CHRIS O’Hare admitted it took all of his courage and determination to prolong his World Championship bow as Olympic champion Greg Rutherford’s best proved not good enough in Russia.
The Edinburgh middle- distance runner finished eighth in the third of three 1,500m heats in Moscow and, with only the top five in each race going through automatically, he had to rely on a fastest loser spot.
And, while his time of 3:38.86minutes was three seconds slower than his personal best set in Belgium last month, it was still good enough to secure a spot in the semi-finals.
There was no such luck for Olympic long jump champion Rutherford, however, as he failed in qualifying. And O’Hare admitted that he had given everything in a bid to make his first world semi-final.
“I knew coming in that I was going to have to push it hard,” he said. “I was trying to win like it was a gold medal. I did not have as much as I would have hoped in the last 100m, but these guys are the best in the world.
“I will take something home from that and try to save a bit more for the last 100m.
“I had not watched the other heats all that attentively. I just went into my race knowing that I was going to have to run with a lot of heart and a lot of guts, and that’s what I did.”
Rutherford jumped 8.31m to win Olympic gold as part of that storied Super Saturday at London 2012 last summer, but managed just a best of 7.87m to fail in the qualifying round in Moscow.
That did little to prove that he deserved to earn selection over fellow Brit Chris Tomlinson, who posted angrily on Twitter after Rutherford’s outing, despite neither achieving the A qualifying standard.
Fellow Briton and European under-23 champion Sophie Hitchon followed in Rutherford’s lead, not O’Hare’s, in failing to make the hammer final – finishing 19th in qualifying with the top 12 going through.
And Rutherford, who saw a hamstring injury plunge his world outing into doubt earlier this summer, said: “For both Chris and I there was a standard set and we should have jumped it. We are both good enough to jump 8.25m, and we didn’t do that this year.
“I felt for Chris and it would have been great to have us both at the worlds.
“But it has nothing to do with me if Chris makes it or doesn’t. I just have to do what I have to do to make the championships. Ultimately, I am still British No 1, as it stands.
“I have jumped farther than him multiple times this year, and I have beaten him nearly every time, apart from where I got hurt.
“I think in any event if you are looking at somebody who has the better distance that year, won more head-to-heads and has a major title behind them, it is a no brainer as to who should get selected.”
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