Lemaitre retains 100m title as Aikines-Aryeetey’s hopes fade
France’s Christophe Lemaitre last night retained his European 100 metres title as Britain’s Harry Aikines-Aryeetey admitted his slim chance of an individual Olympic place was over.
Lemaitre maintained his concentration during a bizarre race which featured a yellow card, one false start and only five finishers, clocking 10.09 seconds to edge out compatriot Jimmy Vicaut (10.12secs), with Norway’s Jaysuma Saidy Ndure claiming bronze.
Aikines-Aryeetey finished fourth in 10.31s, but suffered a hamstring injury after 40m and will not have done enough to overhaul Dwain Chambers and James Dasaolu for the discretionary places in the British team alongside teenager Adam Gemili.
“I am massively upset,” Aikines-Aryeetey, 23, admitted. “When I won the World Youths in 2005 the first question I got asked was ‘Are you aiming to be there (London)?’ And I thought ‘Ooh, I wouldn’t mind that,’ so every day since then I’ve been dreaming about being there.
“But this year has just been terrible to me after last year being so good, just missing out on a world final by one spot. At the start of the year nothing went right for me, as much as I wanted it, as much as tried to do everything I could, nothing went my way.
Edinburgh’s Lynsey Sharp is waiting for the right time to pounce after booking her place in today’s 800metres final in Helsinki. After claiming victory at the weekend’s Olympic Trials, Sharp headed to Finland with the sole purpose of dipping under the A Standard time of 1:59.90 minutes to secure her place at London 2012.
Although the 21-year-old is yet to achieve that, she ensured she lived to fight another day yesterday as she crossed the line second in her semi-final in 2:01.88 minutes.
Sharp admits that London 2012 has never been far from her mind in Helsinki, but insists she has been biding her time. “The semi-final was a bit messy, but I was just trying not to lose too much distance in the first lap and come on strong in the second, so that’s pleasing,” she said.
“Getting the A Standard was never my intention during the heat. That was always going to be too hard. I knew the heats would not be that fast, and I didn’t want to run it out on my own and risk the whole group coming back at me. I think I’ve given myself a good chance by making the final. I think it’s going to be a really good race.
“I’m really enjoying the Europeans. There’s a lot of faces that I recognise from the Junior under-23s last year. which were very important for me. It was a high standard and helped me here getting used to the team aspect.”
Meanwhile, Mark Dry is left to plead his case to be selected for London 2012 after he failed to qualify outright in Helsinki, the hammer thrower only managing a best effort of 70.27m from three throws, leaving him 25th overall when only the top 12 went through to Saturday’s final.
Lee McConnell’s individual 400m London 2012 dreams live on after a season’s best time of 51.98 seconds to qualify for today’s final. “Hopefully in a final, with more adrenalin, I could go quicker,” said McConnell, who was just 0.43 seconds off the Olympic A Standard in her semi-final. “It’s tough, and when you consider that I ran two 400 metres at the trials last weekend and I have done two more here, I’ll be happy if the body just comes through this in one piece.”
Steph Twell’s late withdrawal from the 5000m at the Europeans casts a major doubt over her participation. Twell missed the AVIVA Olympic Trials in Birmingham but had been passed fit for Helsinki following a foot injury. She does have the A standard for the 5000m. lBrought to you by SPAR, Official Sponsors of UK Athletics. For more information visit www.spar.co.uk
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Saturday 25 May 2013
Temperature: 6 C to 17 C
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Wind direction: West
Temperature: 9 C to 16 C
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