Dobriskey leaves it too late
LISA DOBRISKEY learned the hard way about the importance of good timing this weekend.
The Loughborough athlete paid the price for starting her sprint finish about ten yards too late and trailed home just outside the medals in the women's 1500m.
Commonwealth champion Dobriskey looked to have got her tactics spot on but failed to catch Ukraine's Nataliya Tobias in a sprint finish.
"I left it too late, I'm just gutted," she admitted.
"It really kicked off with about 500m to go. I was really relaxed and comfortable and I didn't want to go too early.
"I feel like it is a massive missed opportunity, I really thought I could do it. I felt so good coming into the race but I just misjudged it a little bit and missed out - it is disheartening.
"It's so frustrating to know you could have medaled and the difference was that you messed up tactically."
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Not even a 4.2.10 personal best could lift Dobriskey's mood but the performance was encouraging as attentions turn to next year's World Championships in Berlin.
"It was a personal best but that doesn't really count for much when I was so close to a medal," she added.
"But if you had asked me this time last year I would be fourth in an Olympic Games, I would not have believed you and I take heart from that."
Loughborough's Martyn Rooney and his 4x400m team-mates were also left smarting after just missing out on a bronze.
Rooney had made some bold predictions after Britain's quartet progressed through the semi-finals in the quickest qualifying time.
But they were simply blown away when the big teams stepped in with their big guns.
Rooney ran a super-charged 43.73 seconds last leg but he was given too much to do as Russia hung on to third, just behind the Bahamas and the USA, who took gold in a new Olympic record.
"After the semi-final I thought we were a shoe-in for silver but we ran a season best and we didn't do anything, which is a very bad day," he said.
"We need a bit more competition for places next year and more people running under 45 seconds to make us more competitive."
While other sports have shined in Beijing, it's arguably our worst performance in the Olympic Stadium for 32 years - when Brendan Foster brought back a solitary bronze from the 1976 Montreal Games.
UK Athletics performance director Dave Collins, who took his role in 2004, said he should be judged on Beijing results and those deliberations can now start with his contract due for renewal next year.
The sport has received £26.5 million in lottery funding since Athens, more than any other Olympic sport.
Over half a million alone has been spent on relay coaching, with a measly return of two dropped batons and today's fourth and fifth places.