RUNNING in lane one and up against a stacked field of in-form talent, it was always going to be tough for Eilidh Doyle, and so it proved as she finished eighth and last in the women’s 400m hurdles final.
The Scot could hold her head up high, however, after running a technically fine race but just lacking the the foot speed to get herself into the mix for medals.
Pre-race favourite Dalilah Muhammad of the United States stormed to gold from gun to tape in 53.13.
Denmark’s Sara Slott Petersen took silver with American Ashley Spencer the bronze as Doyle trailed in at 54.62.
Meanwhile, fellow Scot Lynsey Sharp looked good as she finished a strong second in her semi-final behind red-hot favourite Caster Semenya of South Africa to qualify for the final of the women’s 800m, which takes place in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Doyle was philosophical after her race and pleased to make the final following a failure to do so in London four years ago.
She said: “I honestly don’t know. My hurdling’s all good and I look back on the race and think ‘what did I actually do wrong, I don’t know what I did wrong’ because normally I can say something at that hurdle or that hurdle but there is no hurdle that I felt I hit wrong. I just wasn’t in the race and I don’t know why.
“I don’t know why. It’s a really strange one. I said that if I could leave the track having given it everything I’d be really happy and I did but I’m not happy. I thought if I ran that way I’d be further up the field or run a PB.
“The bends are very tight. I feel that I’m a pretty good hurdler and I hurdle with my left leg which does help because you run that risk of trailing your leg. I feel like lane one might have had something to do with it but I don’t want to use it as an excuse or anything.
“I was just tunnel vision. I was running my own race. I had no idea who or what was there until I’d done with the last hurdle and at that point the race was over.”
Meanwhile, Sharp qualified second fastest for the 800m in 1:58.65.
“I didn’t really believe it until I saw it up on the screen,” said the Commonwealth silver medallist.
“I am so happy to get that out the way and I know I can be competitive in the final.
“The hardest task was getting to the final so I am delighted I am there. I felt really good and I knew I had another gear.
“There is nothing to lose in the final. There are only going to be eight girls on the start line. I feel very confident in myself and I believe in the plan we set out before the race so I am in great form.
“I don’t just want to be a finalist; I want to fight for a medal. We have seen so many shocks over the last few days here so it is clear anything can happen.”
Scotland’s Chris O’Hare suffered disappointment as he was run out of his 1,500m semi-final. The West Linton runner, who trains in the United States, was in a good position heading into the final bend in search of a top-five automatic qualifying spot but a surge with 250m to go cost him as he hit the wall in the home straight and went backwards.
“I feel disappointed,” he said. “I put so much work in and so did my family and my team so I am gutted for them. All the support has been amazing so it is hard to go out like this and to disappoint.
“I felt great, even in the last lap, much better than the heat.
“But as we got to the last few metres, I tried to move up a gear and it just wasn’t there and I just tied up. My body just shut down on me. At that point, there is nothing you can do mentally.
“It is hard to understand and it shouldn’t really happen. It is disappointing no matter how you go out, whether by a millimetre or a mile.
“A lot of people have sacrificed a lot for me and I’m sorry I couldn’t give something back to them.”