IT was a bittersweet evening in the Luzhniki Stadium for Eilidh Child as she finished fifth in the World Championships final but it could have been so much more for the 400m hurdler.
Child crossed the line in 54.86seconds, more than half a second down on her personal best that she set earlier this season and which would have been good enough for bronze.
The 26-year-old looked in good shape going through the rounds in Moscow along with fellow Briton Perri Shakes-Drayton and the duo were much fancied to challenge the podium positions.
But Child, who was running in lane eight in the final, struggled with her stride pattern down the back straight before finishing strongly to claim fifth while Shakes-Drayton was seventh.
And Child admitted that she had let a medal opportunity slip though her fingers as defending champion Lashinda Demus took bronze 0.05 slower than her personal best in 54.27.
“It feels a bit bittersweet just now,” said Child. “If you had told me I would finish fifth in the worlds then I would have taken it but that was not my best race. I didn’t execute it that well and seeing what got medals I think I could have been up there. But it’s the third race in four days and sometimes the legs don’t have it.
“So I’m happy to have come fifth and hopefully I can get on the podium next time. I lost my stride a bit on the back straight and felt I was trying to fight back the whole way. However, it had been the home straight I struggled with in the heats and semi-finals so if I can just combine the two it would be a better race.”
Shakes-Drayton, the reigning European indoor champion over the flat 400m, had qualified for the final as the second fastest. And, while Hungary’s Zuzana Hejnova cruised to the gold medal to cap off a remarkable unbeaten season, Shakes-Drayton faded terribly.
“In the race it felt like my knee was wobbling and doing something it should not have been doing,” said Shakes-Drayton, who went for an MRI scan straight after the race.
“I am gutted obviously, I was doing so well and feeling so good but I was just not in that race.”
There was better news for two other Scots yesterday though as Jamie Bowie was part of the men’s 4x400m relay team that qualified through to today’s final. He ran the third leg as he, Conrad Williams, Michael Bingham and Martyn Rooney finished second to Jamaica in a season’s best time of 3:00.50minutes.
Bowie, somewhat a surprise selection let alone relay starter, was making his world debut in Moscow and admitted afterwards that he had loved every minute of the experience. “It is my first senior international and it is the World Championships as well so I came in not really expecting a run,” he said. “I just really wanted to push myself and make sure I didn’t let the team down, it is a big step up and there was a lot of pressure there.”
Laura Muir made it through the 800m heats along with team-mate Marilyn Okoro, finishing third in a time of 2:00.80.
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