Team GB's Christine Ohuruogu pledges to keep going after losing out on 400 metres Olympic title

 

Team GB's Christine Ohuruogu has vowed to carry on after missing out on gold in the ­women’s 400m final despite her thoughts of retirement in the run up to the Games.

In recent times, the Londoner’s hopes of defending the title she won in Beijing by running down Sanya Richards-Ross had looked little more than a pipe dream after a litany of injuries.

However, that dream almost turned into a reality last night as she looked close to pulling off a dramatic repeat only for Richards-Ross to hang on despite the roars of an 80,000-strong crowd.

“I was hoping I’d retire some time soon but my coach [Lloyd Cowan] won’t let me,” said Ohuruogu, who grew up in a house just 10 minutes walk from the Stratford stadium. “When I told him I was going to retire he gave me an evil look and a lecture. So I’ve got to keep going I suppose.

“I love what I do. I know it’s never easy and I do complain and gripe along the way as my coach will attest to. I do really love what I’m doing. I’ve not run out of steam yet.”

Whether that means gunning for Rio de Janeiro, by which stage she will be 32, is another matter but Ohuruogu has finally got back to her best after some difficult seasons.

It was only the third time in her career that she had run under 50 seconds, on this occasion 49.70sec. The last time she had done so — at the World Championships in Osaka in 2007 and the following year at the Olympics — she had won gold but, on this occasion, she fell 0.15 of a second short of a successful Olympic title defence.

With the seasons that have preceded this one, Ohuruogu’s silver was a remarkable achievement but she could not hide her disappointment at the finish, spending the few minutes after the race on all fours before lying on her back on the track considering what might have been.

“I was stunned, I was heartbroken actually,” she said. “To lose your title like that was tough. I just wish I’d held on to my title — I really wanted to and I fought hard. She didn’t get an easy ride completely, at least I hope I made it hard for her.

“I always came here for one thing and one thing only and that was continuing my reign so I am disappointed. I felt myself tightening up and I tried to relax. I tried and I tried then I realised no, it’s just not going to happen. I know I should be pleased but I’m just stubborn. I’m very stubborn.”

Her build-up to the Games had effectively started over the winter, training in Jamaica alongside Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake at Glen Mills’s Racers Track Club on the outskirts of Kingston, Jamaica.

That groundwork and an avoidance of injuries had put her in a position to at least dream of gold for this most local of London athletes — the packed stands that willed her on to the win were audible from her parents’ home.

But for all her dogged determination with a typically gutsy run she was unable to reel in the class act that was Richards-Ross, who had lost just once to Ohuruogu in 22 encounters, and that was at the last Olympics.

Ohuruogu paid tribute to that crowd, likening it to her family, some of whom were among those in the stands. She added: “I was so close to home but these people are like family and I know it sounds a bit weird. I’m really proud of them supporting us in their thousands.” It was always going to be a hard act for Ohuruogu, Britain’s sole athletics gold medallist from the last Games, to follow the three golds of the previous night.

But her silver took Britain to half of the medal target that was set by UK ­Athletics head coach Charles van Commenee.

And the girl brought up in Newham, still has golden ambitions. Retirement is now very much off the agenda

News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Game Of Thrones
Uh-oh, winter is coming. Ouch, my eyes! Ygritte’s a goner. Lysa’s a goner. Tywin’s a goner. Look, a dragon
tvSpoiler warning: The British actor says viewers have 'not seen the last' of his character
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave long-running series
Sport
The Etihad Stadium, home of Manchester City
premier leaguePlus all the build-up to Man City vs Chelsea and Everton vs Palace
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Polly Borgen at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2012
peopleThe Emmy award-winner starred in Cape Fear, the Sopranos and Desperate House Wives
News
people'I hated him during those times'
News
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
News
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
Arts and Entertainment
Lauryn Hill performing at the O2 Brixton Academy last night
musicSinger was more than 90 minutes late
Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: 'Time Heist' sees a darker side to Peter Capaldi's Doctor
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam