Relief for Josh Kerr as Team GB star qualifies as fastest loser after running out of gas in 1500m heats as Jake Wightman and Jake Heyward also advance…. while favourite Marcin Lewandowski takes a tumble in second heat in slippery conditions in Tokyo
Josh Kerr faced a nervous wait in the 1500m heats as the British star saw automatic qualification snatched from him on the finish line in Tokyo.
The Briton took to the first heat alongside reigning world champion Timothy Cheruiyot on Tuesday, with the athletes taking to a slippery track in a wet Japan.
Kerr – who trains in the United States – looked to be holding his own and led the pack alongside Cheruiyot. However, in the final 50 metres he ran out of gas and was pipped over the line, with only the top six qualifying.
It was relief for Josh Kerr after the British runner advanced to the 1500m men’s semi finals
The Team GB star ran out of gas and was pipped over the finish line in Tuesday’s first heat
He can still qualify for the semi-finals as a fastest loser, and will be holding his breath as the next two heats take place today.
‘It was poor all round. I got caught in the middle of things, made a big move with 500 to go which in hindsight wasn’t the smartest,’ he told the BBC. ‘Bit of a tough wait for the next 10, 15 minutes and hopefully I can scrape through, but it wasn’t good enough really.
‘I felt good, sometimes heats just don’t go to plan, running that slow is sometimes difficult. I knew I was in trouble with 100 to go and I was scrapping, that’s racing and I put myself in that position so I can’t be annoyed.’
1500m favourite Marcin Lewandowski took a tumble in slippery conditions but still qualified
Britain’s Jake Wightman sailed through in a thrilling second heat which saw two falls on the final lap in slippery conditions in Heat 2 this morning.
Poland’s Marcin Lewandowski – a serious medal contender – took a tumble amid a busy pack. Lewandowski did not manage to get back to the front but did complete the race, with the Pole advanced after an appeal to the race referee, who viewed the fall as a trip by another athlete.
Morocco’s Anass Essayi also fell to the floor but did not recover and was eliminated from the heat.
Jake Wightman (L) and Jake Heyward (R) of Great Britain also qualified for the semi-finals
‘You’ve got to be willing to run wide as like you saw there were a few falls there,’ Wightman said. ‘You underestimate how hot it is going to be in here. I’m glad the next race is going to be in the evening.
‘I feel like I am coming into this in my best shape this season, but it’s about getting to the final first.’
Jake Heyward joined Wightman in advancing to the semi finals after leading the third heat with Australia’s Stewart McSweyn.
The times from the three heats left Kerr as one of the fastest losers, thereby securing his qualification to the semi-finals.