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Beijing Olympics 2008

News from Beijing

21 August 2008

Dobriskey and Kwakye make finals as Rooney finishes sixth

Lisa DobriskeyThursday’s evening athletics session provided a bumper night for Loughborough’s athletes as Lisa Dobriskey and Jeanette Kwakye both secured spots in this weekend’s finals.

Dobriskey finished third fastest for the women’s 1500m final, while Kwakye provided the opening leg of the women’s 4x100m relay, who have cruised through to the medal race.

Graduate Dobriskey, who continues to train at Loughborough with coach George Gandy, set a personal best in the women’s 1500m to progress to Saturday’s final (August 23). She never looked troubled and finished strongly to take almost a full three seconds off her previous mark and clinch third spot in her heat in a time of 4:03.22.

“I am really pleased," said Dobriskey. "I saw the first and second semi-finals and they were quite quick so I had to stay relaxed and calm.

“I am glad to have made it through to the final. I was feeling confident and everyone was just telling me to enjoy the occasion. “I’ve dreamed of standing on that start line for the past 10 years.”

Sprinter Kwakye was part of a British 4x100m team to run 43.02 seconds and finish second in their heat and fourth quickest overall for Saturday’s final. Like their male counterparts earlier in the evening, favourites USA did not qualify after failing to get the baton round.

“This is our time, it’s the best British team since the 1980s and we have a great chance, especially with the Americans out,” said Kwakye.

There was a personal best and British record, too, for Goldie Sayers in the javelin, although it was not enough to push her up among the medals.

Sayers confirmed her status among the world’s leading throwers with a first effort of 65.75m, which left her fourth after the first round – a position she was unable to improve on.

She pulled out a 65.03m on her fifth attempt, but it was not enough to overhaul Germany’s Christina Obergfoll, who threw 66.13m to take the bronze medal.

“My hope was to throw a PB in the Olympic final and when I reflect on this I'm sure I'll be proud of what I've achieved,” said Sayers.

“You could tell it was going to be a big competition, I think that was one of the best Olympic finals ever.

“I believe I can throw a lot further so I'm a little frustrated, but if that doesn't make me try my hardest in training over the winter I don't know what will."

Olympic 400m finalist Martyn Rooney finished sixth tonight as LaShawn Merritt of the USA overturned his team mate - defending champion Jeremy Warriner, for gold. Rooney finished outside the best he set in the semis, clocking a time of 45.12 seconds. Warriner finished second as the USA scooped a 1-2-3, with David Neville taking bronze.

“I’m a bit disappointed,” said Rooney. “I came here thinking there was always a medal shout – third place, or second on a really good day.

“I went quite hard down the back straight and paid for it. There just wasn’t enough on the day.

“It’s an Olympic final. Everyone has good days and bad days, Merritt had a good day and won with a PB. That’s what happens.

“I ran a PB in the semis. I’ve come here, beaten a lot of good guys and made an Olympic final in my first Games. There’s a lot of positives to take out.”

Loughborough University - Beijing 2008

Beijing facts

There are 55 Loughborough athletes in action at the Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Did you know?

Former Olympic Champion Sebastian Coe is a Loughborough graduate.

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