25 July 2008
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There were GB victories a-plenty on Friday evening with day 1 of the final competition before athletes head out to Beijing.
Christine Ohuruogu, Phillips Idowu and Lisa Dobriskey were all strong winners in international fields to give them the best possible send off.
Christine Ohuruogu (Newham & Essex) won the British 400m battle ahead of Nicola Sanders (Windsor Slough Eton Hounslow) and Lee McConnell (Shaftesbury Barnet) in the eagerly awaited showdown on Friday evening. Ohuruogu who was disappointed with her time of 50.80 – comparing it to her first race before the World Championships in 2007. Sanders’ 51.27 for second was just strong enough to stay ahead of McConnell’s 51.53 in third.
Ohuruogu said: “I’m not happy with that time but I’ll go back and analyse things with my coach (Lloyd Cowan).
Sanders said: “It doesn’t affect my confidence – whatever the result – but I really wanted a better race.”
Women’s Four Event Challenge - Long jump
Kelly Sotherton (Birchfield Harriers) underlined her strength in the first of the four events with a PB long jump of 6.79m. The Olympic bronze medallist was obviously buoyed by this confidence-boosting leap as she skipped down the home straight as her distance was revealed. Of her winning leap she said: It is exactly where I need to be for the Olympics… it is encouraging to be there already.”
Women’s Four Event Challenge - Hurdles
Sotherton was fourth in 13.66, but British hopes were boosted by Phyllis Agbo (Thames VH) who managed second spot behind American winner Gi-Gi Johnson who led the way with 13.09.
The overnight standings at the halfway point gave Sotherton a lead over Johnson of 2129pts to the American’s 2060pts.
Men’s Triple Jump
Phillips Idowu (Belgrave) took a few rounds to warm up – but when he finally did he nailed another victory with a superb fourth round 17.41m. It was a crowd-pleasing event before the Palace faithful with fellow Brit's Larry Achike 17.09m and Nathan Douglas (Oxford) 17.14m filling the remaining places.
Emsley Carr Mile
Andy Baddeley (Harrow) narrowly missed out on making a major impact in the evenings traditional event as he finished second in a dip for the line against Kenyan Shedrack Korir. The Dream Mile winner missed out by eight one-hundredths to Sherdrack’s 3.54:68. Baddeley said: “The race was wound up from quite a long way out – I was a little confused as to whether he (Shedrack) was a pacemaker or not.”
Fellow Brits Mike East (Newham & Essex) and Tom Lancashire finished in fifth and sixth, Lancashire taking a PB away with him from his evening’s work.
Craig Pickering (Marshall Milton Keynes) was the only British finalist in the men’s 100m and was a spectator to events ahead of him. Jamaica’s Asafa Powell clocked an impressive 9.94 into a headwind to win. Pickering clocked 10.20 for eighth position.
Women’s Pole Vault
Yelena Isinbayeva narrowly missed out on a new World record of 5.04m in a competition where she nearly exited at her opening height of 4.74m. British interest ended as Kate Dennison (Sale) failed at 4.45m, although a first time clearance at 4.15 and a second time clearance of 4.30m demonstrated she is over injury problems that marred her early season.
David Weir was an impressive winner of the men’s 1500m in a cagey tactical race ahead of Prawat Wahurom of Thailand in 3.18.18. Brian Alldis finished 6th in 3.21.93
Lisa Dobriskey (Ashford) maintained her recent winning form to take the 1500m against high class opposition with a storming sprint finish in 4.08.97 ahead of Erin Donohue of the USA. Hannah England (Oxford) was also a strong finisher, picking off places on the run in with 5th position and 4.11.89.
Dobriskey said: “My big aim will be to make the final in Beijing – I have really put all my heart and soul into it this year.”
Barbara Parker (City of Norwich) was the first of the Brits home in the competitive race on Friday evening, but the show was stolen by the close battle between first and second placed athletes Ireland’s Roisin McGettigan and Ancouta Bobocel. Parker clocked 9.40.43 in a solid race. Helen Clitheroe (Preston), had attempted to go with the fast early pace but faded over the last 800 to finish in seventh but still managed a creditable 9.43.41.
Men’s high jump
Russian Andrey Silnov set a world leading height of 2.38m in a high quality competition. He narrowly failed at 2.40m which the Palace crowd waited to see before dispersing late in the evening. Top Brit was Germaine Mason with 2.31m clearance to go to Macau with a confidence boosting second place under his belt.
American David Oliver put on a dominant show to take first with 13.20 in a strong 110mH line up. Brits Andy Turner (Sale) and Allan Scott (Shaftesbury Barnett) suffered in the outer regions of lanes seven and eight in sixth and seventh place with 13.72 and 13.96 respectively.
Against the world class opposition of Allyson Felix, GB interest Anyika Onoura (Liverpool) and Emily Freeman (Wakefield) struggled finishing sixth and eighth. Felix herself was not up to her dominating best finishing only 4th with 23.00 behind Jamaica’s Sherone Simpson with 22.70.
Men’s 100m T36/T37
In the mixed category race, Ben Rushgrove (City of Bath) was a dominant figure as he cut through the field to win the T36 race in 12.45 ahead of Poland’s Marcin Mielczarek. In third was fellow Brit Graeme Ballard (Chorley) in 12.87.
Men’s 400m B final
Michael Bingham was the winner with 46.33 in a close dip for the line ahead of youngster Nigel Levine (Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow) and Rob Tobin (Basingstoke & MH) in 46.40 and 46.57 respectively.