October 21 2014 Latest news:
Dave Evans, Athletics Correspondent
Thursday, July 31, 2014
Newham 400m hurdler has a chance to go for gold tonight in Glasgow
Newham and Essex Beagle Niall Flannery has a chance to make up for his hugely disappointing heat in the 400m hurdles yesterday (Wednesday) when he was given a lifeline into the Commonwealth Games final in Glasgow tonight.
The 23-year-old had been expected to vie for a medal at the Games after a superb season that saw him top the European rankings, but his heat proved to be a disaster as he finished a distant fourth in 49.97 seconds, missing out on a fastest losers’ spot by one place to fellow England hurdler Ricky Yates.
However, a disqualification to one of the Jamiacan athletes has given Flannery another chance and he will take his place in lane one for the final which starts tonight at 8.15pm.
On paper, he is the third fastest in the field this year, but he will need to improve his heat form by a considerable margin if he is to get himself in the battle for a medal.
Flannery was certainly critical of his heat performance as well as his recent form.
“49.9 is rubbish,” he said. “The last few races have all been like that. I had to come out and run early season and get a time in, and a few more times in, then running well, then into meetings I wouldn’t have thought I’d get in, and winning them.
“Then the last two Diamond Leagues have been rubbish and then this - appalling really.”
Beagles’ British League team manager Rowan Griffiths is more hopeful that he can do well.
“I am confident he can do it now,” he said. “He is going to be angry!”