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Silver for Ennis

Ennis takes Silver in Daegu

Ennis takes Silver in Daegu

In Tuesday evening’s action from the Daegu Stadium, there was a silver medal for Jessica Ennis (coach: Toni Minichiello) in the heptathlon, whilst Dai Greene (Malcolm Arnold) was a class apart in qualifying for the men’s 400m hurdles final.

Ennis, in securing the Aviva Great Britain and Northern Ireland team’s third medal of the championship may not have had an achievable task in the women’s 800m in order to retain her World title, but in throwing down the gauntlet to the rest of the field and running a lifetime best of 2:07.81, she ascertained that she is still one of heptathlon’s top two lap performers and a force to be reckoned with.

Ennis, who took to the front from the gun did not have the advantage over Chernova at the end to make headway into the Russian’s points advantage, but will surely take an insight into her 2012 preparations that the heptathlon gold in London is very much for the taking.

As it was her run earned her 997 points and was her second PB of day two and her third of the competition, but her overall total of 6751 was 129 points behind Chernova, who set a world leading 6880 to win.

Reacting afterwards, Ennis was determined to accept it just hadn’t been her day:

“I don’t want to walk away and analyse too much, I don’t think it’s something I’m going to dwell on, it was just one of those days where it didn’t come together, it wasn’t right.

“My javelin was so poor and Chernova’s was so good it was enough to take that gold medal. It was a brilliant score by Chernova, but I performed well, I had some PBs so I can take positives away from that and work on the javelin.

“I knew the gap was so big, but I wanted to go out on the 800m and leave everything on the track and run as fast as I can and walk away from it knowing I’d given it everything.”

Looking for a PB points performance, team mate Louise Hazel (Aston Moore) went in the penultimate 800m heat and worked hard to stay in contact with the main group. Powering down the home straight to eek out every last second she could, the 2:15.44 clocking and 887 points meant the Birchfield Harrier finished her World Championships with a points tally of 6149 for 15th position, just shy of her existing 6166 lifetime best.

“I really went for it in the 800 as I wanted to secure a personal best, but I was just outside,” she said.

“6149 points you can’t say fairer than that, I put in my best. I want to congratulate Jessica on her silver medal, she really earned it tonight and made the Russian girl work. I also want to say a massive thank you to all the support staff who have worked their socks off for us. I’m just looking forward to next year now, me and my coach have already identified that we need to step up strength-wise so we know what we’re doing.”

Elsewhere on the track the 400m hurdles had reached the semi final stages and Aviva GB & NI had five athletes competing during the evening, with Dai Greene successful in reaching the final.

Greene made short work of his semi final heat in taking an impressive victory in 48.62 ahead of Felix Sanchez of the Dominican Republic. The Swansea man looked superb and even had time to ease off the power in the closing strides in making certain of his qualification.

“I ran very slow over the first half of my heat so I wanted to go off tonight a lot more brisk and I thought I did that very well,” he recalled.

“When I came off the bend I didn’t see that they were anywhere near me so I took my foot of the gas really. I know in the final I won’t have that luxury so I’m very happy really.

“I’ve got to aim for the top of the podium, that’s not to say I might not be happy with something a bit less but you’ll have to ask me that question at the end!”

In the last semi final heat his teammate Nathan Woodward (Nick Dakin) made a brave attempt at qualifying for the final – doing as he had yesterday promised, and running the race as though it was indeed the final. Going out hard over the first 250-300m, he entered the home straight in the lead only to be overtaken in the closing stages and finish in sixth in 49.57.

He said: “I was running right on schedule for the first five hurdles and I’m a bit disappointed, I felt strong and thought I could’ve started coming back from eight, but I got into nine and didn’t feel as strong.

“I’m disappointed because I think it’s well within my abilities to make the final especially with the times out there, but I didn’t do it on the day and I don’t feel like I took it out as hard as I have done this year, I just didn’t attack the bend quite as hard as I should have done.”

Finally, in his heat Jack Green (Malcolm Arnold) finished strongly down the home straight, and crossed the line in fifth with 49.62, not enough for him to reach Thursday’s final, but a solid showing for the youngster in what was his senior major championship debut. However, the determined Green was not pleased with how he’d performed:

“I’m not happy at all. I’m really disappointed as I shouldn’t have been beaten. I really worked on getting in the race, I felt in it and I came strong but for some reason I just wasn’t there,” he said.

“I’m a little confused and really annoyed as I’m better than that. I know that if I run properly that I could be up there, I expect more of myself and people expect more of me.”

In the women’s semi finals neither of the Aviva GB & NI representatives progressed – although both were philosophical about their performances:

Eilidh Child (Malcolm Arnold), who finished in sixth in 55.89 in hers, the first of three heats, said:

“It was better than yesterday because I got my strides right. I know what it feels like now to go out there that hard now and hopefully with time I will get stronger.

“I’m happy with the time tonight and I did the things I wanted to do right.”

Perri Shakes-Drayton (Chris Zah) ran a solid race and just missed out on progression to the World Championship final by just one hundredth of a second. Shakes-Drayton needed to finish inside 55.06 to reach the final, but her clocking of 55.07 meant she just missed the coveted spot in the final.

She said: “I was in the fastest heat I tried my best. I hit a few hurdles that probably cost me the final but I can’t get upset about it, as it wasn’t Perri’s time this time.

“All I can do is look forward to the relay and move on. And next time a champs comes around I need to make it to the final, unfortunately I just missed out this time.”

One athlete however who did not miss out on a slot in her final was Hannah England (Bud Baldaro) who went in the second of the two women’s 1500m semi finals.

England ran wide of the pack for much of the race and although she appeared to be off the pace with 200m to go, powered down the final 100m to finish in 4:08.31- taking sixth place but most importantly a qualifying slot for Thursday’s final.

It was a great result for England, who was pleased with having secured her final berth, but knew that it had been a tough ride to get there:

“I felt great. I just failed to get in any good positions, I shouldn’t be running like that but at least I didn’t panic but just kept looking for gaps and looking for opportunities,” she said.

“It won’t dent my confidence for the final.  It was just the way the race went today.  I kept thinking I am only 2 or 3 metres off the lead and I am tenth.  I tried not to panic and at least no one was running away at the front even if I was not catching.

“My race plan was to be in a good position at the bell, cover the moves and not expend too much energy before that but unfortunately five other girls also had that plan. So when we came to the bell everybody was in the way.”

Also in final action tonight was discus thrower Brett Morse, who may not have made the midway cut for his final three throws, but his second round 62.69m effort was a solid outing from the talented thrower who can now build on this championship performance.

Morse, who threw a lifetime best of 66.06m at the end of July, may not have achieved that standard in the final but showed the consistency required to make future championship teams it was is fast becoming one of the country’s best quality events.

However the Welshman was frustrated at having missed the cut for the final throws:

“I’m a little disappointed to be honest. I tried my best, I threw flat-out on three throws, but I’m still disappointed because if I’d got it right I could’ve made the final cut and top eight with 63m is so very frustrating.“

Britain’s representative in the women’s 3000m steeplechase final Barbara Parker (Sean Burris) had a tough solo run in a strung out race to finish 14th in 9:56.66. The race – won by Russia’s Yuliya Zaripova in a world leading 9:07.03 – was fast from the gun, but Parker took a lot out of her World Championship experience in preparation for next year:

“I’m disappointed but it was good to be in the final having gone through the experience of being in a heat,” she said.

“Now I have a good experience to work off and hopefully build upon. This year I have focused on the heats so I can make the final so next year I can hopefully be more confident.”

World Championship action featuring Aviva GB & NI team members continues on Wednesday morning with Jo Jackson (Andi Drake) in the 20k race walk – there is no evening session on Wednesday at the World Championship.

Aviva GB & NI medals so far:

Sunday 28 August Mo Farah Men’s 10,000m Silver

Monday 29 August Andy Turner Men’s 110mH  Bronze

Tuesday 30 August Jessica Ennis Heptathlon  Silver