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Kent's Jack Green reaches semi-finals of 400m hurdles at World Athletics Championships London 2017

By Alex Hoad

Jack Green endured a nervous wait before securing his place in the semi-finals of the 2017 World Championships in dramatic fashion in London on Sunday morning.

The 25-year-old Shepway hurdler was seeking to continue his fine form which saw him crowned British Champion last month and cement a place in the top-10 of the Diamond League rankings when he lined up for the heats for the 400m hurdles.

The Maidstone-born star went in the fifth and final heat of the morning but despite a strong run, he clattered into the eight hurdle on the bend into the final straight.

Jack Green. Picture Barry Goodwin

Jack Green. Picture: Barry Goodwin

The impact robbed Green - in second place at the time behind Mamadou Kasse Hann of France - of momentum and he was run down by the field over the final two flights, eventually finishing fifth after a blanket finish which needed a photo to determine times and places.

With the top four qualifying automatically for Monday night's semi-finals, Green faced an anxious wait to see if his time of 49.55secs would be quick enough to qualify as a fastest runner-up, but his progress was confirmed in the next round moments later.

The former Brockhill School and Mid-Kent College student said: "I was running really well but I just wore a hurdle - welcome to 400m hurdles.

"It took absolutely everything out of me just to keep that stride in the last two hurdles. That tends to be my best hurdles but it goes to show that even someone that can finish like I do, if you mess up that number eight it doesn't really matter."

Green claimed the race had been a positive one and added: "I've learned I'm in good shape, I'm in a little too good shape which is why I hit hurdle eight.

"I was ready to go, I got too close which I've never had before. It's a nice positive. I'd rather be too close and know I can run faster rather than stretching and messing it up in that way. 

"I've got a nice bit of blood and bruising, it's just a stinger though, I'll get some ice on it and be alright tomorrow night."
 
Hann eventually won in 49.34secs with Green finishing just two MILLISECONDS behind fourth-placed Aron Chipchumba Koech of Kenya. Marcio Teles of Brazil and Pole Patryk Dobek were second and third respectively.
 
Green's time was the 12th fastest of the day and the best by an athlete who did not qualify automatically, yet he claimed: "It's a bit embarrasing to be a fastest loser. I'm a much better athlete than that. Everyone knows that, I know that. I shouldn't have been in that position. 
 
"You don't really know where you're at (in a photo). Especially when you've got four of us within a hundredth or less. I didn't really know, it was one of those knowing I hadn't done what I should have done here, but hey tomorrow is another day." 

Folkestone-based Green also reached the semi-finals in Daegu in 2011 but did not compete in Moscow in 2013 or Beijing in 2015 due to illness and injury.

Green also reached the semi-finals of the London 2012 Olympics and Rio last summer.

Live coverage is available on Monday night from @AlexHoadKOL at the London Stadium.

 

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