SHAKES BATTLES & STROLLS
Perri storms through in super semi
PERRI SHAKES-DRAYTON fired out a statement of intent by powering into the 400 metres hurdles final in Moscow last night.
The Londoner produced a strong finish down the home straight to win her semi-final in 53.92 secs, running down fading defending champion Lashinda Demus over the last couple of barriers.
Scotland’s Eilidh Child ensured there would be two Brits in the medal race as she finished third in the first heat, flying through the first 250m before coming home in third place in 54.32secs.
Meghan Beesley ran a personal best of 54.97secs, but sixth place was not enough for her to progress.
Shakes-Drayton is set for a titanic battle with Czech gold medal favourite Zuzanna Hejnova in Thursday’s final, with the world No.1 the fastest qualifier in 53.52secs.
That race will be a first global outdoor final for Shakes-Drayton after she missed out at London 2012 – and she admitted it was a relief.
She said: “It’s so draining, even mentally. But it’s done and now it’s just the last bit.
“London 2012 came to my head. I thought, ‘I’ve been here before, but why are you thinking like this Perri? Put that behind you, that was in the past’.
“Why am I thinking about putting doubts in my head? That was gone once I got into my blocks.” Child said: “I was a quite nervous tonight. I wanted it a lot and I knew I could do it. To come away and know I’ve made that final, I can sleep well tonight.”
But Dai Greene, the defending champion in the men’s 400m hurdles whose build-up has been plagued by injury, bowed out in the semi-finals.
The Welshman was ill over the weekend, to add to the calf tear that hampered his training over the past weeks.
Katarina JohnsonThompson was outside the medals in fifth place in the women’s heptathlon, despite storming to second in the final event, the 800m.
GOT ’EM LICKED: Shakes-Drayton was impressive in her semi, but Greene