World Championships 2013: Perri Shakes-Drayton cruises in as Dai Greene crashes out
Contrasting fortunes for British athletes in Moscow
the Luzhniki Stadium
Wednesday 14 August 2013
In terms of mood, Dai Greene and Perri Shakes-Drayton were at either end of the spectrum at the Luzhniki Stadium. Both had begun the season as realistic medal contenders in the 400m hurdles. Shakes-Drayton very much remains on track and the gold medal will be in her sights even if she won't admit it. Tomorrow, however, Greene will be replaced as world champion, the Welsh hurdler not fit enough to force his way into the final.
From the moment he charged to the first hurdle in his warm-up, Greene, who had been hampered by a calf injury in recent weeks and illness over the weekend, suspected he would not make the final and so it proved.
Having faltered as world champion, the Welshman said: "It's not so much of a shock to me, it's just frustration. I've had a while to consider the possibility of these championships and how it may or may not go."
Shakes-Drayton looked comfortable in her heat and was similarly assured in her semi-final, running down the American Lashinda Demus to lay down a marker for the final. Zuzana Hejnova of the Czech Republic awaits and has looked untouchable this season. If anyone can get close to her it is the Londoner, who played down thoughts of gold ahead of the final.
"Let's not get too overexcited," she said. "You know, people have reserves and anything can happen. It's not only physically but mentally. May the strongest person win."
Shakes-Drayton was joined in the final by her British rival and friend Eilidh Child, who having qualified fifth fastest could also have aspirations for a medal, although a bronze looks the only viable option.
Mo Farah had been concerned how his body might respond to his punishing run on Saturday night to win the 10,000m gold medal but he qualified from his morning 5,000m heat with exquisite ease.
By his own admission he is not a morning person but the Londoner led for much of the race, virtually jogging to the line in conversation with Galen Rupp as they both sealed automatic qualifying spots for Friday's final.
Farah admitted: "I just wanted to do as little work as possible so I'm fresh in the legs, ready for the final, and I did that so I've just got to recover now for Friday. This is just prelims and it's always going to feel harder as you've got to get up in the morning. I'm not a morning person and I had to get up this morning at six o'clock. But you've got to get it out of the way and get to the final."
Another to cruise into his final was high jumper Robbie Grabarz, who cleared the automatic qualifying distance of 2.29m with no failures and showed the sort of fluency he has lacked all season.
Andrew Osagie finished fifth in the 800m final in a time of 1min 44.36sec, an improvement on his previous best and all the more impressive as he had picked up a hamstring injury earlier in the season. Hannah England was also fifth in her 1500m semi-final but the Daegu silver-medallist still managed to make the final as a fastest loser.
Moscow must-sees: Wednesday's highlights
5.30am BST Men's 50km walk final (Jared Tallent)
6.30am Women's hammer heats (Tatyana Lysenko, Sophie Hitchon)
6.40am Women's 5,000m heats (Meseret Defar)
7.25am Men's long jump heats (Greg Rutherford)
7.35am Men's 1500m heats (Chris O'Hare)
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