Andrew Osagie believes a lack of race preparation could prove to be a blessing in disguise after he eased into the 800m semi-finals on day one of the 2013 World Athletics Championships in Moscow.
The 25-year-old has endured a frustrating season to date as he bids to improve on his eighth-place finish at London 2012 in what has been coined the ‘greatest 800m race ever’.
Osagie ran a personal best 1:43.77 minutes to place him fourth on the all-time Great British list in the Olympics last summer but arrived in Russia with his season’s mark more than two seconds off that after picking up a hamstring tear in Lausanne last month.
This injury caused Osagie to miss both the British Championships and the Anniversary Games but he blew the cobwebs away in the Luzhniki Stadium on Saturday morning.
Osagie crossed the line in 1:46.16 minutes to finish third in his heat and progress to Sunday’s semi-final, and he insists he is not concerning himself with the past, only the future.
“It was a morning race and everyone knows I don’t like morning races but I got the job done,” he said.
“I have kept on saying that I have come here to be a professional athlete and get the job done, that is what it is about when it comes to the champs, getting through the rounds and being focused.
“And I felt relaxed, I didn’t need to hold too much back and I didn’t need to push too much so it was a good race for me in the heart.
“I feel fine physically. When I get to the champs I feel a different man, I love it here. I love the build up, I love the pressure, I love the track, I love the stadium – I love this bit of the sport.
“My preparation has been different, I missed a few races which was frustrating but I managed to more training done at this time of the year which I wouldn’t have normally been able to do.
“Every cloud has a silver lining and hopefully mine is here and I can get the job done.”
Great Britain’s Michael Rimmer also finished third in his 800m heat to make it into the semi-finals, putting in a great sprint for the line to come home in 1:45.47 minutes.
However it wasn’t all good news for Great Britain in the first morning session as decathlete Ashley Bryant was forced to withdraw before the competition even got underway with a hamstring injury.
Meanwhile, pole vaulter Steve Lewis failed to clear his first height of 5.40m three consecutive times to crash out of the competition, and he was at a loss to explain what had happened.
“I felt good, everything has been going fine and I had a good warm-up,” Lewis said. “My second attempt was a good jump but I just came down on the bar, and with a little headwind in the third attempt my markers were slightly off and the same thing happened.
“To get it back-to-back is frustrating, it’s the sort of thing you don’t want to be happening in a World Championships.
“5.55m is going to make the final and I have been entering competitions all over this year at 5.60.
“But my thinking was you can only lose in qualifying so I decided to enter early at 5.40m, that is not a challenging height for me.”
© Sportsbeat 2013