Athletics: ‘Blagging it’ works for Chris O’Hare

Chris O'Hare, right, will be in the line up for Sunday's 1500m final. Picture: AP
Chris O'Hare, right, will be in the line up for Sunday's 1500m final. Picture: AP
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HE might be making it up as he goes along, but Chris O’Hare is clearly doing something right after he became the first Brit for six years to make it into a 1500m World Athletics Championships final last night.

The West Linton runner, whose personal best made him the 11th fastest out of a field of 12, was not fancied by many to make it out of Wednesday’s heat in Moscow, let alone out of the semi-final.

However, the 22-year-old has clearly not read the script and he produced a strong finish in the home straight of his semi-final to come home fourth in a time of 3:43.58 minutes.

Reputation clearly means little to O’Hare, as both Leonel Manzano and Nick Willis, silver medallists at the last two Olympics, were elbowed aside in his dash for the line.

The Scot admitted that he can scarcely believe his eyes as he prepares for tomorrow’s final in the Luzhniki Stadium, the site of Seb Coe and Steve Ovett’s famous duel in the 1980 Olympics.

“I kind of pretended that I knew what I was doing – in races like these you have to blag it, because these guys know what they’re doing,” he said.

“I had to put a brave face on and blag it and to be in a final in a stadium like this is just fantastic.

“On paper is only on paper, people are not running around with their PB on their chest. It’s down to who can perform on the day and I knew that I could, so that’s all that really counts.

“I would have taken your hand off for this and to be worrying about recovering for a final is pretty nice.

“Everything since the heat is a bonus, so as my coach said, I went out there and just grabbed it.

“I will go away and think about what I can do in the final during the recovery. I will have my goals about what I can realistically do and then I will shoot for a bit higher than that.”

Mo Farah was once again the star of the show as he became only the second man ever after Kenenisa Bekele to do the distance double at both a World Championships and an Olympics.

After sealing gold last weekend in the 10,000m, the 30-year-old turn his attention yesterday to the 5k and the Brit was home first in 13:26.98 minutes for the victory.

“This was harder work than last year and I’ve put so much into it,” said Farah, who admitted surprise his rivals didn’t do more to make the race quicker.

“I never thought I would achieve something like this. It was so tough, but thankfully I’ve come through it with another gold medal.

“I’ve worked so hard for this and I was just thinking about my kids and how much I’ve been away from them and I wanted this for them.

“I’ve been in and out of their lives for the last five months and I just can’t wait to spend some time with them now.”

Elsewhere, Scot Eilidh Child was also in impressive form less than 24 hours after her 400m hurdles final as she ran the lead-off leg for the British quartet in the 4x400m relay.

The 26-year-old showed remarkable powers of recovery as the team of Child, Shana Cox, Margaret Adeoye and newly-crowned world champion Christine Ohuruogu breezed to the win in their first round to qualify for today’s final.

There was less good news for Laura Muir, however, as she went out in the semi-finals of the 800m, the youngster finishing in seventh in her semi-final in a time of 2:00.83 minutes.

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