Shara Proctor (coach: Rana Reider) broke the seven metre barrier for the first time in her career on her way to winning long jump silver at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing, China.
After edging her way through qualifying, Proctor found her range with two seven metre jumps in consecutive rounds. She jumped 7.07m on her third attempt saw the 26 year old add nine centimetres to her British record, before following up with 7.01m in the following round.
Only a world-leading 7.14m jump from USA’s Tianna Bartoletta in the final round prevented Proctor from winning British Athletics’ fourth gold medal of the championships. However, the British record holder was delighted to finally get amongst the medals at the fifth time of asking.
Proctor said: “I’m numb right now, I don’t know what to feel, I am speechless. But I’m happy most of all. It’s my fifth champs and I finally did it – I got on the podium.
“It’s a silver medal but I still feel like a winner. It’s been a long ride. I was on crutches last year at this time, I had to learn to walk and to learn to run and today I just put it all together and finally executed.”
There was also a superb fifth for Lorraine Ugen (Shawn Jackson), who finished with a best of 6.85m, while Katarina Johnson-Thompson (Mike Holmes) ended in 11th place with 6.63m.
Dina Asher-Smith (John Blackie) made it three personal bests in three rounds as the 19-year-old finished fifth in the 200m final. More importantly, Asher-Smith’s time of 22.07 saw her eclipse the long-standing 31 year old British record held by Kathy Cook.
Asher-Smith, who has broken both the 100m and 200m British records in 2015 commented: “I am absolutely over the moon. I’ve run three PBs, and ended in 22.07 which is a British record so I’m a really, really happy girl. To be in a race where two of them are running 21.6? I was running and I remember thinking that ‘I’m already trying my best, but they’re already gone – so what on earth is the time going to be?!’
“I’m not disappointed – at the end of the day as I said before times are great, but at a championships it doesn’t really matter because you come here for the placings. I’d have loved to have got a medal but being in that calibre of race and seeing Dafne (Schippers) run 21.63 I’m really not disappointed.”
In the women’s 100m hurdles Tiffany Porter (Reider) was edged out of a medal by just two hundredths of a second. The 2013 World bronze medallist put together a strong race before being edged out on a dip finish to finish in fifth place and falling after the line.
A disappointed Porter added: “I’m fine, it was a tough fall (at the end of the race), but I am okay. I’m going to have to go back and look at the race. I think I was in a good position, l but I just didn’t really execute my last couple of hurdles and that’s what happens in terms of athletics. I’m just going to grow from this, you have to brush yourself off and do better next time and I will be back next year stronger.”
Porter’s sister Cindy Ofili (James Henry) was unable to join her sister in the final after finishing sixth in the first semi-final earlier on in the evening.
Charlie Grice (Jon Bigg) showed maturity beyond his years to qualify for the 1500m final with a gutsy performance, which saw him finish fourth in the quicker of the two semi-finals. The last bend saw Grice in danger of missing out on an automatic spot, but the 22 year old fought hard in the closing stages to cross the line in 3:35.58.
“I didn’t want to get stuck on the inside like yesterday, so I made sure after 800m, I moved out a bit. I followed (Taoufik) Makhloufi and I’m glad I stayed out of trouble. I knew they were coming back to me, but I just gritted my teeth and pushed to the line,” said a jubilant Grice.
“I’ve been waiting for this moment all year since I fell at the Europeans. I wanted to seize the opportunity I had today to make the final, and I’m just glad I did.”
Unfortunately despite battling all the way to the end of the first semi-final, Chris O’Hare (Terrence Mahon) was edged out into seventh place in 3:44.36, which wasn’t enough to join his compatriot.
Finally, Goldie Sayers (Mark Roberson) was unable to successfully make it through the javelin qualification finishing with a best throw of 58.28m.
British Athletics medals at the IAAF World Championships, Beijing, China
Mo Farah (10,000m)
Jessica Ennis-Hill (Heptathlon)
Greg Rutherford (Long jump)