Tuesday 12 December 2017

Cuddihy 'embarrassed' after jumping the gun

Cliona Foley

Cliona Foley

NOT EVEN the consolation that the world's best sprinter had also screwed up could lift Joanne Cuddihy's mortification after she too false-started yesterday.

Third place in her 400m heat in a season-best 51.82 had earned the 26-year-old doctor a lane-six draw for the semi-final, but she was disqualified after having a bizarre Bolt-like brain-burp.

To jump the gun in 400m is extremely unusual, though Britain's former world champion Christine Ohuruogu also did it in Saturday's heats.

"I've never done it before, even in training," an ashen-faced Cuddihy said.

"I've no idea what made me go. I'd like to apologise to everyone I've let down because that's just so bitterly disappointing and embarrassing. You shouldn't false-start over 400m."

It was particularly frustrating as the Kilkenny City Harrier is fully fit again after several years of horrendous injuries.

Cuddihy's woes compounded Ireland's bad start in Daegu as pole-vaulter Tori Pena (Finn Valley) also failed to get past qualifying yesterday, clearing 4.10m but failing at 4.25m, well below her Irish 4.40m record.

There was even bigger heartbreak for Britain's Mo Farah whose double hopes were dramatically destroyed by an Ethiopian in the final strides of an epic 10,000m, though not the one everyone expected.

Injured defending champion Kenenisa Bekele dropped out at half-way and when Farah injected his trademark kick with 450m to go, he looked in pole position.

A blistering 53.36-second last lap saw him pull almost 10 metres clear down the back straight yet somehow the 2006 world junior champion Ibrahim Jeilan (22) ran faster, overtaking the devastated Briton in the final 10 strides.

Irish Independent

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