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Shaftesbury Barnet Harrier Abi Oyepitan gets crucial second Olympic A standard time in European Championships
1:28pm Monday 2nd July 2012 in Sport
Abi Oyepitan admitted to mixed emotions after a disappointing showing at the European Championships in Helsinki at the weekend.
The 32-year-old sprinter did achieve one goal in Finland as she ran her second Olympic A standard time of the season over 200m to all but guarantee herself a spot at London 2012.
That time came in the heats as Oyepitan powered to victory in 23.05 secs but she failed to replicate that form in the semi-finals and finished fifth, therefore not progressing to the final.
Oyepitan also pulled out of the 100m final at the Olympic trials in Birmingham the week before with an injury problem and she admitted afterwards that she was still nowhere near her best.
“I suppose I got the qualifying time – the A standard for the Olympics, that’s as much as I can take away,” she said.
“It was very disappointing. I only did two races at the trials so fatigue wasn’t really a problem – I’ve got to go back to the drawing board and see what’s wrong.
“I suppose I can take some encouragement. I wanted this to be a stepping stone but it wasn’t meant to be I suppose. I wanted more.”
Fellow Shaftesbury Barnet Harrier Lee McConnell improved her chances for an Olympic relay berth in the 4x400m with a strong showing out in Finland but was unfortunate to miss out on a medal.
The 33-year-old made the final of the individual 400m but faded down the home straight as she came fifth.
And the Scot went one closer in the women’s relay team as they were pushed into fourth - McConnell impressing on the third leg however.
Discus thrower Jade Nicholls failed to advance her claims for a London 2012 spot however as she failed to qualify for the final.
But the 25-year-old admitted it was a relief to no longer have to worry about selection and be able to focus on getting back to training hard.
“I’ve got no more pressure to make this Olympic team, I either make it or I don’t, I’ll be delighted if I make the team for London but I don’t have to sit down and stress about all the time,” she said.
“I don’t have to keep doing competitions week after week after week, I can finally go away and train which is something I haven’t been able to do.”
Meanwhile, there was also disappointment for triple jumper Larry Achike who is set to miss out on a place at London 2012 after he too failed to make the final in Finland.
Achike could only manage a best jump of 16.25m in qualification, nearly a metre short of the Olympic A standard of 17.20m that would earn him a spot at the Games.
The 37-year-old did win the Olympic trials in the absence of injured Olympic silver medallist Phillips Idowu but it is unlikely that will be enough to be selected.
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