Holmes keeps energy reserves on ice for final

Kelly Holmes will discover tomorrow if running the 800 metres here has taken the edge off her chances in the 1500m final. Judging by the way she reached that final last night, it doesn't look like it.

Kelly Holmes will discover tomorrow if running the 800 metres here has taken the edge off her chances in the 1500m final. Judging by the way she reached that final last night, it doesn't look like it.

The newly ensconced 800m champion ran a calm, tactical race in the slower of the two semi-finals, hanging back from the pack until the field approached the bell. At that point she moved deliberately up on the outside of the bunch as Natalya Yevdokimova, of Russia, and Carla Sacramento, of Portugal, led.

As they came around the final bend, Holmes was in sixth place, and for a fleeting moment it looked as if she might have left more of her energy in the past week than she hoped. Not so. Halfway down the straight she moved out into lane three and accelerated to the front, glancing pointedly to her left as she did so, as if to say to the others, "are you getting this?"

Holmes applied the same eyeballing treatment to Yevdokimova, winner in 4min 04.66sec, as she eased up to take second place in 4:04.77. If the whole performance looked icy calm, there was an unusual explanation. Holmes revealed afterwards that she had been in a restorative ice bath with Jo Pavey until 1.30am.

"I've got more than I expected in the 800m already," she said. "I know I'm in good shape. Tonight I was just concerned about getting into the final."

Despite her insistence earlier this season, and indeed last, that the 1500m would be her main goal, Holmes has not won a global medal over the metric mile since taking silver in Gothenburg at the 1995 World Championships, although she has taken two Commonwealth 1500m titles, the last of them in Manchester two years ago.

All too often she has seemed to have had too much time to worry about the race over three-and-a-half laps, and even her more recent experiences at 1500m have worn away at her morale. At the world indoor championships in March she was all set to go one better than the silver position she had earned at the previous year's event in Birmingham when she fell to the boards.

Last month in Zurich, she ran a sensible tactical race, only to see Poland's Wioletta Janowska overtake her in the final few metres. What she has now, that she didn't have then, is the confidence of achievement. She has nothing to lose against a field that is nevertheless full of formidable opponents. Yevdokimova is likely to be in the frame tomorrow, along with her colleague Tatyana Tomashova and another Pole, Anna Jakubczak.

There is also the threat of the woman who leads this year's world standings with a time of 3:58.28, Turkey's Elvan Abeylegesse.

The naturalised Ethiopian, who became the 5,000m world record holder in June when she lowered the mark to 14:24.68, has become a major contender since moving to Turkey in 1999 and becoming sponsored by ENKA, the country's largest construction company.

"I train now at high altitude in Turkey as I think that some of my former compatriots see me as a threat," Abbeylegesse said. "They are uncomfortable with me training in Ethiopia." Hayley Tullett, Britain's last 1500m medallist at a global championship - she took an unexpected bronze in Paris last year - failed to progress from the other semi-final, finishing second from last in a race won by Maria Cioncan, of Romania, in 4:06.69. Tullett, who was never in contention, finished in 4:08.92.

With their former Olympic champion Allen Johnson crashing out of the 110m hurdles opening heats the day before, US hopes in the event began to look seriously wobbly when their second runner, Duane Ross, also failed to progress in his semi-final.

But Terence Trammell's second place in the second semi-final ensured that the United States maintained their record of having competitors in every Olympic high hurdles final since 1896, other than the 1980 Moscow Olympics, where a US boycott was too high a hurdle for even their best athletes to clear.

In the latest development to the Kostas Kenteris and Katerina Thanou doping scandal that has marred the Games since before the Opening Ceremony, the athletics international governing body said it will launch an investigation into the two Greek sprinters.

Kenteris and Thanou, the host nations' two clearest contenders for athletics medals, withdrew from the Olympics following a suspicious motorcycle accident just hours after missing a drug test. While the International Association of Athletics Federations investigates, Kenteris and Thanou are free to participate in competitions, said Nick Davies, an IAAF spokesman.

Michalis Dimitrakopoulos, a lawyer for the two athletes, called it a "positive step".

News
More than 90 years of car history are coming to an end with the abolition of the paper car-tax disc
newsThis and other facts you never knew about the paper circle - completely obsolete today
News
people'I’d rather have Fred and Rose West quote my characters on childcare'
Life and Style
The new Windows 10 Start Menu
tech
Arts and Entertainment
There has been a boom in ticket sales for female comics, according to an industry survey
comedyFirst national survey reveals Britain’s comedic tastes
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
Bruce Chatwin's novel 'On the Black Hill' was set at The Vision Farm
travelOne of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
Sport
footballManchester City 1 Roma 1: Result leaves Premier League champions in danger of not progressing
Arts and Entertainment
Gay and OK: a scene from 'Pride'
filmsUS film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
News
i100
Life and Style
Magic roundabouts: the gyratory system that has excited enthusiasts in Swindon
motoringJust who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Arts and Entertainment
Hilary North's 'How My Life Has Changed', 2001
booksWell it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
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

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
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?