Britain's relay gold hopes raised

World Athletics Championships

Britain's prospects of securing a gold medal at these World Championships after a sequence of silvers were dramatically improved last night when Michael Johnson announced his withdrawal from the 400m relay, writes Mike Rowbottom.

Johnson, who retained his individual 400m title on Tuesday, has pulled out with a leg injury. It never does to underestimate the strength in depth of American 400m running, the news will hve done nothing but good for the morale of the British squad.

After the disappointment of missing a medal despite having three men in the individual final, there will now be rising hopes that Iwan Thomas, Mark Richardson, Jamie Baulch and the incoming British team captain, Roger Black, can make a serious impact on the final day of the championships tomorrow.

Wilson Kipketer made his expected impact on the 800m field in yesterday's final, but although he earned his $60,000 (pounds 37,000) first prize, there was no world record bonus of $100,000 for him as he finished in 1min 43.38sec, well outside Seb Coe's 16-year-old mark of 1min 41.73.

As Haile Gebrselassie pointed out more than once before retaining his 10,000m title the other night, this is a hard, sprinter's track. Kipketer, who equalled Coe's mark last month, is likely to surpass it in Zurich next Wednesday.

Kipketer, whose thin legs generate almost unearthly speed, took the lead as the runners broke from their lanes and kept it without apparent difficulty.

Norberto Tellez completed a good evening for Cuba by taking the silver in 1:44.00.

The victory was sweet in itself for Kipketer, who was not allowed to run in the Olympics because the IOC were not satisfied he had established full citizenship in Denmark after moving from his native Kenya. When he refused to run for Kenya in Atlanta, his former president, Daniel Arap Moi, described him as a traitor. Last night, Kipketer was proud to fly the flag for Denmark.

Earlier in the day came confirmation that Richard Nerurkar had been forced to pull out of tomorrow's marathon because of a viral infection picked up in the last few days.

It was a wretched turn of events for a competitor whose meticulous preparations have earned him a consistently good championship record. Fifth in last year's Olympics, seventh in the last worlds, and fourth in the Europeans, he had also shown the ability to run in hot and humid conditions.

More encouragingly, Nick Buckfield cleared 5.70m, one centimetre below his record, to qualify for tomorrow's pole vault final.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Exhibition Sales Executive - OTE £35,000

£16000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An expanding B2B exhibition and...

Recruitment Genius: QA Technician

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading manufacturer of re...

Recruitment Genius: Office Administrator

£20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to expansion, an experienced and hig...

SThree: Graduate Recruitment Resourcer

£20000 per annum + commission: SThree: Sthree have an exciting opportunity for...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

Italy vs England player ratings

Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

An underdog's tale of making the most of it

Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat