World Championships 2013: Perri Shakes-Drayton powers into 400m hurdles final

Briton wins semi-final in Moscow

Perri Shakes-Drayton fired out a statement of intent by powering into
the 400 metres hurdles final at the World Championships in Moscow
tonight.

The Londoner produced a strong finish down the home straight to win her semi-final in 53.92 seconds, running down a fading Lashinda Demus, the defending champion from the United States, over the last couple of barriers.

Scotland's Eilidh Child ensured there would be two Britons in the medal race as she finished third in the first heat, flying through the first 250m before coming home in third place in 54.32secs.

Meghan Beesley ran a huge personal best of 54.97s, but sixth place was not good enough to progress.

Shakes-Drayton is set for a titanic battle with Czech gold medal favourite Zuzanna Hejnova in Thursday's final, with the world number one the fastest qualifier in 53.52.

Thursday's race will be a first global outdoor final for Shakes-Drayton after she missed out at London 2012 and she admitted it was a relief.

She said: "It's so draining, even mentally. It's done now, now it's just the last bit.

"It (London 2012) came to my head. I thought, 'I've been here before, but why are you thinking like this Perri, put that behind you, that was in the past'.

"Why am I thinking about putting doubts in my head? That was gone once I got into my blocks."

And, with qualification, those doubts have now gone.

"I've done it, I'm past that bit," she said.

Child added: "I was a quite nervous tonight. I wanted it a lot and I knew I could do it. To come away and know I've made that final, I can sleep well tonight

"If I can get it even better on Thursday and smash by personal best I'll be delighted. I want to run my best race in the final when it matters."

But Dai Greene, the defending champion in the men's 400m hurdles whose build-up has been plagued by injury and illness, bowed out in the semi-finals.

Greene, who admitted after struggling though his heat yesterday he had endured "a nightmare few days", was clearly lacking fitness as he finished fifth in 49.25.

The Welshman was ill over the weekend, to add to the calf tear that hampered his training over the past weeks.

European champion Rhys Williams also went out, finishing fourth in his semi in 49.29.

And so too did Sebastian Rodger, who finished sixth in 49.32, leaving no British representation in the final.

PA

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