LYNSEY Sharp squeaked into tonight’s final of the 800 metres as a fastest loser after only coming fourth in her semi-final last night, while fellow Scot Emily Dudgeon just missed out. European champion Sharp, one of the pre-meeting favourites for a medal, looked comfortable for the first lap or so, but initially failed to respond to a quickening pace until putting on a sprint in the home straight.
“This is definitely a kick up the bum,” Sharp said after clocking 2mins 02.28sec on a night of worsening weather. “This is what championships are about – there’s three races. Now I have to go out there tomorrow and give it everything. I’m not happy with my race. I’ve just got to regroup and get ready for tomorrow. It needs to be a lot different.
“I came through strongly at the end, which is what I used to do, but I’m not going to win races like that. I need to race like I was earlier in the season. I don’t feel great, but then no-one feels great after an 800.”
The heavy rain produced some slow times, with Kenya’s Eunice Sum fastest qualifier after winning Sharp’s heat in 2:01.38. England’s Jenny Meadows also qualified as a fastest loser after coming fifth in that heat, 0.01sec behind Sharp.
Another Englishwoman, Jessica Judd, won the second heat in 2:02.26, while Dudgeon’s time of 2:03.00 was only enough for fourth in that heat, and saw her miss out on the final by 0.14sec. “I just tried to put everything from all the races I’ve done into practise,” Dudgeon said. “I think I did that. To miss out on that sprint is so annoying. I knew as soon as I crossed the line. I looked up to the scoreboard in hope, but the scoreboard doesn’t lie. I’m in the best shape of my life, but you can’t always control how races are run and you’ve just got to give it your all and I did.
“About eight years ago they were giving out ‘Glasgow: Back The Bid’ merchandise at the Scotland age-group championships. Since then I’ve written down every training session with that pen. To have made it is quite amazing. To get to the semis is fantastic, but it still doesn’t make it better when you miss the final by that.”