Ohuruogu ready for Richards after bad day for the Brits
Sunday 14 September 2008
Christine Ohuruogu and Sanya Richards line up at the World Athletics Final today for their first meeting since their thrilling 400m race at the Olympics, when Ohuruogu won gold and Richards, the favourite from the United States, had to settle for the bronze medal.
They meet here for first time at non-championship level this season but the rivalry is likely to still be intense after Richards referred to Ohuruogu's drugs suspension shortly before they raced in Beijing, saying she was "fortunate to be here" following a 12-month ban for missing three out-of-competition drugs tests.
The pair should have sat next to one another at a press conference on Friday but Richards pulled out at the last moment with what was described by one leading official as "diplomatic sickness". Yesterday, Richards appeared to have made a quick recovery, when she won the 200m with ease in a time of 22.50sec, ahead of fellow American Marshevet Hooker and Jamaica's Kerron Stewart.
Ohuruogu is determined to cope with the pressure of being the reigning Olympic champion. She said: "If there's going to be pressure it's going to be the pressure I put on myself, my expectations, not anyone else's. If I know that I've prepared and that I've done all my training, there's not really much more you can ask of yourself."
The opening day here saw a healthy number of British athletes invited to compete but all failed to gain podium places at a meeting offering around £1.6m in prize money.
Lisa Dobriskey produced the best performance when she placed fourth in 4mins 7.72secs in the 1500m as world champion Maryam Jamal of Bahrain clinched the winner's purse in 4min 6.59sec.
Martyn Rooney took fifth in the 400m, clocking 45.82sec, well behind the United States' Olympic gold and silver medallists LaShawn Merritt andJeremy Wariner who again finished first and second, the former winning by a hundredth of a second in 44.50sec.
The Olympic high jump silver-medallist Germaine Mason cleared 2.26m for sixth place as Andrey Silnov, the Russian who beat him for to the gold in Beijing, won with a height of 2.35m.
Goldie Sayers finished sixth in the javelin with a best effort of 58.04m, the Czech Republic's Olympic champion Barbora Spotakova winning a $100,000 (£55,000) bonus when throwing a world record 72.28m with her first attempt. The previous record of 71.70m was achieved by Cuba's Osleidys Menendez at the 2005 World Championships in Helsinki.
Mo Farah was ninth over 3000m in 8mins 5.97secs as Bernard Lagat of the US won in 8mins 2.97secs.
Helen Clitheroe placed ninth in the 3000m steeplechase with 9mins 39.72secs, after Russia's Olympic champion Gulnara Galkina-Samitova set a championship record of 9mins 21.73secs. The 32-year-old Marlon Devonish, who will compete in the 200m today, finished last in the 100m with a time of 10.37sec. The former world record holder Asafa Powell of Jamaica won in 9.87sec.
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