Ohuruogu thrills crowd with 400m silver

05 August 2012 / 21:52

British athlete Christine Ohuruogu produced a storming finish to claim a silver medal in the defence of her Olympic 400 metres title on home soil in London.

Ohuruogu, whose family lives so close to the Olympic site in Stratford that she could walk to the stadium, looked out of contention with 120m to go before powering down the home straight in trademark style.

American Sanya Richards-Ross took gold in 49.55 seconds with Ohuruogu clocking a season's best of 49.70secs, just 0.02s ahead of another American DeeDee Trotter on the line.

Britain's athletes have now won four medals in less than 24 hours after golds for Jessica Ennis, Greg Rutherford and Mo Farah on Saturday night, with the pre-Games target set by UK Athletics head coach Charles van Commenee of eight - with just one of them gold - looking highly conservative.

Ohuruogu's time was a season's best by more than half a second and only the third time in her career that she had broken 50 seconds.

On the other two occasions she won the world title in Osaka in 2007, in 49.61, and the Olympics in Beijing the following year, in 49.62, confirming her reputation as someone who delivers on the biggest stages.

That reputation took a major dent when she was amazingly disqualified for a false start at the World Championships in Daegu last year, but a storming leg as Britain won gold in the 4x400m relay at the World Indoor Championships in March indicated she was back to her best after various injury problems.

Sadly for another capacity 80,000 crowd, Ohuruogu's male counterparts failed to even make the final of their event, as Conrad Williams (45.53), Nigel Levine (45.64) and Martyn Rooney (45.31) finished eighth, sixth and fifth respectively in the semi-finals.

"I don't think in all honesty you can call that a decent race," Rooney said. "When I normally open up my stride and pull away in the final 100m it just wasn't there today and that's been the story of this year.

"I've trained hard, made all the sacrifices everyone talks about, I lost a social life and a life of normality with this altitude training I did this year. I did all the work, it just wasn't good enough."