London 2012: Perri safely through to 400m hurdles semi-final

Shakes-Drayton wins her heat ahead of Jamaican rival Walker

Bow belle Perri Shakes-Drayton safely sailed through to the women’s 400m hurdles this evening at the Olympic Stadium after winning her first-round heat.

The 23-year-old ran in heat five of the first round, alongside Jamaican Melaine Walker, who she beat three weeks ago at London’s Grand Prix at Crystal Palace.

Shakes-Drayton got off to a steady start, with Walker leading the early stages of the race.

However, the former Bishop Challoner pupil stuck to her own race, and started to come on strong in the final 200m.

Heading into the home straight, Shakes-Drayton lead by five metres ahead of Walker, and in the end, the Briton eased over the finish line in a time of 54.63 seconds.

Jamaican rival Walker finished in 54.78 and Hanna Yaroshchuk third in 54.81.

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Shakes-Drayton will next be in action tomorrow (Monday) in her semi-final.

“I just wanted to get to the final and knew I couldn’t hold anything back,” said Shakes-Drayton.

“I wanted to stay relaxed and just qualify for the next round.

“I wasn’t looking to put a marker down, but I wanted to win and get a good start, I’m looking forward to the semis tomorrow.

“I loved the crowd, I wasn’t fazed by it. I have been to the stadium before and actually expected it to be louder than what it was.

“I really did appreciate the crowd, though.”

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