Ciara Everard bows out of women’s 800m: 'I was as positive as I could coming in'

Ciara Everard bowed out of the Olympic women’s 800 metres in the first-round heats, following an injury-ravaged season, writes Wil Downing in Rio.

The race was run at a fast pace and stretched out quite quickly.

Everard clocked 2:07.91 at the back of the field in eighth place, having missed ten weeks of her summer due to a stress compound fracture. The time was 6.7 seconds outside her lifetime best.

Lynsey Sharp of Britain won the heat in 2:00.83, ahead of Serbia’s Amela Terzic.

Everard said: “I didn’t expect them to pull out like that.

“I knew obviously I had very little preparation. I really expected I would be up there until at least 700.

“I was really as positive as I could coming in, we did everything we could to get as best prepared for this as possible.

“But it’s just been a very difficult road, and that wasn’t a reflection of where I’m at today.

“When they pull away like that, it’s a split-second decision and then the gap has opened.

“I was trying to concentrate on my own race.”

Caster Semenya won her heat easily in 1:59.31, and her presence following a suspension of IAAF rules bythe Court of Arbitration of Sport, allowing Semenya compete - despite the large amount of testosterone her body produces - has gained a lot of attention.

The IAAF has until next summer to make its case defending its regulations, and if the world governing body fails, then the court will abolish them.

For these Olympics, the rules are suspended.

So much so that Everard had to field four questions from foreign journalists about Semenya’s presence.

Everard commented: “It’s a very sensitive topic. As far as I know, she’s not breaking any rules. That’s a matter for CAS to focus on, I just focus on my own race.”

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