Shakes-Drayton insists the team show must go on in Daegu

Victoria Park & Tower Hamlets athlete disappointed at not making the 400m hurdles final at World Championships

Perri Shakes-Drayton insists her World Championship show must go on despite her individual 400m hurdles effort ending in cruel disappointment in South Korea.

After a European Championship bronze medal last summer Shakes-Drayton was widely expected to at the very least force her way into the final on the global stage in Daegu.

However, despite looking impressive in sailing through her heat, ultimately the 22-year-old agonisingly missed out on a final berth by just one thousandth of a second to finish ninth overall.

Victoria Park & Tower Hamlets athlete Shakes-Drayton ended her semi-final in third place and with only the top two qualifying was left to rely on being one of two fastest losers – however her time of 55.07seconds was ultimately not enough.

With a personal best of 54.18, set on the way to European bronze in Barcelona, on paper Shakes-Drayton was plenty capable of finding that extra fraction of a second.

But with the South Korean heat dragging down times across the championships she insisted her disappointment could not be viewed in that context.

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“I was very close to getting into the final but what can I do?,” said Shakes-Drayton.

“I was in the fastest heat, I tried my best, I hit a few hurdles and that probably cost me and that’s why I haven’t made it into the final.

“But I can’t get upset about it, all the best to the girls in the final but it wasn’t Perri’s time this time.

“All I can do is look forward to the relay and move on and hopefully next time a championships come round I can make it to the final.

“I knew what I was up against, the two girls that beat me, their personal best is better than mine, but no-one is actually running personal bests out here.

“So you couldn’t say that if I had my personal best then where would I come because no-one is actually running the times.

“So you had to be in the race to know where you are going to come and unfortunately I just missed out on being in the final.”

Shakes-Drayton will have to pick herself up from the disappointment in double quick time with the 4x400m relay coming tomorrow (Friday).

She has established herself as a lynchpin of that team this year – winning the Aviva UK Championships on the flat as well as over the hurdles.

And with her teammate’s travails in the Far East – neither of the regular three relay runners made the 400m individual final – she will need to be in fine form on Friday if the team is to make the final.

“I’m looking forward to the relay, hopefully we can pull together and first of all make it to the final and then run well,” she added. “I think we can do quite well actually as a team and pull together.”

Elsewhere in Daegu, there was no better luck for east London’s Christine Ohuruogu, who false-started in her 400m heat.

“Of all the people it could have happened to me, it had to be me,” she said. “It’s just ironic. I just wanted to get a good start because I knew it would be a fast round. I just can’t believe it.

“I knew it was me straight away. I’ve worked really hard to turn the last three weeks around and I’m just really upset for my coach, who has worked to get me in shape. I just feel really bad for him.

“I’m broken, you can all see I’m broke I have nothing else to say.”

Perri Shakes-Drayton has been selected for the Aviva GB&NI Team at the World Championships in Daegu, Korea. Aviva’s support, both at home and abroad, is helping the team prepare to compete at their best.

To find out more, go to or follow us on Twitter @AvivaAthletics

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