11th August 2017
ASHER-SMITH DEFIES ODDS TO FINISH REMARKABLE 4TH AT WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
Dina Asher-Smith (John Blackie) defied the odds to finish a remarkable fourth in a thrilling 200m final on day eight at the World Championships.
Six months ago, the prospect of walking out in to the London Stadium might well have seemed inconceivable – let alone finishing fourth at the World Championships – her best ever finish in a world final.
In February, the 21-year-old broke a bone in her foot, spending several weeks on crutches and a number of months unable to train properly – only returning to the track in June.
But the British record holder, who set a season’s best of 22.73 in the heats then equalled that mark in the semi-finals, got off to a terrific start and just missed out on a medal, sprinting home in yet another season’s best, this time clocking 22.22.
“I was so close! I had absolutely no idea that I could do that tonight. I was just having fun, enjoying it and running as fast as I could,” said Asher-Smith. “I didn’t know I could do 22.22 so to do that which is faster than I did last year in an Olympic year, I am over the moon with that.
“It hurts to just miss out but at the same time I am so happy to be that close. That was so close to my PB that I am really happy. To finish fourth in world final after having a broken foot is really good and my best ever finish.”
Dutchwoman Dafne Schippers defended her title in 22.05, with the Ivory Coast’s Marie-Josee Ta Lou clocking 22.08 in second place and Bahamian Shaunae Miller-Uibo clinching bronze in 22.15.
World Indoor silver medallist Lorraine Ugen (Shawn Jackson) needed a lifetime best to finish amongst the medals in the women’s long jump final, but sadly she couldn’t produce the goods this time, managing a best of 6.72m from her six attempts, which included four fouls. Gold went to the USA’s Brittney Reese with 7.02m.
“I am actually kind of disappointed. I know that two years ago, coming fifth in the world, I would’ve been happy with it, but this year it wasn’t as satisfying,” said Ugen, who set a new British indoor record of 6.97m when she won silver at the European Indoor Championships in March.
“I know that I wanted to come out here and get a medal. Throwing away so many jumps by fouling and not getting everything together is disappointing. I tried to give as much as I could but it didn’t work out. My runway just wasn’t quite clicking.”
Nick Miller (Tore Gustafsson) finished in sixth place in the men’s hammer throw final, registering a best of 77.31m with his third attempt which had briefly moved the 24-year-old up to second place but he was unfortunately unable to improve on that mark.
Chris O’Hare (Terrence Mahon) will line up in the final of the men’s 1500m on Sunday after a perfect race in his semi-final.
The Scot kept out of trouble at the back of the pack in the early stages before making his way up the outside of the field to move in to fourth at the bell.
With the field now strung out O’Hare made his move around the final bend just as the leaders also increased the tempo, and the 26-year-old looked in control as he eased up over the line in fourth place, safe in the knowledge that he had done enough.
“I had a job to do and I executed my plan well and that was it, so I’m happy,” said the British number one, who clocked 3:38.59.
“With 200m to go I was smooth and happy with where I was and I had a couple of gears left. That’s the main thing, I’ve come in happy and fit and to be fair I’ve not had a year like that ever before.”
Jake Wightman (Geoff Wightman) was in the mix with 600m to go in the first 1500m semi-final, but the speed in the closing stages proved too much for the 23-year-old who faded to eighth down the home straight, crossing the line in 3:41.79.
“I was just completely flat at 150 metres to go and I think the lesson from that is I need to get better at going through rounds, because I think yesterday took more out of me than I thought,” explained Wightman.
“It’s gutting because top five was a real possibility there and with a lap to go I felt like it could have been on, but I was just a bit too frantic throughout and I think I wasted too much energy in the first two laps.”
All three Brits were in action in the women’s 800m semi-finals, and Lynsey Sharp (Terrence Mahon) booked a place in the final after finishing fourth in the second sem-final to secure a fastest losers’ spot in 1:59.47.
Tracking behind the USA’s Charlene Lipsey and the Netherlands’ Sanne Verstegen at the bell, Sharp made sure she stayed in touch when South Africa’s Olympic champion Caster Semenya cruised to the front with 200m to go.
Sprinting home strongly, the Scot appeared to stumble just before the line as Poland’s Angelika Cichocka came through quickly to steal the second automatic qualifying spot. Sharp was initially disqualified for pushing but was later re-instated after an appeal.
Adelle Tracey (Craig Winrow) was up in the first semi-final and the 24-year-old took 0.02 seconds off the personal best she set in the heats, although her sixth place finish wasn’t good enough to reach the final.
“It’s a bit bittersweet – I’m obviously really happy with another pb, but it wasn’t enough today which is such a shame because my aim from the beginning was to make that final and aim for as high as I could, said Tracey.
“I’m a little bit disappointed but I’ve come away with a great experience and a quicker time, so I’m happy with that.”
Shelayna Oskan-Clarke (Jon Bigg) sadly also missed out on a place in the final. The 27-year-old was positioned well for the first 400m but when the speed increased on the second lap the European Indoor silver medallist couldn’t match the pace at the front, finishing sixth in 2:02.26 in a race won by Olympic silver medallist Francine Niyonsaba.
Decathlete Ashley Bryant (Aston Moore) completed the 100m, long jump and shot put this morning, and added the high jump and 400m in the evening session.
The 26-year-old cleared 1.96m in the high jump to finish sixth in his group and collect 767 points; he followed up with a strong finish in the 400m, resulting in a new season’s best of 49.24 and a further 850 points on to his total.
“I still think I can do well on day two,” said Bryant. “My 400m was a season’s best by about half a second. I high jumped well, long jumped well; great first round in the shot. The 100m with a bit of a headwind – it was actually a good run. All in all good, just not the ‘amazing’ that I thought I was ready to bring.
“I definitely think I can pb tomorrow – my hurdles has been going a lot better, I did a great discus a couple of weeks ago. My javelin was 67m – that’s my best ever opener at Gӧtzis and I normally push on a few metres in my next competition. I wouldn’t be surprised if I came out with a pb tomorrow and that would be fantastic, so all in all it’s not so bad.”
Bryant, sits in 16th place with a total of 4101 points overnight and has the 110m hurdles, discus throw, pole vault, javelin throw and 1500m all to come on Saturday.