Guy Learmonth misses out on World 800m final

Great Britain's Guy Learmonth
Great Britain's Guy Learmonth
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Guy Learmonth failed in his bid to reach the 800m final as he finished fifth in his semi-final at the World AthleticsChampionships in London tonight.

The 25-year-old Lasswade AC runner, who claimed his spot on the British team after clocking the qualifying time at the same stadium in the Anniversary Games after finishing second at the trials, had ran well in his heat to reach this stage.

He attempted a move from the back on the final bend but didn’t have the legs to get into the top four and give himself a chance of reaching the final.

Aberdeen’s Zoey Clark made an impressive start to her debut major individual championships as she confidently qualified for the semi-finals of the women’s 400m.

The 22-year-old British champion was third and claimed an automatic qualifying spot after finishing third in the fifth of six heats.

“It’s a bit difficult to prepare for that – it’s so amazing; such a good atmosphere. I just had to enjoy it rather than let it intimidate me,” said the Scot.

“I knew it was going to be tough but I didn’t want to change my gameplan too much – go out fast for the first bit, stay nice and relaxed and make sure I have enough left in the home straight to give a bit of a kick.

“It makes me feel like I belong, especially because I got an automatic qualifying spot rather than just a fastest loser, so that’s given me a lot of confidence.”

The big Scottish interest tomorrow sees Laura Muir going in the 1,500m to finish the evening’s action at 9.50pm.

Muir faces a tough race in her bid for a first major outdoor medal against Kenya’s Olympic champion Faith Kipyegon, to whom the Scot finished second in Saturday’s semi-final, Holland’s Sifan Hassan, who has run the three fastest times in the world this year, and Ethiopia’s world record holder Genzebe Dibaba, who just edged through as a fastest loser.

There is also the added factor of Caster Semenya, a dominant force over 800m who remains something of an unknown quantity over the longer distance. The South African looked to be running within herself as she qualified third behind Muir.