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Olympics 2008 - Day 1 Morning Session Athletics Report

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Kelly Sotherton 2008 Olympics
Kelly Sotherton in action in the 100m hurdles

15th August 2008


Tyrone Edgar laid down a marker on Friday morning local time (August 15) as he qualified fastest for the second round of the 100m at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.

His time of 10.13 seconds was two-hundredths of a second quicker than second fastest qualifier Michael Frater, of Jamaica and put him ahead of the likes of Asafa Powell, Kim Collins and world record holder Usain Bolt.

All three of Britain’s men’s 100m sprinters were in action, and all three progressed to round two.

Craig Pickering was third in his heat, and sixth quickest overall, with a time of 10.21, while European U23 champion Simeon Williamson recovered from a slow start to ease into the next round with a time of 10.42.

“I ran it flat out,” said Pickering. “Third place is OK, I am quite happy with that, but I know I need to run a lot faster to make the semi-final.”

The second round of qualifying for the men’s 100m takes place from 19:45 on Friday evening local time (12.45 BST).

Having pulled off a ‘clean sweep’ in the sprints, Team GB almost repeated the feat in the women’s 800m. Marilyn Okoro and Jenny Meadows qualified for Saturday’s (August 16) semi-finals, but Jemma Simpson missed taking her place alongside them by just five-hundredths of a second.  

“I felt really comfortable,” said a disappointed Simpson. “I was running a bit wide and I just lost touch on the back straight, which is a crucial part of the race. It was a tactical error, it’s not very good.”

Okoro never looked in danger of missing out, while Meadows timed her finish to perfection to ease into third place just two metres from the line in a time of 2:00.33.

“I showed my robustness and didn’t let the other girls mess me around,” said Okoro, who posted a qualifying time of 1:59.01.

“A run like that gives me confidence. A 1:59 pace is much better for me than a 2:02, I like to get my legs turning over first thing in the morning.

“I am always very nervous in the heats but I got it out the way and I am very happy.”

The semi-finals of the women’s 800m take place on Saturday (August 16) from 19:30 local time (12:30 BST).

The first two disciplines of the heptathlon also took place in the morning session, with Kelly Sotherton and Julie Hollman both in action.

Sotherton made plain her intentions for this competition by setting a personal best of 13.18 in the 100m hurdles, and followed up with a season’s best leap of 1.83m in the high jump to end the session in fifth place with a points total of 2113.

Hollman was the first GB athlete to step onto the track at the National Stadium, finishing fifth in her heat of the 100m hurdles with a time of 14.43 and following up with a high jump of 1.77m. She lies 24th overall with 1859 points.

Friday’s evening session will see the shot put (from 19:00 local time; 12:00 BST) and 200m (21:15 local time; 14:15 BST) disciplines in the heptathlon.

Also in action from Team GB on Friday evening are:  

Men’s 1500m: Tom Lancashire (Heat 2, 19:19 local time; 12:19 BST), Andy Baddeley (Heat 3, 19:28 local time; 12:28 BST)

Women’s Discus: Philippa Roles (Group A, 19:55 local time; 12:55 BST)

Women’s 3000m Steeplechase:
Helen Clitheroe (Heat 1, 20:25 local time; 13:25 BST), Barbara Parker (Heat 3, 20:49 local time; 13:49 BST)

Women’s 10000 Final: Jo Pavey, Kate Reed (22:45 local time; 15:45 BST).


For results and startlist click here