Sayers impresses despite illness

31 May 2012 / 21:24

Britain's Goldie Sayers has overcome a bout of food poisoning to record her longest throw since the Beijing Olympics at the Diamond League meeting in Rome.

Sayers threw 64.73 metres in the first round of the javelin in the Stadio Olimpico, her furthest since a personal best of 65.75m saw her finish fourth in Beijing.

"I'm pleased with that. I knew I only had one or two throws in me," the 29-year-old said. "I was quite ill on Monday with food poisoning so I'm pleased with a season's best at this stage." She added: "On Monday and Tuesday I wasn't sure if I would travel but I actually had food poisoning before Beijing so I knew I was capable of feeling better."

The performance of the night from a British perspective came from Robbie Grabarz, who won the high jump with a new personal best of 2.33m which takes him top of the world rankings in 2012.

Grabarz, 24, lost his lottery funding at the end of a poor season in 2011, but rededicated himself to the sport and it paid dividends as he cleared each height at the first attempt until failing to clear 2.35m. He said: "I achieved what I set out to achieve. I have been jumping very well in training but been trying to keep a lid on it. That's why I started my season so late."

World indoor champion Yamile Aldama also recorded her longest jump outdoors since 2006 in the triple jump with 14.65m in the second round. However, the 39-year-old - who won the world title in Istanbul in March - then passed on her remaining four jumps to spark fears of an injury problem.

World champion Dai Greene had earlier been forced to pull out of the 400m hurdles with a virus, leaving team-mate Nathan Woodward as Britain's sole representative in the race.

Woodward recorded a season's best of 49.64s in finishing fifth in a race won by Puerto Rico's Javier Culson in 48.14, with American Bershawn Jackson - whose spat with Greene appears to have been resolved this week - second in 48.25.

It was later confirmed that Aldama had landed awkwardly in the pit on her second jump and suffered a shoulder injury. She will undergo a scan on the problem in London on Friday.

Elsewhere, Steve Lewis was fifth in the pole vault with a best of 5.60m, while Emma Jackson was 10th in the 800m as former world champion Caster Semenya could only finish eighth in a race won by Ethiopia's Fantu Magiso in a new national record of 1:57.56. Steph Twell could only finish 12th in the 1,500m.