finished fourth in 32:03.81, just missing out on a medal in a last lap duel with Kara Goucher (USA).
In testing conditions of 30 degree heat and 65% humidity, Pavey stuck with a steady pace throughout and as athletes wilted, she found herself in the leading pack in the final five laps and with two to go actually moved through to bronze position.
Tirunesh Dibaba (Ethiopia) took gold in 31:55.41 ahead of Elvan Abeylegesse (Turkey) in 31:59.40. Goucher clocked 32:02.05.
Afterwards, Pavey said: “I am pleased, but there is also a lot of frustration there. Frustration that I was in a good position but was not able to maintain it and push on when I needed to.
“I felt really good at 800m to go but I couldn’t accelerate and find the extra that I needed. I wasn’t slowing, but I just couldn’t pick it up.
“I am also pleased that was a performance that came in just my third 10,000m. I feel I am still a novice and learning the event. I feel something of a beginner, but am excited by the challenge of the event.”
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