Capital hope Emily Dudgeon saw her brave bid for glory in the World Junior Championship end in disappointment when she finished sixth in the 800 metres final in the Olympic Stadium in Barcelona last night.
Up until the final bend, the 19-year-old Edinburgh AC runner still looked in with a chance of a medal as she was well positioned in the leading group. But that hope was soon dispelled when they entered the straight and she lost several places as the effects of a fast opening lap of 58 seconds and three demanding races in three days took effect and she appeared to be treading in treacle.
Up front, her somewhat ungainly 17-year-old British teammate Jessica Judd (Chelmsford), who had seemed unnecessarily aggressive in pushing past her on the first lap, was disputing the gold medal all the way to the line with the American favourite Ajee Wilson only losing out on a dip finish.
It was a remarkable effort from the young English girl, who was third in the Olympic Trials and who will have another chance at these championships in two years time.
Wilson was timed at 2:00.91 and Judd just 0.05 behind with the stylish Turkish runner El Bahraoui doing a “Lynsey Sharp”, coming from a long way back to snatch the bronze in 2:03.09, a time well within Dudgeon’s compass.
Dudgeon, whose time was a hardly-disgraceful 2:04.68, was philosophical in defeat. “I suppose the first lap was a bit too fast but it’s all good experience,” she said.
Silver medallist Judd said: “I am really emotional, I didn’t expect to get a silver,” Judd said. “I gave it absolutely all I had, and with 100 metres to go I thought I was going to win the gold. I just didn’t quite have the reaction, but I am still so happy.
“To win a medal like I did takes a lot of guts. I got boxed quite badly the first time on the home straight, I got spiked, but I stepped in and kicked in the last 200m. Unfortunately, I couldn’t keep it going until the end.”
Another promising female Scottish distance runner, Dundee’s Laura Muir, who has been named for the 800 metres in next week’s under-20 match in Cardiff, was only 16th in the 3000m in 9:40.81, compared to her best of 9:12.80, but fellow Brit Emilia Gorecka, a clubmate of Scotland’s Steph Twell at Aldershot, certainly did not disappoint in taking the bronze in 9:09.43.
Anglo-Scot Nick Percy was a respectable eighth in a high standard discus final with a third-round throw of 57.79m compared with the winner, Fedrick Dacres of Jamaica, who reached 62.80m.
The fourth Scot in the British team, Tom Holligan (EAC), may not get a run later tonight in the relay heats as he is, on paper, the slowest member of the 4x100m squad.
Britan’s David Bolarinwa qualified second fastest for the final of the 200m as he looks to follow in the footsteps of Adam Gemili, who was presented with his 100m gold medal by former world record holder and Olympic champion Maurice Greene.
Bolarinwa won his semi-final in 20.85sec, but Josh Street went out.
Bolarinwa said: “I think I can win. I definitely can get a medal, and so long as I get one I will be happy about my performance.” In the women’s event, Desiree Henry and Dina Asher-Smith both made it through to the final, the former the joint second fastest qualifier in 23.28.
Katarina Johnson-Thompson, who will compete in the heptathlon at London 2012 but going in the long jump and 100m hurdles in Barcelona, qualified for the long jump final along with Jazmin Sawyers.
James Gladman was fourth in the 110m hurdles, Nicholas Percy eighth in the discus and Pippa Woolven ninth in the 3000m steeplechase, while Abbi Carter qualified for the hammer final.
But there was disappointment for Katie Byres as she failed to record a height in pole vault qualifying.