Though he lacked the extra gears to advance, Gregan said he was still upbeat.
“This was a bonus after making it through the heat,” he said. “I just didn’t have the extra gear I usually have. I haven’t been able to do the hard lactic work I needed to do. I couldn’t do a massive amount.
“Hopefully I’ll go sub 45 (seconds). I feel I’m capable of that with a good block of training. If you do that, you’re in with a shot. It’s difficult to get into good races, and that’s something I need to do more of.
“It was great racing these guys. I’m trying to be positive and looking forward to getting back training.”
The day, however, belonged to Great Britain’s Christine Ohuruogu who clinched a dramatic dip finish victory in the 400 meters (49.41) ahead of Botswana’s Amantle Montsho in the race of the World Track and Field Championships to date at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.
Montsho has been the dominant 400m runner on the European circuit this year and with three meters remaining she was on course to retain her world title from Daegu two years ago. Ohuruogu, closing with her customary quick finish, didn’t give up the chase though, and edged her out on the line by four thousandths of a second – the closest athletics can get to a sudden death victory.
“I was just hoping I got it,” said an emotional Ohuruogu after the race. Both were credited with the same time of 49.41 but the British athlete got the gold on the thousandths rule – the time was also a new British record.
“I wanted to cement by 400m reign,” said the 2008 Olympic champion who also won the world title in Osaka in 2007. “That personal best was well overdue.” Antonina Krivoshapka won the bronze for the host country in 49.78.
The unheralded Kiwi Valerie Adams was “over the moon” as she won her fourth consecutive world title in the shot putt, pushing the steel sphere out to 20.88 meters. It was her 39th consecutive competitive win and places her in the annals of the sport.
“I’m pretty stoked with today,” said Adams who stands at 6ft 4 inches and is one of a family of 18 children. One of her brothers plays NBA basketball for the Oklahoma City Thunder.
While Adams was winning her fourth successive global crown, USA’s David Oliver was hurdling his way expertly to first in the men’s 110m hurdles in 13.00 seconds – the fastest time in the world this year. His compatriot Ryan Wilson took silver in 13.13 while Russia’s Sergey Shubenkov denied an American clean sweep with bronze in 13.24 to the delight of the home crowd.
“It’s good to finally get the gold,” said Oliver, who had been a multiple minor medallist up until this point.
The men’s pole vault final provided an intriguing competition with French brothers Valentin and Renaud Lavillenie urging each other on to success. Ultimately it was to prove disappointing for both – Valentin crashed out in tears unable to clear the first height of 5.50m while Renaud, the Olympic champion, had to settle for silver with 5.89m on countback.
Germany’s Raphael Holzdeppe also cleared 5.89m but won having had less failures at previous heights. Björn Otto added a bronze to the Germans medal haul with 5.82m.
Day three was all about the women though and the women’s 100m final saw Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce look to emulate her countryman Usain Bolt the previous night – both in style and substance. With a fluorescent pink ponytail, the Jamaican’s sprinting was even more eye-catching with a dominant win in 10.71 seconds ahead of the Ivory Coast’s Murielle Ahoure (10.93) and the USA’s Carmelita Jeter (10.94).
American sprinting legend Michael Johnson described her performance as “an exhibition.” Day three was an exhibition throughout for the women of track and field.