Ohuruogu, Sanders in 400 final

Proof that something seems to be working to improve the prospects of British athletes came here last night when Christine Ohuruogu and Nicola Sanders set personal bests to reach the 400 metres final.

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It will be the first time that Britain has ever had two finalists in the event at a World Championships.

Back on track: Christine Ohuruogu qualifies for the 400m final
If that alone was not enough encouragement for a sport which has been under pressure to deliver success, Tom Parsons and Martyn Bernard created another first by both qualifying for a World Championships high jump final.

The modest target here was for Britain to win three medals and, with Kelly Sotherton having already secured a bronze in the heptathlon, the other two could come from the 400m and high jump finals tomorrow night.

The stuff of dreams it might prove, but Ohuruogu and Sanders were impressive qualifiers from their semi-finals.

It was only three weeks ago that Ohuruogu, 23, was free to compete again after serving a 12-month ban for missing three out-of-competition drug tests.

Last night’s race was only her sixth since her return and as a measure of her unquestioned talent, she continues to get faster.

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Ohuruogu, the Commonwealth champion, ran strongly to win the third of the semi-finals, easing away from Mary Wineberg in the home straight when it looked as if the American might challenge.

Ohuruogu’s achievement thus far has already been amazing and in a final missing Sanya Richards, the world No 1 who failed to qualify from the US trials, the Briton could cap her comeback with a medal.

Novlene Williams, of Jamaica, will go into the final as the favourite after emerging from the semi-finals as the fastest qualifier with 49.66 sec.

The second quickest, however, was Sanders, the European Indoor champion, who came to Osaka still nursing the Achilles injury that reduced her season to just a handful of appearances.

Sanders dipped under the magical 50 sec for the first time to win her race in 49.77 sec, a time that places her third on the UK all-time list, behind Kathy Cook and Katharine Merry.

She managed to achieve the two targets she had set herself in April in one fell swoop.

“When I was injured earlier in the season, things didn’t look great,” said Sanders, 25. "But I think that’s been a blessing in disguise now. I’m just coming into some form and to run a personal best and get into the final is fantastic.

“The final is so open, anything could happen. I’m just glad to be in there.”

Andy Baddeley will feature in the 1500m final tomorrow night, but the Cambridge aerospace engineering graduate can count himself very fortunate to have made it that far after blundering his way through to fifth place in his semi-final.

Two months ago, Phillips Idowu was Britain’s best hope for an individual gold medal, but a back injury blunted his challenge in last night’s triple jump final.

His best effort was his last of 17.09m and was good enough for only sixth place as the gold medal went to Portugal’s Nelson Evora, whose third-round leap of 17.74m was a national record.

Idowu, who confessed that his back problem was one he would have to manage for the rest of his career, said: “If I hadn’t missed two months training it might have been different. I’m not distraught as I gave it my best shot.”

Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele swept past countryman Sileshi Sihine on the final lap to win his third successive world 10,000m title. Bekele finished in 27 min 5.90 sec. Veronica Campbell was awarded the gold medal in the women’s 100m final after judges took several minutes to decipher the photographic evidence of one of the closest of finishes. The Jamaican was given the same time as the 2005 champion, Lauryn Williams of the United States, who took the silver medal.

Like the men’s champion, Tyson Gay, Campbell, is coached by Lance Brauman, who will be released from a Texas federal prison today after serving nine months for fraud.

I thought the same…great effort from UK sprints and jumps…3 out of 3 in the semis 100m men, 1 in final…on the women side , not bad, and amazing 400m!
Very upset by Italy (as almost always happens…)

Yes, i’ve noticed that the Brits have been matching or exceeding form expectations over and over. It may be a good lead in, or, more likely, the Brits generally get such grim conditions to compete in at home that they’re really better than you realise till they get to the meet. (BTW MLF DID run as well as anyone could reasonably expect under the circumstances)
Canadian examples of the same sorry situation- Anson running 10.30s here and 10.20 at the WCs twice. And Barnett 20.48pb runs a very easy 20.30 in the first heat.

This is the beauty of World Champs…you get a chance to up your game. I remember someone posting why are the nations with lesser athletes allowed to run against the elite…Well its for that same reason…You’ll never in your life time get a chance to run against the likes of the Powell’s and Tyson Gay’s of track. This in itself is a great experience and something that could prove to be a life changing experience.

I can personally say for myself, when I was in the warm up area at Crystal Palace and saw the likes of Spearmon,Gay,Drummond,the GB sprint relay team etc warming up and doing drill and 3 point accel runs, I felt pumped! I wanted to go out on that track and drop a 9.99 in my shoes…I was like damn…this is where I belong…i want some of this sht! :smiley:

Fantastic result in the finals. There will be much head-scratching by the US as they were shut out.

I have an idea how we could avoid a shutout there. How about running the 2006 Female World Athlete of the Year?

I wonder how much the track and conditions are worth? Those are some serious PBs!

While we’re on the subject of American ideas. anyone noticed the number of Americans drawn at "random’ into lane 8 in the staggered events? I haven’t seen a single one. Anyone see one? Must be pure luck, I guess!

oops! Found one!

:slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

At the BU meets (indoors) my friend who was world ranked for 200m, indoor 200m qualifier, top 8 finalist seemed to always draw lane 2. When I approached the meet official on several occasions asking why this was happening no one had an answer. Finally the BU coach, who is no longer there; also affiliated with Greater Boston Track Club tells me, " he’s running for the wrong club, you want a good lane, change clubs." It seems the GBTC guys always got the good lanes. Anyone that has been to these meets could probably confirm this. This seems to be a problem at every level.

Has anyone else had an experience similiar to this?

I reckon the women’s 400 this year is the classic example of the relative merits of a subjective selection criteria as opposed to a completely objective selection process.

Ohu didn’t even run the British nationals, but the selection committee and trusted, responsible coaches saw her in training so they picked her to compete in Osaka.

Meanwhile, in the US, the most talented female 400m runner in the States has one mediocre day (by her own high standards) and she’s off the US 400m team because there are no real selectors. It’s first three qualified athletes at the national trials, end of story.

Yes, but at least you know exactly where you stand. Run the time or the place and you go. Nobody can deny or claim any unfair discrimination against when your not being picked. Every one of those athletes can’t be denied their rightful spot on the team.

Did you all notice there were four PB’s in the womens 400m final. The top four finishers all had PB’s.

That was a nice race, some guts by the brit girls.

Got that right. Good for them.

I think that the method of selection is going to vary from country to country based on both the depth of talent they have and also their culture. I really don’t think that a selection by committee (or dictator) would fly in the U.S. It is conceivable that the athletes and public would tolerate a designation of the #1 in each event and let the rest fight it out for the other spots at the Trials, but no way the whole team could be selected by opinion rather than one-off racing.

I’m sure that’s exactly how Sanya Richards feels right now. :stuck_out_tongue: - just so righteous about the US selection system which turned a blind eye to her solitary poor run of the last two years.

See, it depends on whether you seek support for a national approach to international results - like every other country in the world, except the US. They all have “selectors” naming their national representatives.

Those other countries would rather take their chance against potential litigation and try to get the finest representatives to the Olympics or Worlds.

But for sure the easy way out is the US method. And when you’ve got depth, it might be the best option.

But the USSR had depth in men’s pole vault at the time of the inaugural world championships in 1983 and they dropped the guy who placed second in their trial to give the unplaced Sergei Bubka a jump in Helsinki. He won the gold for the USSR and a five more times after that.

See, I still think the US screws up almost every year with their system.

I bet Linford Christie was pleased :stuck_out_tongue: in 1992 Barcelona when Carl Lewis, the reigning 1991 world 100m champion and world recordholder, had the flu on the day of the US trials and missed the US 100m team.

Of course, by Barcelona he was healthy again and won the long jump, beating fellow American world titleholder and world recordholder Mike Powell in Barcelona in the long jump.

But the US could really have used Lewis as their 100m spearhead and he may have won again.

Only in America, as they say :rolleyes:

If they were to depart from the current system, I kind of like the idea floated by some, that you go with your top two as automatics and choose your third athlete based upon more recent performance/fitness.

I suppose it does come down to the strength of the criteria in the selection policy.

The less subjectivity the easier it is to select a team; run the times, run them often and do very well at the selection trials!