Team GB's Lawrence Okoye qualifies for discus final with impressive final throw

 

Lawrence Okoye proved his medal credentials with an impressive final throw in discus qualifying in the Olympic Stadium this morning.

The 20-year-old produced a throw of 65.28 metres with his third attempt, the fourth furthest of the morning, to go through to the final automatically.

The former rugby player, who has deferred a place at Oxford to study law to concentrate on athletics, is appearing in his first major championship in his home town.

He improved his British record to 68.24m in May and his qualifying throw was little more than a metre down on Estonia's Gerd Kanter's longest effort.

Okoye knew his final throw was a big one, celebrating before the discus even landed, pumping his fists and roaring with delight before running over to his coach John Hillier.

"It was unbelievable, really tough. The standard this year is much higher than it's ever been," he said.

"It took a lot to get through and I'm glad to get the job done.

"Tomorrow I have a bigger job to do with the big guys coming through.

"It's going to be tough to get amongst them but I am ready to do it."

Okoye admitted his emotion-fuelled reaction was a mixture of relief and delight.

"The two years I've spent doing this would have gone down the pan if I didn't get through," he added.

"The first (throw) was so bad, but I came back and showed some character which is good. I will be ready come tomorrow."

Brett Morse and Abdul Bukhari failed to make it through to the final, the former registering only one legal throw of 58.18m and the latter getting a best of 60.08m.

Morse said: "In the first round I walked in and wound up and the crowd just went mental so I was a little nervous on that throw. I didn't actually hit any of the throws properly."

Bukhari said: "I have to go away and think about preparing myself technically. My warm-ups were awesome but I think I tightened up in my three throws."

Great Britain's 1500m runners earlier rescued what was threatening to become a disappointing morning for the home nation.

Hannah England and Lisa Dobriskey, who have struggled badly with fitness and health issues in the build-up to the Games, showed they are coming into form at just the right time with impressive runs to make the semi-finals.

World Championship silver medallist England has been hampered by a spiked Achilles tendon she suffered in a race in May that kept her out for around six weeks, but she always looked well-placed and in control as she came home fifth in four minutes 05.73 seconds.

Months after being diagnosed with potentially fatal blood clots on her lungs and told to give up on the Olympics, Dobriskey showed plenty of strength on the final lap to win a slow heat in 4mins 13.32secs.

Laura Weightman, who is trained by former world record holder Steve Cram, finished sixth in the third heat 4m 07.29s to also go through.

England declared herself "really pleased" with her run.

She said: "I felt like myself, I felt like I had presence in the race.

"I felt like that in the first round (at the World Championships) in Daegu, like I really belonged, and it's nice to feel like that again after the time I've had out.

I have been feeling great in training the last few weeks and it's important to transfer that into races and I really felt like I managed that today."

Dobriskey, who admitted recovering in time to make the Games has been her greatest achievement, said: "I felt strong and controlled and really powerful which is like my old self again.

"To be able to cope with a slow race was my biggest fear so I am really happy to have overcome that."

Weightman added: "I tried to stay calm and work my way through the field. I knew they would come back to me and the crowd in the last 200m really got me through the line."

Andrew Osagie, the world indoor 800m bronze medallist, lived very dangerously as he claimed the third place needed to progress in his race by 0.03s.

In a race controlled by world record holder and gold medal favourite David Rudisha, Osagie left himself plenty of work to do in the home straight, just managing to come through before the line to finish in 1:46.42.

Asked if he was breathing a sign of relief, Osagie said: "A little bit. The heats are always nervous. I am renowned for running rubbish in the morning."

Gareth Warburton, who won selection on appeal after initially being left out of the Olympic team, went out, finishing fifth in his heat in 1:46.97.

There was also disappointment for Michael Rimmer, who completely ran out of steam in the final 50m of his heat to finish fifth in 1:49.05.

Rimmer, who has struggled with injury since winning European Championship silver two years ago, said: "I have no answer to be honest, shocked.

"My legs did not have the change of gears. I am really confused because I was running PBs in Portugal (at the pre-Games training camp)."

Warburton, who was competing in his first major championships, said: "I take experience from this. I have learned a lot, not just from running here today but from the whole run-up."

Tiffany Porter qualified for the semi-finals of the 100m hurdles, but did little to ease fears she is not fully fit.

Porter, who was third in a very fast heat in 12.79, always looked sure of the top-three finish needed for progression, but appeared to be running close to flat out.

The 24-year-old was an injury doubt coming into the Games after she left the track at last month's Diamond League meeting at Crystal Palace in tears, a back injury having flared up.

United States-born Porter is one of the athletes in the team who has been dubbed a "Plastic Brit" by critics, but not by the vast majority of the crowd judging by the roar which greeted her introduction.

On the back injury, she said: "It's fine, I'm very confident and I will go out there and do my very best."

She lost her British record to Jessica Ennis in her stunning first event of the heptathlon on Friday.

The newly-crowned Olympic champion did not line up in the heats, having stuck with her decision not to compete in the hurdles.

PA

News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Sport
Danny Welbeck's Manchester United future is in doubt
footballStriker in talks over £17m move from Manchester United
Sport
Radamel Falcao
footballManchester United agree loan deal for Monaco striker Falcao
Sport
Louis van Gaal, Radamel Falcao, Arturo Vidal, Mats Hummels and Javier Hernandez
footballFalcao, Hernandez, Welbeck and every deal live as it happens
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
footballFeaturing Bart Simpson
News
Kelly Brook
peopleA spokesperson said the support group was 'extremely disappointed'
Sport
Andy Murray celebrates a shot while playing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
TennisWin sets up blockbuster US Open quarter-final against Djokovic
News
i100
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
News
news Video - hailed as 'most original' since Benedict Cumberbatch's
Life and Style
The longer David Sedaris had his Fitbit, the further afield his walks took him through the West Sussex countryside
lifeDavid Sedaris: What I learnt from my fitness tracker about the world
Arts and Entertainment
Word master: Self holds up a copy of his novel ‘Umbrella’
boksUnlike 'talented mediocrity' George Orwell, you must approach this writer dictionary in hand
News
i100
Life and Style
tech

Apple agrees deal with Visa on contactless payments

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

Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor