SHAKES BAT­TLES & STROLLS

Perri storms through in su­per semi

Midweek Sport - - SPORT - By BEN LLOYD

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

went out

NER­VOUS: Child

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