Eilidh Doyle won her opening race at Rio 2016 as she bids to make her maiden Olympic final in the women’s 400m hurdles on her second Games appearance.
The 29-year-old cruised around a wet Olympic Stadium to win the sixth of six heats in 55.46 seconds, that time the fifth fastest overall with Ristananna Tracey quickest in 54.88.
Doyle is the only Team GB women’s 400m hurdler at Rio 2016 and after making the semi-final on her Olympic debut at London 2012 she is determined to run her best.
“It was alright. It was a good, solid performance. I was quite nervous, which is unusual for me. I normally get nerves but I felt quite anxious,” she said.
“You’re trying to conserve as much energy as possible but also trying to get your strides in so it’s difficult to run easy. But I’m glad I could just do enough to get through.
“I’d love to run a PB – this is the place to do it. You want to run your best time when it matters. I feel like I’m in good shape, I’m in personal best shape, so hopefully I can go out there and do something.
“I’m going to have to run [the semi-final] like a final because it’s going to be tough in the semis and hopefully I can get a personal best out of it.”
Sprint hurdlers Andrew Pozzi and Lawrence Clarke, who suffered contrasting fortunes the last time they were seen at an Olympic Games, both made it out of the heats.
Clarke finished fourth at London while Pozzi only made it over one hurdle before getting injured but they are on a level field with the semi-finals next up.
Running in different heats, Pozzi was the quicker of the two in 13.50 but he knows it should have been a lot faster and easier than it was after an error late on.
“I managed to qualify in second so it is job done and I achieved what I wanted to do but it was a pretty messy race at the end," he said.
“I felt pretty good until then, I think I was in contention but then stupid little mistakes, which you can’t afford to do at the Olympic Games.
“Thankfully I live to tell the tale but it is not something I will be repeating. It was the eighth hurdle I just clipped a little bit and then I really ploughed through the ninth hard and went into recovery mode and drove as hard as I could at the line to make sure I qualified.”
Meanwhile Olympic debutante Jade Lally was in action in the discus qualifying round and ranked 28th overall with a best effort of 54.06m.