British athletes were in the thick of the action in day one of the lucrative IAAF World Athletics Final in Stuttgart today in what is the traditional annual climax to the summer track and field season.
Helen Clitheroe (Preston Harriers) placed ninth in the women’s 3000m steeplechase, crossing the line in 9.39:72. The British record holder said: “Considering I didn’t get invited until Friday and did a track session on Thursday night I don’t think it went too bad. It’s my third fastest time ever. I haven’t even thought about the winter, I’m going to do Shanghai next week and then have a long rest.”
Lisa Dobriskey (Ashford AC) emulated her recent Olympics frustration finishing in fourth and just out of contention again in the women’s 1500m. The 24 year old, who clocked 4.07:72, said: “I wanted to do something different in the race, get in the mix abit more at the front because I’ve found myself always drifting to the back this season. Me and my coach decided I would try and maintain my position abit more but not affect my go point. It went ok; I’m pleased with the position bearing in mind everything I’ve been through in the last few months competition wise. I’m going to run in Poland on Wednesday, UK Domestics this winter and possibly the European Indoors.”
Goldie Sayers (Belgrave Harriers) threw a best of 58.04m in the women’s javelin to finish sixth overall. The 26 year old, who was 4th in Beijing, was disappointed to have fallen short of the 60m mark again: “I have had problems with my elbow so haven’t picked up a javelin this week. It’s not the way I wanted to end my season. I felt like I needed sixth throws to get the right feeling today, not four. However, I performed at the right place this season, I would rather have done badly here than in Beijing.”
Olympic gold medallist Barbora Spotakova (CZE) gave the crowds something to smile about despite the bad conditions in Stuttgart, setting a new world record on her first attempt in the Javelin with an incredible throw of 72.28m
Olympic bronze medallist Tasha Danvers (Shaftesbury Barnet) took a fall in the women’s 400m hurdles, clipping the second and failing to recover. The 30 year old finished eighth with a time of 58.40.
She said: “This has confirmed what I have been thinking for most of the season. I need to go back to a 14 stride pattern instead of 15 which I’m doing now. What I have liked about this season is everything it has taught me about how I can get better for next year.”
Marilyn Okoro (Shaftesbury Barnet) and Jenny Meadows (Wigan AC) were third and eighth respectively in the women’s 800m.
Okoro finished her season in fine form, looking strong from the gun then holding a good position throughout before just falling back to third on the final bend. The British number one, who crossed the line in 1.58:64, said: “I really wanted second place but held on for third. It’s my last race of the season and I’m pleased.”
Meadows was also pleased with her final outing of the season and time of 2.04:44. She said: “I started my season in January at the Indoors and I’ve been really tired since Beijing. I’ve started enjoying races a lot more since Beijing because the pressure is off. I’m reflecting back on my season now and looking towards this year’s Indoors.”
Christine Ohuruogu (Newham & Essex Beagles) finished second in the women’s 400m in 50.83. The Olympic and World Champion was beaten by Sanya Richards (USA) who took first place victory with 50.41, small comfort for the American after losing out to Ohuruogu in Beijing.
Ohuruogu said: “It’s nearly the end of my season and I’m exhausted but still glad I came today. Finishing second today doesn’t mean anything in the overall scheme of things, I have got the biggest accolade in athletics.”
Stephanie Twell (Aldershot, Farnham & District) and Laura Kenney (Royal Sutton Coldfield) were seventh and ninth respectively in the women’s 3000m.
Twell set a new personal best with 8.05:89 against a tough field. The World Junior 1500m champion said: “I have ended my season on a high and that shows how much this summer has done for me. 3000m is integral to my development because I was to step up to 3k and 5k. Cross Country is so close to my heart, I love long runs so that’s where im focussing now.”
Kenny finished in 8.59:73 but found the line up tough: “I enjoyed it and I was glad to be in the race but they just got quicker and quicker. It was a hard race to be in but I enjoyed it.”
photo Cheltenham jockey club
photo Cheltenham Racecourse