Ricardo Chambers advance from 400m to semi-finals
Posted by Dresonic on August 19, 2008
Only Ricardo Chambers managed to advance from the preliminary round into today’s semi-final. Chambers, Jamaica’s most consistent quarter-miler all season, posted a conservative 45.22 seconds for third in heat four and progressed automatically to the round of 16.
It was a different story for Sanjay Ayre, who clocked 45.66 seconds and national champion Michael Blackwood (45.56), who finished fifth and fourth respectively in heats two and four.
“My body was still sleeping, I just didn’t react fast enough and could rally back in the 100m because fatigue settled into my legs,” said Blackwood, a semi-finalist at last year’s world championships in Osaka, Japan.
If Jamaicans are disappointed by Blackwood’s and Ayre’s failure to pass the first round in the 400m, then the collective 1.3 billion Chinese people are heartbroken following an Achilles Tendon injury to their main medal hope and poster boy Liu Ziang. Ziang, the defending 110m hurdles champion from Athens 2004, grimaced in pain as he pushed out of the starting blocks before walking off the track. His actions sent most of the 91,000 Chinese spectators on hand at the Bird’s Nest Stadium into tears. Ziang’s personal coach, Sun Hai Peng and China’s national coach Feng Shu Yang, later disclosed that the sprint hurdler aggravated a long-standing Achilles Tendon injury during training on Saturday.
“Given the seriousness of the injury at the base of his heel, Ziang will skip the rest of the European circuit,” coach Peng said. He noted that the hamstring injury, which sidelined him earlier this year, was fully healed.
Ziang was joined on the sideline by American Terrence Trammell, the two-time Olympic silver medallist from Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004. Pre-meet favourite, Cuban Dayron Robles, who shattered Ziang’s world record earlier this season, is overwhelmingly favoured to win the 110 metres obstacle race.
Jamaican champion Richard Phillips and Maurice Wignall, the fourth-placed finisher from Athens, both progressed to the semi-finals after conservative runs. Phillips returned 13.60 seconds for fourth in heat one behind Robles 13.39, while Wignall clocked a season best 13.61 for fourth in heat four.
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