8th August 2017
FANTASTIC FOURTH FOR LANGFORD ON DAY 5 AT WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
FANTASTIC FOURTH FOR LANGFORD AT WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
Kyle Langford (Jon Bigg) announced himself on the world stage as he took fourth place in the men’s 800m – his first ever major final and a race which he very nearly capped with a bronze medal.
The field went out quickly on the gun, but Langford kept his cool at the back of the pack for the first lap. Coming off the final bend the Watford youngster was back in last place, but then came his now-trademark sprint to the line.
The 21-year-old put in a superb last 100m, tearing through the field – just as he had done in the semi-finals – and speeding past four athletes including Botswana’s world number two Nijel Amos.
But sadly the finish line came too soon for the European Junior champion who finished just 0.04 seconds behind Kenya’s Kipyegon Bett with a new personal best of 1:45.25.
The Briton’s dejection after such a terrific performance only served to highlight the high expectations he has of himself, but there is no denying Langford has a terrific future ahead.
“I’ve got a funny mentality of wanting to win everything I do. You sit down and say ‘Fourth, I’ll take that,’ but I know in myself and I know in my heart that I wanted to get a medal out here, so it is gutting not getting it,” said Langford afterwards.
“I said to my coach that I want to make the final and when I make the final, I want to pull something off and win a medal.
“I know a lot of people said getting to the final was good but I was lying in bed last night thinking that it was destined for me to come out and get a medal and I can’t really say much more than that.
“I just have take it on the chin and try and learn from this experience. I knew I was going through in the right time and I was closing hard, but I left it just a little bit too late. But this is where you learn.”
Frenchman Pierre-Ambroise Bosse took gold in 1:44.67 with Poland’s Adam Kszczot repeating his silver medal of two years ago, clocking 1:44.95. Bett clinched bronze in 1:45.21.
There was good news for British team captain Eilidh Doyle (Brian Doyle) who finished third in her semi-final of the women’s 400m hurdles. Her time of 55.33 was quick enough to secure a fastest loser’s spot and book her place in the final in 48 hours’ time.
Running in the outside lane, Doyle kept her form well as she was roared around the track by an ecstatic crowd.
“I think I saw the results from the first two semis, so I knew the times didn’t seem to be too fast out there tonight. So I just thought, obviously I wanted to get top two and secure that qualification, but I knew if I could try and run as fast as I could, I could maybe sneak in,” explained the Scot.
A finalist at the Rio Games last year, Doyle added:
“With hurdles anything can happen, it’s just who executes the best race on that night, who gets the strides right, who nails the hurdles and who doesn’t make mistakes. When that happens it’s anybody’s and at least I put myself in the final and I can be in contention to do that.”
A sixth-place finish in the second semi-final was sadly not enough for Meghan Beesley (Michael Baker) to progress.
“Looking back at it I think I’ll feel happy, but obviously now I’m quite disappointed with myself and feel like there could have been things I did better. I just think I didn’t quite have the zip there. It was always going to be tough running two days back-to-back for me having missed a lot of training, but I thought if I got through this I’d be fine for the final – but I didn’t quite get there,” said the 27-year-old, who missed vital preparation time in the run up to London 2017 after injuring her foot in April.
Britain’s fastest female sprinter Dina Asher-Smith (John Blackie) showed a terrific return to form as she cruised to a win in the fourth heat of the women’s 200m.
The 21-year-old European champion broke a bone in her right foot earlier this year and missed a large chunk of the season recovering, but she looked more than comfortable as she led the way to the line, finishing in first place with a season’s best 22.73.
“I was so happy to be able to put that race together in a heat without expending too much energy in each of the phases but still making sure I was safe. I’ll definitely take a 22.7 especially with the season I’ve had so far,” explained Asher-Smith, who had only raced over 200m twice this season before heading to London.
“I was actually so calm, which is so weird for me. Normally I like a bit of nerves because of the adrenaline but I think I was just so unbelievably grateful to be here, just because I easily might not have made the team – it would have been perfectly understandable.
“Me being me I’m always a super-competitive person, I always want to do the best possible if it’s realistic or not but we are going to turn it up a bit for the semis and look for a final spot.”
Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Bianca Williams (Lloyd Cowan) has been in great form this year and she ran a strong bend only to be run-out on the line for the third automatic qualification spot in her heat, but it still proved enough to secure the first of the fastest loser’s places in Thursday’s semi-final.
Speaking before discovering she had made it through, Williams, who clocked 23.30, said:
“I’m better than that, I’ve run so much better this season, even to qualify here, I’ve shown such good form.”
Racing in heat three, British champion Shannon Hylton (Ryan Freckleton) was quickly up on European silver medallist Ivet Lalova-Collio to her outside, but down the home straight the Bulgarian charged past along with the USA’s world number five Deajah Stevens. Hylton struggled to maintain her fast early pace all the way to the line and the result left her bitterly disappointed.
“I’m very disappointed, that was one of the slowest times for me this season. I got out then stumbled a bit on the top bend. I was doing okay then tried to kick and I didn’t really have it, I tied up a bit,” said the 20-year-old, who finished fourth in 23.39.
British champion Rachel Wallader (Richard Woodhall) lined up in the qualifying rounds of the women’s shot put and managed a best of 16.81m from her three efforts, but it wasn’t quite enough to seal a place in the final.