Athletics: Child finds atonement with final slot

Eilidh Child made her first global final with a fine performance in the women's 400m hurdles at the World Championships in Moscow. Picture: PA

Eilidh Child made her first global final with a fine performance in the women's 400m hurdles at the World Championships in Moscow. Picture: PA

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AFTER burying her Olympic demons and making her first global outdoor final at the World Championships in Russia, Eilidh Child insists she is now ready to challenge the elite.

The 26-year-old missed out on the Olympic 400m hurdles final in London 12 months ago after a disappointing showing in her semi-final in front of a vocal home support.

But since then, Child has enjoyed a superb 2013, breaking the Scottish record twice already, and she showed that form in her Moscow semi, clocking 54.32 seconds to take third and a place in the final.

There Child, a huge Hearts fan, will be joined by her fellow Brit and medal favourite Perri Shakes-Drayton, who edged her into silver over the flat 400m earlier this year at the European Indoor Championships.

Shakes-Drayton qualified 
second fastest for the tomorrow’s final in Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium, while Pitreavie runner Child was ranked fifth quickest over the two semi-finals.

After the British pair both crashed out in the semi-finals at London 2012, Child could not hide her relief after making her first-ever individual World Championship final.

“I’m delighted to make my first global final. I’m so happy because I wanted it so much,” she said. “This definitely makes up for London.

“I’m delighted. I was really quite nervous again before the race because I knew that I could do it. I can sleep well now before Thursday knowing that I have done it.

“It was messy again – like the heat – and I was actually 
surprised by how fast it was, so if I can just get it even better again and beat my personal best then I will be delighted.

“I want to come off and have run my best race in the final when it matters.”

Meanwhile, fellow Scot Eilish McColgan put in a brave effort in the 3000m steeplechase final, but was unable to repeat her heroics in the heat – in which she set a new national record – as she came home in tenth in 9:37.33 minutes.

“If somebody said to me a couple of weeks ago that I’d have made the final and been tenth in the world I’d never have believed them,” said 
McColgan.

“But after running the final I feel a little bit disappointed. I felt really good in my heat and I felt strong and I think I went through a good patch and then a bad patch and I didn’t really push on.

“I really can’t complain. I knew I’d be tired considering the lack of running I’ve done and then I’ve just done two steeplechase races in the space of three days which is more than I could have asked for.”

Meanwhile, Edinburgh middle-distance runner Chris O’Hare was preparing to get his maiden World Championships assault under way with the heats of the 1500m.

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