OLYMPICS LONDON 2012: Shakes-Drayton cruises into 400m hurdles semi-final
By Sean-Paul Doran & Ben Burrows, Sportsbeat, London 2012
PERRI Shakes-Drayton coasted into the semi-finals of the women’s 400 metre hurdles with a confident display at the Olympic Stadium.
THROUGH: Perri Shakes-Drayton ran a confident race in front of the crowd in her home Games
The 23-year-old, who won double bronze at the European Championships in 2010, began her quest for an Olympic medal in comfortable fashion by winning her heat in 54.62 seconds.
London-born Shakes-Drayton was unfazed by the capacity crowd and is in confident mood as the competition moves on to the semi-finals tomorrow.
“I thought I’ve got to treat this like a final,” she said. “I can’t hold nothing back and I tried to stay relaxed. The main thing really was to qualify and get through to the next round.
“I don’t think I’ve put a marker down to show people what I’m made of, but I did want to win. It’s a good start and I’m through to the semi-finals.
“I love the crowd. I’m not normally fazed by this. I’ve been to the stadium before. I actually expected it to be louder than what it is, but the crowd were lovely and I appreciated it.”
Eilidh Child also progressed through to the semi-finals in solid style finishing third in the opening heat.
The 25-year-old’s time of 56.14 secs saw the Games debutant safely through to tomorrow night’s next round.
And the 2009 European under-23 silver medallist was happy to progress despite a sluggish opening 200m.
"I lost all my strength at the bend and I thought 'get your backside in gear and get moving',” she said. “I think it's because I was nervous at the start. I hit the second hurdle. Maybe I was a bit too cautious.
"I will go back and look at the video of my race tonight so I can make the adjustments and iron out the flaws so I can do my best tomorrow."
Meanwhile, there will be no British representation in tomorrow night’s men’s 1500m final as Andrew Baddeley and Ross Murray failed to qualify from the semi-finals.
Four-time national champion Baddeley’s London 2012 dream ended after a below-par run saw him finish in eighth place in his semi-final with 3:36.03 minutes.
Fellow Brit Ross Murray also failed to secure his place in the showpiece, finishing tenth in his semi-final with 3:44.92 mins, as Morroco's Taoufik Makhloufi took the win with 3:42.25 mins.
Defending champion Asbel Kiprop from Kenya finished second with 3:42.92 to keep his title defence on track.
And 21-year-old Murray admitted he was disappointed with his time.
He said: “I’m disappointed because I think I’m better than that. It’s just one of these things, I’ve got to learn from it.
“I will look back on this and think it’s a fantastic experience but I’m going to use it as motivation to do better, get back training and grind it out.”
© Sportsbeat 2012