26th August 2015

Magnificent Seven

26 August 2015 

It was a perfect start today five at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing, China with all seven British athletes progressing to the next round of competition.

Mo Farah (coach: Alberto Salazar) returned to the track following his 10,000m triumph on Saturday night and maintained his composure despite being tripped on the final bend. In scenes similar to those of his his gold medal-winning performance race, Farah was knocked off balance in the closing stages, but the experienced 32 year old Farah finished with a burst of speed to cross the line in second place in 13:19.44 

The double Olympic, World and European gold medallist said: “I feel alright, nearly went down, that’s twice, I hope it doesn’t come third time bad luck.  I was thinking even if I went down at that point I knew I had the run back, even if I had run ’75 at that point I would still qualify.  I wasn’t even thinking positions, more of the times.  I felt alright, I felt good.  I just have to recover now and get ready.

“I’m pleased for Tom, that’s two of us in the final now. Hopefully we can go out there and do it.”

“It’s been an amazing team spirit at the hotel, it brings back all the ‘Super Saturday’ memories with myself, Jess (Ennis-Hill) and Greg (Rutherford).  I was watching and cheering for Greg at the hotel last night.  It was amazing.”

Farah’s compatriot Tom Farrell (Mark Rowland) was fearless in his quest for a place in the 5000m final, with a positive display of front running. Farrell, who had 2008 Olympic bronze medallist Edwin Cheruiyot Soi and world silver medallist Hagos Gebrhiwet for company, finished fourth in 13:45.29 to secure automatic passage through to Saturday’s final.

In a fast opening heat of the 800m, there were no problems in qualification for European and Commonwealth silver medallist Lynsey Sharp (Rana Reider). Sharp – comfortable throughout – finished in second place in 1:58.98 to navigate her way successfully through the opening test. 

“It was good, nice to get out there. I’ve just been sitting, waiting and watching everyone else compete, so it was just nice to get out on to the track eventually.

“I knew being first heat it would be fast and I just had to cover any moves anyone made. I knew there were a couple of girls who would take it out hard, so I just covered everything, and felt good.

“I know I am in the best shape of my life so I have to get the job done first to make the final, and then once I’m in the final anything can happen.

Shelayna Oskan-Clarke (Ayo Falola) and Jenny Meadows (Trevor Painter) made it three British athletes in the semi-final, finishing third and fourth respectively in their heats. Oskan-Clarke was third (2:01.72) in a messy race, which saw American Alysia Johnson Montano’s fall nearly knock the British athlete off balance. Jenny Meadows (Trevor Painter) meanwhile went through courtesy of a fastest qualifiers spot (2:00.70) in the final heat running solidly throughout.

Also making it through the qualification stages was Sophie Hitchon (Tore Gustafsson), who produced a best throw of 71.07m in the hammer, which took her through to the final in eighth place.  Lawrence Clarke (Malcolm Arnold) made it seven from seven for the morning, securing a fastest qualifier spot in the 110m hurdles with a 13.61 clocking in the final heat.

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

Gold –

Mo Farah (10,000m)

Jessica Ennis-Hill (Heptathlon)

Greg Rutherford (Long jump)