- Sochi 2014: Lara Gut hopes to avenge downhill disappointment in super-G
- GB Cycling chief plays down James-Pendleton comparisons
- London 2012: Final Olympic Park venue completed
- Sochi 2014: Ski jumping legend Janne Ahonen takes aim at Finnish fans
- Sochi 2014: ‘Mystery man’ Dale Begg-Smith has everyone guessing
- Sochi 2014: Steven Gerrard gift inspires Reds fan Jansrud to Olympic gold
Athletics: Shakes-Drayton fastest as Brits turn out at European indoors
Perri Shakes-Drayton says she achieved everything she'd hoped for after qualifying for the 400m semi-finals at the European Indoors
Perri Shakes-Drayton admitted she achieved everything she had hoped for after qualifying for the 400m semi-finals at the European Indoor Championships in Gothenburg as the first fastest.
Drawn in the first of four heats, the 24-year-old looked comfortable as she hit the front before winning by over a second ahead of Sweden’s Moa Hjelmer with a time of 51.70seconds.
That saw Shakes-Drayton progress to the semi-finals as the quickest qualifier and she will be joined in the next round by fellow Brits Eilidh Child and Shana Cox.
Child too won her heat in 52.05 to place second fastest overall behind Shakes-Drayton while Cox took one of the fastest loser spots after finishing third in her heat in 52.99.
And, now with a favourable lane draw for Saturday’s semi-finals in Gothenburg, Shakes-Drayton insisted she got everything she wanted out of her opening run.
“Funnily enough my coach was talking to me through a window because he never had a pass to get through [to the arena] but there was a lot of good hand sign language,” said Shakes-Drayton.
“I always want to run well and I wanted to get a good lane for the semi-final. I didn’t expect to go out that fast but I have got to look after myself.
“It is always nerve racking in the heats but I knew I was capable of getting through and I won the race. I didn’t want to come second.”
Britain’s trio in the men’s 400m all came through the heats unscathed too with Nigel Levine leading the way in third before Michael Bingham and Richard Strachan in fourth and fifth respectively.
Levine clocked 46.68 to finish second in the fourth and final heat behind European outdoor champion Pavel Maslak while Bingham was second too behind Pavel Trenikhin.
Strachan won heat three but was four hundredths of a second slower than Bingham in 46.96 with Levine under no illusions as to how tough it will be for him to eventually challenge for a medal.
“It was alright. I tried to win my heat but Pavel [Maslak] is quite a strong guy so I have got to big him up,” said Levine. “He is the European champion outdoors so it isn’t going to be easy.
“You have got to work for it. If you can’t run well in the first round you are in trouble. I will go back and talk to my coach and move on to the semi-finals.”
Meanwhile Shara Proctor was the only other Brit in action in Gothenburg and she also made sure that she would compete again after finishing joint second in long jump qualification.
No one in the 19-strong field managed to hit the automatic qualifying distance however one jump of 6.61m first time on the runway was enough for Proctor to advance to the final.
Proctor toyed with the idea of jumping again in order to hit the automatic qualifying distance of 6.65m however she resisted and admitted not doing so was the wiser option.
“I just had to be smart about it. I kept looking at the results. Did I want to jump the next two rounds or be smart? And I was smart,” said Proctor.
“I want to be healthy as the final will be a big day. I was a little rough, it was ten o’clock in the morning, and nine o’clock back in the UK. I was a little bit sleepy, a little bit groggy.”◀ The Sport Review homepageNext story ►
- NBA Global Games tickets on sale Friday
- Ainslie announces engagement to Thompson
- Farah wins Great North Run and sets new personal best
- Johnson-Thompson vows to make up for lost time
- Devine hopes luck is about to change
Read more on...
NBA Global Games 2015 tickets: Milwaukee Bucks v New York Knicks4 weeks ago Olympics
Photo: Sir Ben Ainslie announces engagement to Georgie Thompson2 months ago Olympics
Mo Farah wins Great North Run in new personal best time3 months ago Olympics
Katarina Johnson-Thompson vows to make up for lost time3 months ago Olympics
Paralympic runner David Devine hopes luck is about to change3 months ago Olympics
Paralympic discus thrower Dan Greaves eyes Doha triumph after great 20143 months ago Olympics
Kirani James hails home fans after 400m win at Sainsbury’s Grand Prix3 months ago Olympics
Mo Farah breaks British record over two miles at Sainsbury’s Grand Prix3 months ago Olympics
Stunning seven medals for Britain on night two at Europeans3 months ago Olympics
Mo Farah makes history as GB end record-breaking Euros on high3 months ago Olympics
Greg Rutherford prepared to jump big at European Championships3 months ago Olympics
Lizzie Armitstead third at RideLondon Women’s Grand Prix4 months ago Olympics
Commonwealth Games 2014: Tom Daley storms to gold4 months ago Olympics
Commonwealth Games 2014: Purvis exceeded own expectations with gold4 months ago Olympics
Commonwealth Games 2014: Tom Daley thrilled with 10m synchro silver4 months ago Olympics
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dowsett uses anger to power to gold4 months ago Olympics
Commonwealth Games 2014: Williams targets Jamaica after 200m silver4 months ago Olympics
Commonwealth Games 2014: Max Whitlock leads home nation clean sweep4 months ago Olympics
Commonwealth Games 2014: Greg Rutherford thrilled with gold4 months ago Olympics
Commonwealth Games 2014: Proud follows Hasall’s golden lead4 months ago Olympics