Nicola Sanders has come to snatch a dramatic late individual place for Daegu as she won the women’s 400m in a SB of 51.84 secs at Nivone (Belgium) earlier on to secure that necessary second B standard.
Following a rather forced late start to the season, the former World silver medalist didn’t really get going into the season until the international meeting of Barcelona two weeks ago, where she carved out her first B standard of 51.94 secs for sixth behind winner Christine Ohuruogu to draw into contention in the qualifying battle.
However, her plans at the UK Trials didn’t come off last weekend which meant that she had to go for broke in a last-ditch attempt, with her cause made even more difficult since she was, along with relay hopeful Kelly Sotherton, forced to scrape a race abroad – London Grand Prix organisers didn’t think fit to afford her a lane in the women’s 400m affair, or even lay on a second national heat come to that. But, thankfully, everything came out well in the end and she is going to have the opportunity to re-establish herself on the big stage.
She owes much, however, to Lee McConnell who didn’t rest on her multible B marks to qualify but tore it up to a big SB of 51.01 secs a little earlier on at Crystal Palace, gaining the A standard and a big mental boost herself.
There was even more drama behind Sanders as Nadine Okyere carved out a crucial last-gasp big PB of 52.26 secs, her previous best of 52.66 set in Geneva earlier this season, that could steal her a relay place at the death ahead of Sotherton, who unfortunately had to pull up 100m out with a hamstring injury. Hopefully, it won’t turn a serious one for the former heptathlon Olympic medalist.
US-based Lennie Waite ‘chased a B qualifying standard of 9:49.67 for runner-up over the barriers but rather too late as Eilish McColgan had turned in a new Scottish and UK U23 record of 9:44.80 at the Palace, yet could still serve as a banker for the Olympic season, while James Campbell‘s bid for a second B in the javelin ended in frustration as he got injured in his third effort and had to pull out with a best of 71.95m on the day.
At the International EAP meeting in Amsterdam in neighbouring Holland, Conrad Williams comfortably won the 400m in a SB and meeting record of 45.63 secs from Frenchman Teddy Venel, second in 46.16 secs, that was also inside the B qualifying standard for Daegu to reignite his bid for a place in the British long relay.
Emily Diamond, a 200m finalist at the World U20 Championships in Moncton last summer, was second and third in the 200 and 100m in 11.92 (-0.3m/sec) and 23.94 (-0.9m/sec) respectively, both won by Jamaican Simone Facey, while Merwyn Luckwell never hit his rhythm to wind up below 70m in the men’s javelin.