London 2012 Olympics: Disappointed Eilidh Child bows out in semi-final
EILIDH Child came fifth in her semi-final of the 400-metres hurdles last night, well out of the running for a place in tomorrow’s final. Her team-mate Perri Shakes-Drayton looked as if she had squeezed in as a fastest loser after the disqualification of a Czech athlete, but a later appeal by the Czech team was upheld, meaning the Londoner missed out as well as the Scot.
A late-night statement by Team GB explained: “Denisa Rosolova of the Czech Republic – who was initially excluded due to the placement of her trail leg – appealed against her disqualification and was reinstated in the final. UK Athletics then took Shakes-Drayton’s case to the watch referee, but their counter-appeal was rejected.”
There were in fact two disqualifications in Child’s semi, meaning that she was initially placed fifth. The reinstatement of Ukrainian Hanna Titimets as well as Rosolova pushed Child down to seventh, but that was a technicality. The more pertinent fact was her bitter disappointment with a run which came nowhere close to her best. As in the first round, she stuttered between two of the early hurdles, and never regained a decent rhythm after that. The standard of the field meant that qualification was always going to be a tall order, but Child was nonetheless annoyed by her failure to do herself justice.
“I just didn’t get my stride pattern right again,” she said. “I got the first two bang on and thought I was smooth, then I don’t know what I did at the third one. I had an extra stride and I shouldn’t have. I’m just really gutted, because I wanted to come here and leave it all on the track. But I’m coming off thinking ‘Nah, I haven’t done that’.”
Her time of 56.03 seconds was more than a second slower than her personal best, adding to her frustration. Her hope now is that she can get a position in the 4x400m relay team for the first round at least, and leave London knowing that in one run at least she has performed to her potential. “I knew it would have been really tough to make that final, but I wanted to come away with a time if not a PB then at least close to it,” she continued. “I was nowhere near it. I am a bit emotional. It’s been a sacrifice to get here and I feel like I’ve not done myself justice.”
Child’s fellow-Scot Lee McConnell is also a contender for a relay place, as is Shakes-Drayton. The latter looked surprisingly heavy-legged in the second semi, in which she was initially given third in 55.19, behind Lashinda Demus of the USA (54.08) and Kalliese Spencer of Jamaica 54.20). Child’s heat was won by Muizat Odumosy of Nigeria in 54.40, while the fastest qualifier was the winner of the first heat, Natalya Antyukh. The Russian clocked 53.33, and was followed home by Zuzana Hejnova of the Czech Republic.
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