Athletics Weekly - - Action -

PERRI SHAKES-DRAY­TON has had more than her fair share of bat­tles over the past few years but in New­castleGateshead the for­mer hur­dler en­gaged in a much more wel­come fight.

It was one that ended in a photo fin­ish as just 0.01 sep­a­rated the 28-year-old from her fel­low Bri­ton Anyika On­uora in the rarely run 500m.

At the end of what has proven to be a su­perb come­back sea­son, ShakesDray­ton clocked 66.69 to On­uora’s 66.70, with Dutch sprinter Lisanne de Witte third in 67.19.

It was dur­ing the 2013 world 400m hur­dles fi­nal that Shakes-Dray­ton sus­tained an in­jury which would change the course of her ca­reer. A pos­te­rior cru­ci­ate lig­a­ment tear and car­ti­lage da­m­age to her knee re­quired sig­nif­i­cant re­hab and she re­turned in 2016 only to be forced to end her sea­son in the same month in which it started.

But this sum­mer, again fo­cused on the 400m flat, Shakes-Dray­ton formed part of GB’s world sil­ver medal­win­ning 4x400m squad at the IAAF World Cham­pi­onships in Lon­don and says she is now in a good place.

“I’ve never done this event be­fore and I’ve been out for so many years so I’m glad I got the op­por­tu­nity to run to­day and I got the win,” she said.

“It means a lot to me. I don’t think I was a favourite but the strength I have came through.”

On­uora has also over­come her own se­ri­ous chal­lenges to re­turn to top-level ath­let­ics and ear­lier this year she shared her story from be­ing hos­pi­talised with life-threat­en­ing malaria to win­ning Olympic 4x400m bronze 10 months later.

“So close to the win to­day but I’ll take a PB over 500m!” she later wrote on Twit­ter. “Same again next year @shakesdray­ton?”

While the fin­ish saw a fight be­tween 400m spe­cial­ists, it was 800m run­ner Lynsey Sharp who had pushed the pace in the early stages. The race started on the road on the Gateshead Quay­side, but as ath­letes reached the popup track with 150m to go, Shakes-Dray­ton, On­uora and De Witte be­gan to move past.

On­uora un­leashed a pow­er­ful surge but tir­ing to­wards the end she was caught and had to set­tle for sec­ond.

Last year’s win­ner Sharp fin­ished fourth in 67.48.

Perri ShakesDray­ton: promis­ing come­back from in­jury con­tin­ues

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.