World Championships 2013: The dream dies as Perri Shakes-Drayton limps over the line in Moscow

British medal prospect injures knee on first bend to end hopes of challenging Zuzana Hejnova

the Luzhniki Stadium

Britain had dared to dream of a third gold medal in Moscow. This was billed as a showdown between Perri Shakes-Drayton and Zuzana Hejnova of the Czech Republic, the finale to the former's coming-of-age season.

In the end, from a British perspective, it ended with clattered hurdles and shattered dreams as Shakes-Drayton injured her left knee early in the race, struggled throughout and limped over the line.

Even had the Londoner managed to make it over all 10 hurdles cleanly and injury-free, she was never going to be a match for Hejnova, who won by over a second in a truly dominant display of exquisite hurdling technique.

It could not have been in starker contrast to Shakes-Drayton, who went in lane five with the fast-starting American Lashinda Demus inside her. Sally Gunnell had been the last British female to win the 400m hurdles world title, in Stuttgart 20 years ago, and beforehand had advised Shakes-Drayton to run her own race and not go off too fast.

In truth, she never had the chance. Over the first hurdle her knee "just felt funny". Whereas in the heats and semi-finals she had sailed through with ease to break her duck of qualifying for a first major global final, where a medal seemed to beckon, come the final she stumbled over the line in seventh.

"I'm gutted obviously," she said. "I was going so well. It felt so good but, in the race, it went wrong. Before I hit the hurdle, I felt it [her knee] and I lost control – I don't know what's wrong with it. It's not the way I would have liked to have finished. But tonight after the first bend, I was just going back and back and back. I don't really know what happened."

Despite the knee problem, on which she had an ultrasound scan in the bowels of the Luzhniki Stadium afterwards, she remained in contention, improving in the back straight and initially holding off the challenge of Demus. But at hurdle six, things again went awry with her rhythm and she hit the subsequent obstacle heavily. From there, she steadily went backwards, crossing the line three and a half seconds behind Hejnova.

Shakes-Drayton's race will have major ramifications for Britain's medal count. UK Sport has set a medal target of six at these Worlds. Another gold looks on the cards for Mo Farah in tomorrow night's 5,000m but, the women's 4x400m and men's 4x100m relays aside, it is difficult to see where the medals will come from. Even those relay ones are somewhat in doubt, particularly bearing in mind the sprint relay runners' penchant for dropping the baton.

Eilidh Child was the first Briton across the line in fifth place, just half a second off a medal, but was left knowing that a personal best would have been enough to get her on the podium. "If I'd run how I've been running then I would have got on that podium but that's just the way championships go," she said.

Hannah England came even closer to a medal in the 1500m final, ending her race in fourth place and unable to repeat her heroics two years ago in Daegu, where she came away with a silver medal. On times alone, a medal had not been an expectation, more a hope. But in a race awash with pushing and shoving throughout, she held the inside line and produced her trademark fast finish for a fourth place, a good second off a medal.

"It's hard to watch other girls get a lap of honour," she said afterwards with tears streaming down her cheeks. "It's obviously where I want to be. It's still good, it's a lot better than last year," a reference to the Achilles problem that effectively cost her the chance of an Olympic medal in London.

"I'm pleased coming fourth in the world – it's a very good achievement especially from what happened last year," she added. "I'll have to watch the race back and see whether I did as well as I could do. I felt like I got a clean run so I can't use that as an excuse at all. I didn't get bumped around. I think a long sleep and lots of cake and I'll feel a lot better tomorrow."

Moscow must-sees: Friday's highlights

6.45am BST Women's 100m hurdles heats (S Pearson, T Porter)

7.35am Men's 200m heats (J Ellington, A Gemili, D Williams, U Bolt)

8.30am Women's 4x400m relay (Great Britain & Northern Ireland)

4pm Women's hammer final

4.05pm Men's 1,500m semi-final (C O'Hare)

4.30pm Men's long-jump final (A Menkov)

4.40pm Men's 200m semi-finals

5.15pm Women's 800m semi-final (L Muir, M Okoro)

5.45pm Men's 5,000m final (M Farah)

6.15pm Women's 200m final

6.30pm Men's 4x400m final

TV BBC/Eurosport

News
people
News
people And here is why...
News
peopleStella McCartney apologises over controversial Instagram picture
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Burr remains the baker to beat on the Great British Bake Off
tvRichard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
The village was originally named Llansanffraid-ym-Mechain after the Celtic female Saint Brigit, but the name was changed 150 years ago to Llansantffraid – a decision which suggests the incorrect gender of the saint
newsWelsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
News
i100
Sport
footballLatest scores and Twitter updates
Arts and Entertainment
Amazon has added a cautionary warning to Tom and Jerry cartoons on its streaming service
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Hayley Williams performs with Paramore in New York
musicParamore singer says 'Steal Your Girl' is itself stolen from a New Found Glory hit
Life and Style
The spring/summer 2015 Louis Vuitton show for Paris Fashion Week
fashion
Voices
voices
Sport
Ronaldinho signs the t-shirt of a pitch invader
footballProof they are getting bolder
News
William Hague
people... when he called Hague the county's greatest
Extras
indybestKeep extra warm this year with our 10 best bedspreads
Life and Style
health
Caption competition
Caption competition
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

Associate Recrutiment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: SThree Group have been well ...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE: SThree: Real Staffing Group is seeking Traine...

Year 6 Teacher (interventions)

£120 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: We have an exciting opportunity...

PMLD Teacher

Competitive: Randstad Education Manchester: SEN Teacher urgently required for ...

Day In a Page

Italian couples fake UK divorce scam on an ‘industrial scale’

Welcome to Maidenhead, the divorce capital of... Italy

A look at the the legal tourists who exploited our liberal dissolution rules
Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

The vintage series has often been criticised for racial stereotyping
Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid. Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?

Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid

Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat

Tensions rise in Bake Off's pastry week

Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Why do we like making lists?

Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'

Paris Fashion Week

Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'
Bruce Chatwin's Wales: One of the finest one-day walks in Britain

Simon Calder discovers Bruce Chatwin's Wales

One of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
10 best children's nightwear

10 best children's nightwear

Make sure the kids stay cosy on cooler autumn nights in this selection of pjs, onesies and nighties
Manchester City vs Roma: Five things we learnt from City’s draw at the Etihad

Manchester City vs Roma

Five things we learnt from City’s Champions League draw at the Etihad
Martin Hardy: Mike Ashley must act now and end the Alan Pardew reign

Trouble on the Tyne

Ashley must act now and end Pardew's reign at Newcastle, says Martin Hardy
Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack