O'Rourke qualifies for semi-finals
Olympics:Ireland’s Derval O’Rourke qualified for the semi-finals of the Women’s 100 metres hurdles at the Olympic stadium in London this morning. The 31 year old Cork woman finished fourth in Heat Four but her time of 12.91 was the fastest of those who did not automatically qualify by finishing in the top three paces in each heat.
Her capacity to produce on the big occasion was once again in evidence as her time was the fastest she has run this season. O’Rourke got out of the blocks quickly and was keeping pace European champion, Turkey’s Nevin Yanit and the reigning Olympic champion Dawn Harper before fading a little over the last 30 metres to be run out of automatic qualification.
Her time of 12.91 was the 12th fastest of those who have qualified for the semi-finals headed by the Australian phenomenon Sally Pearson. There was heartbreak though for the second quickest women in the world over hurdles this year Jamaica’s Brigitte Foster Hilton who clipped a hurdle and finished last in her heat, won by American Lolo Jones. The semi-finals takes place tomorrow evening (7.15) with the final at 9.0pm that night.
O’Rourke admitted: “I am pleased. The start was good (but) the middle was a tiny bit ropey. I lost concentration perhaps and the end, I still fought but I know there’s a lot more there so it’s all good.
“I looked at my heat and it’s top three to go through and I knew there was about five of us that could be top three so I was just thinking ‘get out as fast as you can and then keep going’ but I lost maybe a tiny bit of concentration. Hopefully that will not happen again.”
When it was suggested that she might have been distracted by being in front, O’Rourke admitted: “No, I didn’t even realise. It’s just that’s the general thing with me you know – I find it very hard to get 10 excellent hurdles and it takes me a long time during the season. That was my best run of the season by a metre so I’m getting there but I know there’s a lot more in the bag so I guess that’s a good thing.”
She added: “I wouldn’t say difficult (responding to the suggestion that she has had a difficult season). I would say challenging but challenging is fine with me. People have to remember that I’m pretty tough so whatever’s thrown at me I will be absolutely fine and I will fight back: so for me, I’m just like ‘Bring it on.’
“I’m pleased (12.91). I’m a little disappointed that the Russian was 12.89 and she just dipped me from the right but I really don’t believe that’ll happen again if I’m through.