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Rio 2016: Ohuruogu eases into 400m semi-finals

PUBLISHED: 16:42 13 August 2016 | UPDATED: 17:34 13 August 2016

Great Britain's Christine Ohuruogu during the women's 400m heats (pic: Martin Rickett/PA)

Great Britain's Christine Ohuruogu during the women's 400m heats (pic: Martin Rickett/PA)

PA/Press Association Images

Beagles clubmate Ellington misses out in 100m

Newham & Essex Beagles Christine Ohuruogu eased into the semi-finals of the 400m at the Rio Olympics with a strong run in the heats.

The 32-year-old Ohuruogu, who won gold at the 2008 Games in Beijing and silver at London 2012, was out in lane eight, but produced a good opening 200 metres to get herself into contention.

And she used all of her experience behind race favourite Natasha Hastings of the United States to ensure she came home in the second automatic qualifying place in a time of 51.40secs.

Ohuruogu’s inclusion in the Team GB squad had been the source of some debate, as she had not competed at the British trials due to illness.

Selectors awarded her a place, though, on the basis of her previous achievements, experience and medal-winning potential and she will return to the track for the semi-finals on Sunday.
“I wanted a comfortable run, to use as little energy as possible to come back for tomorrow,” said Ohuruogu.

“Nothing has been ideal, but I just have to roll with it and make it the best you can.”

Beagles’ James Ellington, meanwhile, finished fifth in his heat of the 100m, which was won by Jamaican star Yohan Blake in 10.11.

Ellington, having finished second at the British trials in Birmingham to earn his spot, was somewhat slow out of the blocks, but picked up through the middle part of the race and crossed the line in 10.29.

It was not enough, though, to take him through to the semi-finals as one of the fastest losers and Ellington will now turn his focus to the 4x100m relay next week.

He said: “I’m in really good shape, I just messed the start of the race up. I literally nearly fell flat on my face. T”he start’s been the weak part of my race all year, it’s been 50/50 and sometimes I get it right and sometimes I don’t.

“Today when I really wanted to get it right, I got it wrong. So it is something I am going to have to work on consistently for next year, because I can’t afford to keep on falling out of the blocks like that.

“The relay is now the focus, I’ve got to come back and execute because we’ve got big hopes.”

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