Get involved! Send photos, video, news & views. Text WILTS GAZETTE to 80360 or email us
Brits get that sinking feeling
Britain's athletes suffered a nightmare start to the opening day of competition at the European Championships in Helsinki.
UK Athletics head coach Charles van Commenee would have been hoping for far better performances than he saw on Wednesday morning with Abigail Irozuru (long jump) and Carl Myerscough (shot) failing to reach their respective finals, while former Olympic finalist Jeanette Kwakye crashed out in the heats of the 100 metres.
Irozuru has jumped 6.80m this season and needed another leap over the Olympic 'A' standard of 6.75m to be eligible for selection on Monday, but committed a foul with her opening attempt, ran through the pit on her second and managed just 6.19m on her final effort to finish 22nd out of 30.
Myerscough needed to be among the top 12 to qualify for the shot final but finished 14th with a best of 19.30m in the second round. The 32-year-old needs to throw 20.50m by Sunday evening's deadline to secure an automatic Olympic place.
Kwakye has been plagued by injuries since reaching the Olympic final in Beijing and looked completely out of sorts as she trailed in seventh in her 100m heat in 11.98 seconds.
"It's not enough, I've got no words for it," the 29-year-old admitted. "I think I would have kicked myself had I not tried. "I've got a couple of 'A' standards from last year but only four weeks until the Games, and you know I can't start on the line in London if I'm going to be in that kind of shape and form, I wouldn't do myself justice and psychologically it doesn't help."
There was at least some better news for trials winner Ashleigh Nelson, who was third in her heat in 11.43secs to advance to the semi-finals. Nelson needs to run 11.29s here to secure her place in London.
Isobel Pooley, who needed to clear 1.95m in the high jump to secure an automatic Olympic place, managed just 1.78m to fail to reach the final, while Richard Yates also went out in the heats of the 400m hurdles.
However, Nathan Woodward and Rhys Williams - who are battling for the last Olympic spot - both won their heats to advance to tomorrow's semi-finals, with Woodward looking in excellent form.
In the men's 100m, Mark Lewis-Francis and Harry Aikines-Aryeetey advanced to the semi-finals after finishing fourth and second respectively in their heats, Aikines-Aryeetey recording a season's best of 10.27s behind France's defending champion Christophe Lemaitre.