Gregan vows to come back stronger
Brian Gregan trips in the 400 metres semi-finals at the Scandinavium Arena on Saturday. photograph: inpho
One day Brian Gregan will get everything right and win a major championship medal over 400 metres, but Gothenburg will be recalled for all the wrong reasons. What exactly went wrong here at the bell lap of his semi-final, when he was tripped from behind by the Ukrainian runner Volodymyr Burakov, is still open to some debate, and whether Gregan doesn’t bear some of the blame for being sent crashing to the track, later requiring nine stitches on the left side of his lower leg where Burakov made contact.
“He didn’t just trip me, he stood on me,” claimed Gregan. “I didn’t do anything wrong, it wasn’t may fault. Then these things happen indoors. But I’d be the first to hold my hand up and say he just clipped me but he stood on my f****** leg. It’s different, it’s not being clipped. It’s aggressive. I was a full stride ahead of him. Outdoors that’s not going to happen to me, I’ll beat a lot of these guys outdoors, no one’s going to stop me. I’ll have the bit between my teeth now for outdoors. I know I would have qualified because I was as strong and prepared as I’ve ever been.”
There was an appeal submitted by the Irish management on Gregan’s behalf, but the track judges ruled Gregan had “changed the direction of his run, intruding in the way of the Ukrainian athlete”.
So, after coming here as the top-ranked runner in Europe, Gregan could only watch as yesterday’s final was won by the Czech runner Pavel Maslak in a blistering 45.66 seconds, although Britain’s Nigel Levine took silver in 46.21, and the Russian Pavel Trenikhin (briefly disqualified, then reinstated) taking bronze in 46.70 – both times well within Gregan’s reach.
Also missing out on the final in her event was Amy Foster, who had progressed to the 60m semi-final, where her seventh place in 7.37, outside her personal best time of 7.30, was never going to be enough to see her through.