Rawlinson vaults first hurdle in medal campaign

One of Britain's medal hopes was in impressive form on the fourth day of athletics action in Athens yesterday. Chris Rawlinson qualified for the semi-finals of the 400 metres hurdles as Dean Macey continued his improbable bid for a medal in the decathlon.

One of Britain's medal hopes was in impressive form on the fourth day of athletics action in Athens yesterday.

Chris Rawlinson qualified for the semi-finals of the 400 metres hurdles as Dean Macey continued his improbable bid for a medal in the decathlon.

Rawlinson was disappointed to finish third in his heat, but a time of 48.94sec indicated he was in good shape to challenge for the medals.

"My aim was to qualify first but I made a bit of an error off the eighth hurdle," said the 32-year-old from Rotherham.

"I looked across with 20 metres to go and could not see anybody but then they just came through and it was too late to react.

"It was a bit of an error but I don't mind if I get drawn in lane one in the semi-finals, I won the Europa Cup from there. I'm feeling good and I'm used to the temperature.

"I haven't raced for a few weeks so it was a case of blowing away the cobwebs. This is a really strong event. In 2000 only one guy ran under 49secs in the heats but there are a lot more doing it now."

The favourite, Felix Sanchez, who has not lost over the distance for more than three years, won his heat to ease into the semi-finals and Rawlinson added: "Felix is an incredible athlete but he is going to have to run a brilliant race to win here."

The Londoner Matt Douglas was unable to join Rawlinson in the semi-finals after finishing sixth in his heat, but was pleased to have raced at all after tearing his calf muscle earlier this month.

"I've been off the track for two weeks so I haven't done any preparation. To be honest I'm really happy to have just made the start line," he said.

Of the injury, he added: "I tore it the first day I arrived in Cyprus and again last Monday so the medical team have worked wonders.

"This is the most important show on earth so I just wanted to run. I couldn't hurdle warming up and then I hit the first hurdle which didn't help but my number one priority was just to run. To miss out on the Olympic Games is the most disappointing thing that can happen to an athlete."

In the boxing, Amir Khan's coach, Terry Edwards, insists that the British public have "not yet seen the best" of Khan. Edwards believes there is more to come, despite the brilliance of the youngster's win over Dimitar Stilianov in the last 16.

The 17-year-old faces South Korean Jong Sub Baik today in Athens for a place in the last four and a guaranteed bronze medal, the consolation prize for both losing semi-finalists.

Khan has grown in stature during the past week, overcoming a nervous start against Marios Kaperonis, of Greece, to stop him in the third round.

The young Briton's next opponent wasStilianov, a respected counter-puncher from Bulgaria. But Khan produced a performance of the highest quality, nailing his opponent almost at will in the last two rounds to secure an emphatic 37-21 points win.

"Stilianov is a clever boxer but he had to change his tactics in the fight and that suited us," said Edwards. "Amir took control of the bout and took him apart in the end. Amir's got fast feet and fast hands and the power came through in that fight. We upped the pace and Stilianov couldn't cope with that."

Khan, who is Team GB's only boxing representative in Athens, is thoroughly enjoying the whole Olympic experience and that is helping him to relax between fights.

"We're having a ball," added Edwards. "He lives for boxing and is enjoying the whole experience here. His confidence his high, but he's a level-headed young man who won't get carried away. He's just a 17-year-old with the world at his feet - and we have not yet seen the best of him at these Games. He's relishing the chance to fight again."

In the hockey competition, Great Britain were consigned to their worst finish at an Olympics for 36 years after a dreadful 8-2 defeat to Pakistan.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

Heavy weather

What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

World Bodypainting Festival 2015

Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

Don't call us nerds

Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high
How to find gold: The Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge

How to find gold

Steve Boggan finds himself in the Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge
Singing accents: From Herman's Hermits and David Bowie to Alesha Dixon

Not born in the USA

Lay off Alesha Dixon: songs sound better in US accents, even our national anthem
10 best balsamic vinegars

10 best balsamic vinegars

Drizzle it over salad, enjoy it with ciabatta, marinate vegetables, or use it to add depth to a sauce - this versatile staple is a cook's best friend
Wimbledon 2015: Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Serena dispatched her elder sister 6-4, 6-3 in eight minutes more than an hour
Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy