Eilidh Child storms to new best in Birmingham

Perri Shakes-Drayton wins the womens 400m Hurdles ahead of Eilidh Child. Picture: Getty
Perri Shakes-Drayton wins the womens 400m Hurdles ahead of Eilidh Child. Picture: Getty
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Eilidh Child smashed her own Scottish 400 metres hurdles record yet again but still came off second best to Perri Shakes-Drayton at the Diamond League meeting in Birmingham.

The 26-year-old crossed the line in 54.22 – the seventh-fastest time in the world in 2013 – to slice another two-tenths of a second of her own mark.

Mo Farah celebrates his 500m win. Picture: Getty

Mo Farah celebrates his 500m win. Picture: Getty

She was out-done by Shakes-Drayton, who saw off her rival to lead home a British 1-2. Shakes-Drayton won in a season’s best time of 53.82 – the fourth fastest time this year.

But with the world championship trials just two weeks away, Child remains confident of coming up trumps when it really matters, in Moscow in August.

The Olympic semi-finalist said: “It’s really good to run another personal best on the back of last weekend. It wasn’t as smooth as that race, so it’s good the speed is there and I can still run quickly without getting it right.”

There was more home successes in the women’s schedule, with rising star Jessica Judd joining Christine Ohuruogu and Drayton.

Eighteen-year-old Judd went from A-Levels to A standard in the space of just over a week, following up her surprise 800m in Gateshead with an even better showing here. She beat two minutes – the World Championship A standard – for the first time in her career to claim victory in 1min 59.85secs.

Judd now seems a certainty for the British team in Russia.

“It feels amazing. I was so nervous before – I just can’t believe it,” she said. “I hadn’t got the A standard until today, so I was putting it all on this race. I was really nervous for that but the crowd got me through the last 20 metres.”

Olympic silver medallist Ohuruogu timed her 400 metres race to perfection, dipping at the line to beat Amantle Montsho by a tenth of a second in 50.63secs. There was also encouragement for sprinter James Dasaolu, who beat his personal best twice in the day to finish second in the 100m. He ran 10.05s to win the second heat and then came in 10.03 behind Jamaica’s Nesta Carter, who clocked 9.99s.

Dasaolu now plans to join Carter in beating the 10-second mark. “Of course sub-10 is a goal,” he said. “We want to make the final in Moscow and to do that we’re going to have to go underneath the 10-second barrier. “I believe it’s a matter of time.”

One athlete whose form is going in the wrong direction at the wrong time is 2011 world champion Dai Greene.

He had hoped to put his Olympic disappointment behind him in a 400m hurdles event that boasted all three of the London medallists. Instead, it was fellow Welshman Rhys Williams who seized the moment with second place in 48.93s. A dejected Greene settled for fifth.

“It’s a bit worrying that I seem to be getting slower as the weeks go by, so I don’t know what’s going on,” he said. “It’s not fun really.”

Edinburgh’s Chris O’Hare believes he missed a golden chance to make an impact after missing out on the qualifying standard for Moscow in coming eighth in the 1500m.

He said: “I’m not very happy. I came in to get at least the B standard and I didn’t get that so it’s pretty rubbish. I’ll have to go home from here and figure it out.”

Scotland’s Lennie Waite was 10th in the 3000m steeplechase at Diamond League Birmingham in 10:06.73, well outside her best.

World-record holder Aries Merritt of the United States finished second in the 110 hurdles behind 2009 world champion Ryan Brathwaite, who clocked 13.13 into a headwind, and Sally Pearson of Australia slumped to fourth in the women’s 100 hurdles as Dawn Harper-Nelson led an American 1-2 ahead of Kellie Wells.

World and Olympic champion Pearson, off track for 11 months with a series of hamstring injuries since winning at the London Games, faded in the last 20 meters as Harper-Nelson edged Wells to win in 12.64.

Tiffany Porter of Britain sneaked into third.

Olympic champion Felix Sanchez was seventh as Javier Culson dominated a high-quality 400 hurdles field to win in 48.59 and Jennifer Suhr of the US could only come third in the women’s pole vault.

This was the seventh Diamond League event of the year. There are four more before the Moscow World Championships start 10 August.