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Coaches look forward to 400m Final

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28 August 2007


The coaches of Christine Ohuruogu (Newham & Essex Beagles) and Nicola Sanders (Windsor, Slough, Eton & Hounslow) are both looking forward to tomorrow night’s 400m World Championship final.


Lloyd Cowan and Tony Lester predict an open final, which will feature two British women for the first time since the World Championships began in 1983.


The Brits are in the medal mix after both set personal bests while cruising into the final.


Ohuruogu won her semi in 50.16 and Cowan her coach thinks getting into the final bodes well for next year’s Olympics.


He said: “It’s going to be an interesting and good race. Christine has got a good lane draw so we’ll have to see.


“Whatever happens this year was always going to be a stepping stone to next year and the Olympics, and that remains the case. We are happy where we are.


“The year Christine has had would have seen some people crash and burn, but Christine hasn’t and I think she has shown great resolve.


“These Championships have shown just what talent she has got as she is now constantly running 50.1something off the back of just four 400m races this season. Not many people could do that.


“I think it’s very exciting to have two British girls in the final and it shows just how strong the 400m is for us.”


Sanders, the European Indoor champion, smashed her previous best on the way to winning her semi-final in 49.77. Lester said there are a number of athletes in with a chance of winning.


He said: “We have got this far and the idea is to win it. However, let’s not lose sight of the fact that it is the World Championships final and as I see it any one of five athletes could win it.


“As far as I’m concerned from the start of the training period last winter, the object of this season for Nicola was for her to get to Osaka, make the final and run inside 50 seconds. We’ve achieved that already so anything else is a bonus.


“The season hasn’t gone to plan and we’d have liked to have come here to Osaka having ran a few more races over 400m. The injury has of course prevented that from happening, which is probably a blessing in disguise.


“We now realise there is added pressure of expectations after Nicola’s performance in the semi-final, but if she wins it in 50 seconds we’ll take it.”


For more Championship news, plus results, timetables and photographs click here.