EILIDH Child wants to sign off her Diamond League campaign with a flourish tonight in Brussels, even though she is out of the running for the overall top spot in the 400 metres hurdles.
With Jamaica’s Commonwealth gold medallist Kaliese Spencer having already clinched the $40,000 bonus in the points race, the European champion can still overtake Kemi Adekoya of Bahrain for second place with double points on offer in the season finale. And Child believes her results this year have shown she’ll be a force to be reckoned with when next year’s world championships come around.
“I’ve had a top-three finish at every Diamond League I’ve done in 2014 and I’d like to keep that going,” said the 27-year-old. “That was the point of doing the Diamond League, to race these girls week in, week out in high-quality races. The results have gone better than I could have expected. I’m no longer intimidated by the top hurdlers because I’m seeing them so much. It makes competing against them a lot easier.”
Lynsey Sharp can also take runners-up spot in the 800m Diamond League chase if she can pull off a repeat of her brilliant victory in Birmingham last month over series victor Eunice Sum of Kenya.
Both Sharp and Child were confirmed yesterday among 18 British athletes in Europe’s team for next weekend’s Continental Cup in Marrakesh.
Meanwhile, Mo Farah believes he can end a 29-year wait for a home winner in Sunday’s Great North Run. The double European champion lost out in a battle with Ethiopian legend Kenenisa Bekele 12 months ago and must see off Stephen Kiprotich, the reigning Olympic and world marathon champion, as well as home rival Andy Vernon, to come up trumps.
“I like running the half marathon,” said Farah. “My first was in New York in 2011, which I won. I enjoyed making my debut in the Bupa Great North Run last year. It was a great race, between Kenenisa, Haile Gebrselassie and myself, but I just didn’t have quite enough. This time I want to win it.”
Farah has not had the best of times in 2014 – finishing a disappointing eighth on his marathon debut in London in April and missing the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow because of illness – but last month he added European 5,000m and 10,000m golds to the Olympic and World Championship doubles he achieved in 2012 and 2013. And in August in Birmingham he removed Steve Ovett’s name from the British record books by clocking an impressive 8min 07.85sec for two miles in Birmingham.
The form book suggests that, if all goes to plan, the 31-year-old Londoner will become only the third British men’s winner of the Bupa Great North Run – after Mike McLeod, who triumphed in the first two, in 1981 and 1982, and Steve Kenyon, the 1985 champion.