London 2017: Shakes-Drayton, Clark help 4x400m relay women into final
- Credit: PA Wire/PA Images
Perri Shakes-Drayton and Zoey Clark helped Great Britain’s women book a place in the 4x400m relay final at the World Championshisp at London Stadium.
Clark led the quartet off, handing the baton to Laviai Nielsen, before Shakes-Drayton and Emily Diamond brought them home in a season’s best time of three minutes 24.74 seconds behind the Americans.
Former 400m hurdler Shakes-Drayton, who has battled back from serious injury to compete on the big stage once more, said: ”I love it, I enjoyed every minute of it, even though it went really fast.
“The crowd made me think there was someone on my shoulder so obviously I’m going to give that extra push. I’ve missed being on a world class stage and it felt really good. Roll on the final.
Thames Valley Harriers Clark, who set a personal best in the individual 400m, added: “It was really exciting, it was amazing. The crowd was crazy and I used it to push me forward and I think everyone did.
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“I quite like doing it (first leg), I’ve not done it overly often but I was quite confident coming in to it. We knew the Americans were going to be out strong so it was about sticking as close to them as possible and I think it went well.”
Diamond said: “It was really good fun, I think we were all a little bit nervous coming in to it – the first round is about getting the job done and qualifying for the final, but I think we all ran really well.
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“The crowd just backed us the whole way and it was like a Mexican wave of cheer going all the way round.
“It was phenomenal running there this morning and hopefully we can come back tomorrow and get the job done. We still have two girls in the team who haven’t run today so we have great strength and depth.
“I think whatever team runs tomorrow they will have a great shout of bringing back one of the medals. It should be good fun, I can’t wait.”
Nielsen added: “I was raring to go and I was really emotional before I ran, so as soon as I saw Zoe coming in I was like ‘I’ve got to set these girls up well.’
“I knew the USA would be in front of us and I just wanted to stay as close as I could to her. I’m just so happy I can’t stop smiling, it was so much fun.”