'Electrified' Dobriskey powers her way to final

Click to follow
The Independent Online

It rained down cats-and-dogs-style on the Olympiastadion last night. It was so heavy the javelin throwers had to run for cover and the action was temporarily suspended on day seven of the World Championships. When it resumed, some 40 minutes later, it was no damp squib. Not for Lisa Dobriskey, at any rate.

The Commonwealth 1500m champion is always a ray of human sunshine but there was an extra charge to her beaming smile as she secured her place in tomorrow's metric mile final.

After easing through to third place in her semi-final – finishing behind Maryam Jamal, the defending champion from Bahrain, and Natalia Rodriguez of Spain in 4min 03.84sec – the Ashford woman said she was being fuelled by the inspiration of Jenny Meadows' brilliant bronze medal run in the 800m. "I couldn't sleep after I watched her race," Dobriskey said. "It's just like these electric shocks have hit the British team. I think she's inspired us all."

With the help of her coach, George Gandy, Dobriskey has done well to get herself into contention – as the third-fastest qualifier for the final – after a stress fracture to the lower back and a thigh problem severely disrupted her winter and early-season preparation.

There were no slip-ups on the still-sodden track for the British team in the semi-finals of the men's 4x100m relay. Slick at all three changeovers, the Great Britain quartet – Simeon Williamson, Tyrone Edgar, Marlon Devonish and Harry Aikines-Aryeetey – were comfortable qualifiers for tonight's final, finishing second to the United States in 38.11sec. There was the glint of a medal chance, too, as the US quartet were disqualified for a faulty exchange, pending an appeal.

It would take a major upset, though, for any team to beat the Jamaicans, who qualified in second behind the Italy with a shadow squad minus both Asafa Powell and Usain Bolt.

In the 400m final, the burgeoning Anglo-American Michael Bingham finished seventh in 45.56sec in a race won by an American-American, LaShawn Merritt in 44.06sec. In the women's 200m final, Allyson Felix won with ease in 22.02sec. Wakefield's Emily Freeman was seventh in 22.98.