Eilidh Child claimed she blew a shot at a world championship medal after finishing sixth in the 400m hurdles final in Beijing.
The 28-year-old Scot was in contention for the podium half-way through the race but her challenge faded away in the home straight as Czech rival Zuzana Hejnova skipped clear to retain her title in a world lead of 53.50 seconds with the USA’s Shamier Little and Cassandra Tate taking silver and bronze.
“I feel like I should be amongst the medals or at least closer and I just feel like I’m throwing these opportunities away,” Child said. “This has been quite a difficult year. It’s been a transition year with a new stride pattern and I wanted to have nailed it before I got here. But I hadn’t really done that and I’d been deciding which way to go. I just don’t think I’m quite decisive enough racing, so hopefully next year I’ll be a bit quicker and make that stride pattern a bit more consistent.
Edinburgh’s Lynsey Sharp eased impressively into today’s 800 metres semis by running her third-quickest time ever in her heat, backing up her claim that she’s got her preparations absolutely right.
The 2012 European champion was second behind Marina Arzamasova of Belarus in 1:58.98, to join GB&NI team-mates Jenny Meadows and Shelayna Oskan-Clarke in advancing. And the Scot is ready for anything in her quest for a spot in Saturday’s final.
“I knew being the first heat, it would be fast and I just had to cover any moves anyone made,” she said. “I knew there were a couple of girls who would take it out hard, so I just covered everything, and felt good.
“I know I am in the best shape of my life so I have to get the job done first to make the final, and then once I’m in the final anything can happen.”
Meanwhile, Mo Farah recovered from a last-lap trip to keep his tilt at another long-distance double alive on a day which saw Dina Asher-Smith and Zharnel Hughes underline their medal potential.
Three days on from taking the 10,000 metres crown, the 32-year-old began his bid to retain the world 5000m title.
Like Sunday, though, there was a heart-in-mouth moment as Farah almost hit the deck after a tangle in legs around the final bend, only to regain his balance and finish in 13 minutes 19.44 seconds, 0.06secs.
It was enough to see the Briton qualify behind Ethiopia’s Yomif Kejelcha, keeping his hopes alive of a record-breaking third successive long-distance double at major global championships.
“I nearly went down – again,” Farah said. “I hope it doesn’t become third time bad luck.
“Somebody caught my leg. I’ve got a long stride, it’s the way I run.
“I don’t blame anyone, but even in training sometimes my training partners catch my leg which is why I sometimes have to be on the front or the back, or stay on the outside.
“I felt all right, I felt good. I have to recover now and get ready.”
Teenager Asher-Smith laid down the gauntlet, setting a new 200m personal best in the heats.
A month after becoming the first British woman to dip under 11 seconds over half that distance, the 19-year-old crossed the line in 22.22 secs despite clearly easing up towards the end.
“I’m really happy, I didn’t expect to go out there and run a PB in the heat,” student Asher-Smith said.
“I was just trying to qualify so ran a good bend, saw where I was and tried to relax off and ease my way to the line.
“I still won the heat so I get a good lane for the semi-final. I’m quite happy to have done that, but for that to come with a PB I’m absolutely over the moon.”
Usain Bolt and the USA’s Justin Gatlin will repeat their battle for men’s 100m gold – secured by the Jamaican last Sunday – in the final of the 200m today after both athletes won their semi-finals.