19 August 2009
On a rare quiet morning for the Aviva Great Britain and Northern Ireland team at the World Championships in Berlin just three Brits stepped out onto the track with a common goal of a place in the 110m hurdles semi-final.
William Sharman was the only to prosper against a tough international field. He made his mark during the fourth heat, getting off to a good start and sustaining his strong stride all the way to the line.
Keeping pace a fraction behind leading two for the majority of the sprint, others threatened on his shoulder but Sharman powered home to keep third place and qualification in 13.52.
He said: “I made sure I was in a position to go through to the next round and I’m happy I’ve done so. So let’s see what happens in the next round. I’d like to step it up a gear. I believe I can do it.
“Ed Warner (UKA Chairman) phoned me up and included me on the British tea, so I wanted to give him a personal thank you as part of the UKA Appeals Panel. I’d like to sit down with him and have a cup of tea. They gave me an opportunity and I showed them I could make the semi-final. Thank you.”
National champion Andy Turner (Sale) and U23 silver medallist Gianni Frankis (Newham & Essex Beagles), who occupy very different positions within the team- Turner an experienced international and permanent face within the GB&NI team, Frankis experiencing his senior international debut-, both suffered disappointment in their respective heats.
Turner lined up in the first, just one week after suffering a hamstring injury at the preparation camp in Monte Gordo, Portugal, feeling ’85 percent fit.’ He got off to a good start but suffered a noticeable twinge during the race. He finished fifth with 13.73.
“I don’t know if I pulled it again or what but I felt something kind of give on the fourth hurdle. Seven days is obviously not enough time to recover from the injury that I had.
“I managed to get over a hurdle this morning in warm up so i knew I could do it. When I got to the start line physically I thought I might be 85 to 90 percent but then in your head you’re trying to get the confidence back in your leg that it’s going to go. That’s hard to do.”
In the third race of the round youngster Frankis got out of the blocks well, putting himself in a favourable position early on. He clipped a couple of hurdles lightly in the early stages but found himself in trouble on the eighth, which he brought down. After that Frankis couldn’t recover, his stride was out and confidence knocked but he battled to the line finishing in seventh with 13.83.
“The race is 110m not 60m, you know. You’ve got to hurdle well all the way through. I took one down, I’m not riding hurdles properly I don’t think. When I hit them it’s really knocking me off. I have to come back next time and do better because I think there’s potential there.
“I had a great season anyway, European U23 was my goal at the start of the season and I tried to do it again today but it didn’t happen.”
The women’s 200m featuring Emily Freeman (Wakefield), which was due to take place during this session, was rescheduled to the afternoon events.