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UK Athletics

yousif ready to 'chase the medals' 

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Rabah Yousif
24 August 

Rabah Yousif (coach: Carol Williams) showed that he can mix it with the best in the world as he secured his place in the 400m final at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing, China.

After a composed run in the heats yesterday, Yousif took the scalp of London 2012 bronze medallist Lalonde Gordon on his way to a new lifetime best of 44.54. The 28 year old was third in his semi-final, which was enough to reward him with a place in the final as a fastest qualifier, where he will face the likes of Olympic champion Kirani James, world champion LaShawn Merritt and world leader Isaac Makwala.

A determined Yousif said: “I expected myself to go quicker but I will take this. Honestly if you asked my teammates, I felt like I could go out and pull 44.3. I am in the final so that is okay.

“I’m a greedy person and I am never satisfied until I get what I want. I honestly feel like I could go all the way to 44.1/44.2 and I can do that. I know I am capable of doing this because my training tells me everything – and I’m absolutely flying in training at the moment. I am happy, but I am not if you know what I mean? I’m going to declare war now. I’m going to chase after the medal.”

Martyn Rooney (Rana Reider), who moved to fourth on the UK all-time list after his opening round PB of 44.45, was left disappointed after finishing sixth in the third semi-final and clocking 45.29.

“The standard is obscenely high. It’s World Champs, you never expect anything less. I really just wanted to come out and repeat what I did yesterday and back that up so, disappointed not to do that.”

Like Yousif, European 400m hurdles champion Eilidh Child (Malcolm Arnold) booked her place in Wednesday’s final after finishing third in the first heat to go through as a fastest qualifier. Child clocked 54.80, as the 28 year old finished behind South Africa’s Wenda Nel and USA’s Cassandra Tate.  

Child admitted: “It’s the worst way to qualify for a final - to be in the first semi-final, in the fastest losers spot and just having to sit and watch the other races. I knew it was going to be a tough one, but I knew if I got close to the faster guys I’d run a fast time.

My hurdling was really messy - I clipped one, when a pair of us were trying to fight for it and it got a bit scrappy. Thankfully it’s enough to get into the final. It’ll be a rubbish lane but I’d rather be in a rubbish lane in the final then not be in it at all.”

After a superb personal best from the outside lane in the heats yesterday, Meghan Beesley (Nick Dakin) missed out on a place in the final despite a gutsy run in the final heat.

Beesley, who ran 55.41 in the semi-final said: “I gave it all yesterday and I got my PB. It’s always good to come to the championships, but I just wished I’d done it in the semi-final.

“I think my legs are just not there after yesterday. I tried to go harder just off the top bend but I didn’t really have it.”

In the women’s 10,000m final, Kate Avery (Tony Simmons) finished in 15th place in 32:16.19 and was delighted with the opportunity to compete at the Bird’s Nest in her country’s colours.

“I said earlier that once you’ve competed at this level this is where you want to be, nothing else is going to suffice now. You want to be out there competing in that atmosphere, I want to be competing with the best and I will get there.”

Asha Philip (Steve Fudge) was seventh in the 100m semi-final and was left frustrated after bowing out of the competition at the penultimate stage.

“I don’t know where I’m going wrong to be honest. I’ve learnt quite a lot with Steve (Fudge) this year and it’s just putting it all together. I’m getting the first bit right better than ever, but I’m just not getting that end bit right. I don’t understand where I’m going wrong or how I’m going to improve it, but next year I think it will work out a lot better.”

British Athletics medals at the IAAF World Championships, Beijing, China


Mo Farah (10,000m)

Jessica Ennis-Hill (Heptathlon)