O'Rourke, Britton and Hession bow out
Olympics: Ireland’s Derval O’Rourke tonight equalled the time the she set in her 100m hurdles heat on Monday, but it wasn’t good enough to progress from the semi-finals as a fastest runner-up.
The Corkwoman was drawn in lane two and was out of the blocks very quickly, along with eventual winner Sally Pearson (12.39 seconds), but was soon reeled in by Jessica Zelinka of Canada (12.66), Lolo Jones of America (12.71) and Britain’s Tiffany Porter (12.79).
O’Rourke was sure she had a better run in her after the heats and was unhappy not to improve on 12.91, which was 15th fastest of the 22 runners in the end.
"I’m a little bit disappointed," O'Rourke told RTÉ afterwards. "I feel like I was good enough to be in the final, but it wasn’t meant to be and you just have to take it on the chin and move on I think.
"I always feel there’s more in the tank because if I didn’t there’d be no point in coming out and racing and that’s what it is when you’re an athlete – you live in a world where you always think there’s more. That’s one of my key strengths, thinking there’s more because generally there’s only a few people who ever think there’s more in me and I’m one of them, so that’s life. It’s the Olympic semi-final. I think I was good enough to be a finalist and I’ll just have to live with that now."
O'Rourke suggested it wasn't the end for her and revealed she had at least one other target ahead of her.
"I’d like to win a European indoors. That’s one thing I haven’t done. That’s in a few months. I guess I’ll go away and have a think about that. This is still very fresh, so I’m not really going to look too far beyond this for another couple of hours anyway."
Pearson, Olympic silver medallist from Beijing, was quickest of the qualifiers after her season’s best, ahead of America’s Dawn Harper (12.46) from the first heat. Austria’s Beate Schrott was second to Harper, edging out Jamaican Shermaine Williams.
America's Kellie Wells and Turkey's Nevin Yanit were the automatic qualifiers from the third heat, with third place Phylicia George (Canada) joining Jones in the final as fastest qualifiers.
Fionnuala Brittonfailed to qualify for the Women’s 5000 metres final, despite running a personal best time of 15.12.97. The Irish athlete finished 10th in the first of two heats, with the first five in each semi-final race plus the five fastest losers qualifying for the final.
Britton had to hope that the sixth place finisher didn’t beat her time in Heat 2 but unfortunately for the European Cross Country champion, four athletes managed to go quicker. It was a great, if unrewarding effort, from the Irish athlete although she took little consolation in that fact.
“These races are all about getting to finals not times,” she said, when asked whether she would take any satisfaction from the personal best. “I knew I couldn’t dominate the heat. You’re not going to have a chance if you don’t stay (with the lead group). I don’t think I did anything majorly wrong in the race.”