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

On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific
In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

Dame Colette Bowe - interview
When do the creative juices dry up?

When do the creative juices dry up?

David Lodge thinks he knows
The 'Cher moment' happening across fashion just now

Fashion's Cher moment

Ageing beauty will always be more classy than all that booty
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

Health fears over school cancer jab

Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

Weather warning

Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report
LSD: Speaking to volunteer users of the drug as trials get underway to see if it cures depression and addiction

High hopes for LSD

Meet the volunteer users helping to see if it cures depression and addiction
German soldier who died fighting for UK in Battle of Waterloo should be removed from museum display and given dignified funeral, say historians

Saving Private Brandt

A Belgian museum's display of the skeleton of a soldier killed at Waterloo prompts calls for him to be given a dignified funeral