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Perri Olympic bid hangs in the balance

PUBLISHED: 12:43 17 July 2008 | UPDATED: 13:27 05 October 2010

By JONATHAN CLEGG PERRI Shakes-Drayton faces a nail-biting wait to discover whether she will be selected for the Beijing Games this summer – despite winning the British Olympic trials in Birmingham. Shakes-Drayton stunned reigning champion Tasha Danvers

By JONATHAN CLEGG

PERRI Shakes-Drayton faces a nail-biting wait to discover whether she will be selected for the Beijing Games this summer - despite winning the British Olympic trials in Birmingham.

Shakes-Drayton stunned reigning champion Tasha Danvers by storming to victory in the 400m hurdles at the Aviva national championships on Saturday in a new lifetime best of 56.09 seconds.

The Victoria Park and Tower Hamlets star shaved almost half a second off her previous best time as she picked up round the top bend and cruised past Danvers down the home straight at the Birmingham Alexander Stadium.

Yet the 19-year-old, from Poplar, was overlooked by Britain's athletics bosses when they announced the first wave of selections for Beijing on Monday because her winning time was just outside the Olympic A standard.

Now Shakes-Drayton has been forced to jet off to Switzerland - just 72 hours after winning the national title - in a last-ditch attempt to gain the 'A' qualifying mark.

The teenager was in action in Lucerne last night bidding to post a time of 55.60secs that would secure her place in Beijing.

If she fails to meet that standard she must hope her fantastic form will convince the selectors to hand her a place in the women's 4x400m relay team.

"I'm going to Switzerland for more competition," she said.

"If they decide to take me, that would be a great experience and I'd like to go with the relay team anyway."

Perri on track for top, Page 48


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