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Gemili heartbroken with fourth place finish

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18 August 2016


Adam Gemili (coach: Steve Fudge) missed out on a medal by three thousandths of a second as he finished fourth in the Olympic 200m final.

Running from lane two, Gemili transitioned really well off the bend and finished strongly to cross the line in 20.12 (-0.5m/s), the same time as bronze medallist Christophe Lemaitre.

As expected Usain Bolt won his third straight Olympic 200m title, with Andre De Grasse taking silver and a photo finish needed to separate Lemaitre, Gemili and Churandy Martina who finished fifth.

A crest-fallen Gemili commented post-race: “I’m just heartbroken. I’ve put so much into that run and to get so close is just heart-breaking. I’m absolutely gutted.

“I was on the inside and I knew Bolt was going to go and a lot of people were going to try and go with him. I sat down with my coach Steve Fudge and we said ‘let them go and we’ll be a bit more conservative, save a bit for the home straight and I’ll start to go passed people’. I did but I just lost my form at the end.

“It’s been a fantastic season and I’ve had such amazing support from everyone in the UK and around the world, so I want to say thank you very much to them – it means a lot.

“This is the fun bit, competing at the championships. We have a big year next year with London and I can’t wait to get out there and put this right, as I’m gutted, so gutted. Fourth place is the worst place you can be and in the same time as well; it’s heart-breaking.”

Eilidh Doyle (Malcolm Arnold) did everything she could to get herself into the mix in the women’s 400m hurdles final but in the end lane one proved too tough an obstacle.

In a race that saw three personal bests and a national record, Doyle ran well but just couldn’t quite run herself into contention, finishing eighth in 54.61.

“I honestly don’t know what to say. 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’. 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. 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 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’m thinking that if I went back to Malcolm he will say that you did everything right and you just weren’t quick enough. 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.”

Lynsey Sharp (Rana Reider) ran a brilliant race in her 800m semi-final to finish second behind Caster Semenya and bag one of the two automatic qualifying spots for Saturday night’s final. 

Sitting right behind the leader as they passed the bell in 57.65, the Scot ran a smart race and fought hard all the way down the home straight to hold off a couple of fast finishers and secure second place.

Clocking 1.58.65, exactly half a second behind South African Semenya, Sharp said: “I’m more relieved – I didn’t really believe it until I saw it up on the screen, so I’m happy to get that one out of the way and I know I can be competitive in the final, but the hardest task was getting there.

“I watched Charlie’s [Grice] semi-final and I was just like ‘be patient, run your own race, don’t panic and just be strong over the last 100’ – I felt really good I knew I had another gear.

“There’s nothing to lose now. I’m there – there’s only going to be eight girls on the start line as opposed to the 12-14 that there usually is and anything can happen – I definitely feel competitive and that felt pretty good.

“I’ve just been so looking forward to getting that capital Q next to my name! I live for this stuff and to get to the final is a massive relief, but this is really where it all starts.”

In the previous semi-final Shelayna Oskan-Clarke (Jon Bigg) was horribly cut up coming round the final bend, losing all momentum as she vied for a qualifying spot, eventually finishing fifth.

The 2015 World Championship finalist was visibly disappointed post-race, as despite fighting back down the home straight just ran out of legs and was pipped on the line for fourth, a position that would have seen her through as a fastest loser.

After her fifth place finish in 1.59.45, a season’s best, she commented: “It was a really scrappy race. I felt like I had momentum and then on the top bend, got tripped and lost quite a bit. 

“It’s tough isn’t it! The rounds are tough and you can tell it’s the Olympics by the level of the races, but I knew that coming in.  You live and learn and then come back to fight another day.”

Charlie Grice (Bigg) rode his luck once again but was rightfully delighted to advance to the men’s 1500m final. Trapped on the inside for the duration of the race, the Brighton Phoenix man ducked and dived to squeeze down the inside over the final 200m and take the fifth and final automatic qualifying spot in 3.40.05.

“I am so happy to make the cut and get through, because Tuesday didn’t go well at all. I told myself that my 800m speed is really good and I just wanted to run the shortest line possible and I managed to find some gaps and get through.

“It’s amazing – it was close but I’ve made it through and I’ve a couple of days to rest up.”

It was a case of so close but yet so far for Chris O’Hare (Terrance Mahon), who did everything right for 1400m before fading in the home straight. In a very similar race to the first semi-final where the pace was relatively slow but built over the final 700m, the tenacious Scot moved up to third coming round the final bend but faded to finish eleventh in 3.44.27.

“I put myself in the position with 200m to go, felt fine but then I tried to turn it on in the last 100m but it just wasn’t there. I was just not good enough today I’m afraid – it’s brutally disappointing.

“I’ll have to go back and watch the race but I don’t feel like I did anything wrong – I tried my best and that’s all I can do. I’ve put so much work in, my family has put so much work in, my team has put so much work in – I’m just gutted for them.”