World Athletics 2011: British athletes struggle in Daegu
ATHLETICS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS 2011
- Daegu, South Korea
- 27 August - 4 September
- BBC Radio 5 live, 5 live sports extra and online (UK only), daily video highlights on BBC Sport website (UK only); live text commentaries; watch live on Channel 4
Britain's athletes endured a deeply disappointing night on day seven of the World Championships in Daegu.
All three women competing in the 800m went out in the semi-finals, including 2009 bronze medallist Jenny Meadows.
Chris Tomlinson and Goldie Sayers struggled in the long jump and javelin finals, while Christian Malcolm could not progress from his 200m semi.
And GB's 4x400m team, hopeful of a bronze despite 400m hurdles champion Dai Greene's absence, came seventh.
Greene was down on the starters list to run but decided, after warming up, that he could not do so following his exertions in winning his world title - Britain's only gold medal so far - on Thursday.
Nigel Levine rejoined Richard Strachan, Chris Clarke and Martyn Rooney in the quartet, but they were off the pace as the United States won ahead of South Africa - who - and Jamaica.
"I was in the relay team but withdrew during warm up. Body was hurting, I didn't feel I could do the team justice. Tough call to make," said Greene on Twitter.
Meadows had been touted by GB head coach Charles van Commenee as an outside chance for gold, but after looking in control for 700m she found herself passed by USA's Maggie Vessey at the death and pushed into third, out of the two automatic qualification slots.
The 30-year-old described herself as "devastated" to not even make the final this time.
"The pressure, the stress just got to me towards the end," she told BBC Radio 5 live sports extra. "I ran 98% of a good race but the last 2% just let me down."
Marilyn Okoro and Emma Jackson also missed out, although the latter ran a new personal best behind the impressive reigning champion Caster Semenya.
Britain's Helen Clitheroe finished 12th in 12 mins 16.01 secs as Vivian Cheruiyot added a brilliant 5,000m win to her 10,000m title six days ago, Sylvia Kibet making it a Kenyan one-two with Ethiopia's Meseret Defar in bronze.
Clitheroe, 37, ran with the letters 'TBDD' written on her hand to remind her to 'Think, Believe, Dream, Dare'.
The European Indoor 3,000m champion said: "I wish I'd been able to hang in there but it's my second fastest 5,000m in my fifth attempt. In my last two world championships I haven't made the final but I've changed events and made it so that's something to take out of it."
Her good friend Sayers could manage just 58.18m, six metres down on her season's best and good enough only for 10th, as the women's javelin gold was won in sensational fashion by Russia's Maria Abakumova.
Abakumova threw a world-leading 71.25m in the second round before the Czech Republic's Barbora Spotakova hit back with 71.58m, only for the Russian to nail a monstrous 71.99m to snatch back the title.
"I'm absolutely devastated," admitted Sayers afterwards. "I just got way too overexcited. I knew there was a medal there for the taking. Gold and silver are way out there but bronze was there."
And Tomlinson, hindered by a knee injury, finished back in 11th with 7.86m as USA's Dwight Phillips retained his title with a second round 8.45m.
The 29-year-old Briton said: "It's a car crash. I know I'm in great shape and the body just let me down.
"It's an intense sport and the way I feel at the moment I wish I was a plasterer or something like that."
Malcolm trailed home fifth in the third 200m semi with a poor 20.88 seconds on an evening when Bolt looked every inch the gold medallist in waiting.
There was some reason to cheer for British fans, however, in the morning session, with Phillips Idowu reaching the final of the triple jump with a single leap of 17.17m, and Christine Ohuruogu running a strong first leg as GB qualified easily for Sunday's women's 4x400m relay final.