Commonwealth Games 2018: Mixed fortunes for London athletes
PUBLISHED: 17:48 11 April 2018 | UPDATED: 17:48 11 April 2018
PA Wire/PA Images
There were mixed fortunes for England sprinters in the women’s 200m semi-finals at the Commonwealth Games in Australia.
Dina Asher-Smith eased into the final after finishing second in her heat in 22.44 seconds, while former University of East London student Bianca Williams went through as one of the fastest losers.
Williams was third in her heat in 23.23, pipping Australia’s Riley Day by one-hundredth of a second, but Newham & Essex Beagles Finette Agyapong missed out after finishing third in her heat in 23.38.
The final takes place on Friday afternoon and Asher-Smith said: “I was running well, obviously you want to go and win a semi-final and put down a good time, but I eased off.
“It’s easy to get into a battle, but I had this thought in the back of my mind that it’s only a semi-final. I want to come out here and do well, and also see the other girls do well – we’re a team.
“I’m looking forward to the final – I’ve qualified with a decent time and I didn’t feel too bad doing it, so I’ll take that.”
Williams added: “I had a tough semi, but it is what it is. I just didn’t attack it on the home straight as much as I wanted to.
“Weirdly it felt like I fought a bit harder than yesterday, but considering the time was roughly the same as yesterday, perhaps I didn’t try as hard as I should have.”
Agyapong, appearing at her first senior Games, said: “I don’t really know what happened. I would have liked to have shown a lot more so I’m a bit disappointed to have missed out on a place in the final.
“However, I have learned a lot from this experience. It is my first major Games and I’m facing the big girls so it has really been a new experience for me. They have tested me a lot more and that can only help to improve me.
“I have a lot more belief in myself that I deserve to be here. I’m running against world champions; I want to be pushing them more in the future.”
Thames Valley Harriers Lorraine Ugen qualified for the final of the women’s long jump with a leap of 6.42m and said: “I didn’t know where I was going to be at after injury so I just need to work a little bit on the run-up and making sure I hit that board perfectly then I’ll be good to go.
“People are jumping well out there so it should make for a good final. I was quite relaxed but know there is room for improvement.”
There was disappointment for Beagles high jumper Robbie Grabarz, who could only finish 12th on his Commonwealth Games debut at the age of 30.
The Olympic bronze medalist said: “I feel like I’m in good shape but I don’t feel like I’m taking any pleasure in competing at the moment which is a shame.
“I want to enjoy competing again; the training is fun and going really well. It’s the worst I’ve jumped for a long time so it is not good. It is was it is but I’ll move on from it. It isn’t how I expected my first Commonwealth Games final would go.
“I don’t feel like it is anything that I need to do technically; I think that will just come once I’m enjoying it again.
“It was a great competition to watch. As much as I didn’t want to be a spectator, it was a great one to watch. An Australian winning in front of this brilliant home crowd; it’s hardly surprising.
“It is always good to stay and watch; I respect the competitors. As much as I’d like to leave, I always try and stay. I try and give some advice where I can to one or two athletes, whether they take it or not is their choice.”
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Islington Gazette. Click the link in the orange box above for details.