Perri kicks into gear ahead of Beijing trials

PUBLISHED: 17:20 03 July 2008 | UPDATED: 13:25 05 October 2010

PERRI Shakes-Drayton continued her quest to qualify for the summer s Beijing Olympics in Italy last week by smashing her season s best and posting the second fastest time by a British athlete this year. The Victoria Park and Tower Hamlets star travelled

PERRI Shakes-Drayton continued her quest to qualify for the summer's Beijing Olympics in Italy last week by smashing her season's best and posting the second fastest time by a British athlete this year.

The Victoria Park and Tower Hamlets star travelled to Genoa in search of top competition ahead of the Great Britain Olympic trials in Birmingham on July 12-13.

And she responded by cruising to victory in the 400m hurdles in 57.01secs - wiping more than half a second off her best time of the season.

The result is the second fastest time by a British runner this year - behind veteran Tasha Danvers Smith's 55.91secs.

Shakes-Drayton, from Poplar, had previously run 57.69secs at the South of England Championships at Crystal Palace last month - but she easily eclipsed that time against a world-class field at the Crocera Stadium.

The 19-year-old still has some way to go before matching last year's personal best of 56.46secs - but her coach Chris Zah believes she is running into peak form at just the right time.

"It was quite a good standard out there - one of the girls had run 57 dead and [fellow Brit] Sian Scott has run in the 56-second range before - and all she could do was win," said Zah.

"She looks on course to beat her personal best in Birmingham next week and it's just a matter of the pair of us judging it right so that she hits her peak in that race."

Zah believes that his star pupil will go faster at the Alexander Stadium because she has focused on endurance training in recent months - setting a new personal best in the 800m.

Now the pair will focus on upping her speed in a bid to win the Olympic trials outright and guarantee a place in the squad for Beijing.

He said: "I've held her back from doing speed work until now but next week she'll be running faster than ever."

Shakes-Drayton will be joined in Birmingham by Victoria Park and Tower Hamlets team-mates Rikki Fifton (left)

and Leevan Yearwood, who look set to compete for a spot in the 4x100m relay team.

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the East London Advertiser. Click the link in the orange box below for details.

Latest East London Sports News

Yesterday, 16:27

Jonjo Shelvey denied West Ham a crucial victory in their fight for Premier League survival as Newcastle twice came from behind to snatch a point.

Yesterday, 10:37

David Moyes admits he cannot begin planning for next season until West Ham have secured their Premier League survival.

Saturday, July 4, 2020

England have named a 13-man squad for their long-awaited return to Test cricket against the West Indies next week, preferring Joe Denly to the uncapped Dan Lawrence and confirming Dom Bess as number one spinner.

Saturday, July 4, 2020

London Lions are looking forward to playing in basketball’s Champions League next season.

Friday, July 3, 2020

Recreational cricket is set to resume next weekend after Prime Minister Boris Johnson appeared to back-track on his earlier claim that issues surrounding communal teas and dressing rooms made the sport unsafe.

Friday, July 3, 2020

British Olympic and Paralympic sports governing bodies have been given assurances over their short and longer-term financial future.

Friday, July 3, 2020

England’s final preparations for the long-awaited return of Test cricket were boosted on and off the field on Friday, with Sam Curran testing negative for Covid-19 and a handful of key batsmen spending important time at the crease.

Friday, July 3, 2020

Premiership Rugby clubs can return to contact training on Monday in “significant milestone” towards the league’s planned resumption on August 15.


The NHS Test and Trace service brings together testing, contact tracing and outbreak management into an end-to-end service to stop the spread of the virus and help us move out of lockdown.

The UK Government has launched a campaign to shine a light on businesses and employees across the country who have responded to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in remarkable ways and are now going back to business.

Veterans are providing vital skills across a range of projects to help the country tackle the current coronavirus outbreak. From helping to build Nightingale Hospitals to delivering essential supplies to those who are shielding, they have helped thousands of people across the country. We take a look at how one such veteran is helping out.

Most read sport

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Docklands and East London Advertiser
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Most Read

Latest from the East London Advertiser