Derval O’Rourke’s glory shot at the World Indoors in Istanbul ended in the semi-finals of the women’s 60 metres hurdles – not even a season’s best could progress the former world indoor champion to the final.
As she did in the first round heats, O’Rourke started poorly and had to force her way back into the contest.
World outdoor champion Sally Pearson was also slow out of the blocks, but accelerated to win the semi in 7.93 seconds, ahead of former European indoor champ Eline Berings of Belgium, Canadian Nikita Holder and Nigeria’s Seun Adigun, whose time of 8.07 – a personal best – was six-hundredths faster than O’Rourke.
The Leevale athlete accepted she needed more: “I’m disappointed with it. I haven’t had an ideal indoor season but still thought I could come here and do well. I’ll have to go away and have a big think about it all now.
“I feel like I’m coming close to my PB pace but haven’t done it at all this indoor season.
“I only did two meets coming into the World Indoors and then got a little bit injured. It’s disappointing, but I’ll go away, work harder, and come back for outdoors. All my training indicators are quite good.”
Ben Reynolds will compete in tomorrow’s semi-finals of the men’s 60 metres hurdles, with the North Down athlete putting in what he described as a stuttering performance in progressing as a fastest loser to the last sixteen, taking the second-last of the four fastest loser spots this morning in Istanbul.
Reynolds went into his first-round heat with the second-slowest season’s best and personal best, but still got through a wave of runners in a fast heat, taking fifth spot in 7.82 seconds – American Aries Merritt won in 7.66.
By competing in the fourth and final heat, the 21-year-old didn’t have long to wait to discover he had got through by one-hundredth of a second – but wants to improve things for tomorrow’s semis.
“It’s not a very good time to be honest, but the result is what counts in the end. I’m through, giving me another chance,” Reynolds admitted afterwards.
“I am through, and that’s the important thing, but I’m not happy with the time. I know it was a very bad race for me. It’s just a matter of getting into the semis, and taking it a bit more relaxed and see if I can actually execute a better performance.
“The whole situation was quite daunting. Usually I’m a pretty relaxed guy and I can handle these things. I just need to relax in the semi-final and enjoy it.
“Why do I do it? For enjoyment. I can’t lose sight of that.”
Eleven titles are decided in this evening’s session.