His consistency on the world stage is certainly impressive but that was little consolation to Will Sharman after he finished outside the medals once again in the 110m hurdles world final in Moscow.
The 28-year-old came home fifth in the Luzhniki Stadium, narrowly missing out on a podium with a time of 13.30 seconds, as American David Oliver stormed to gold in 13 seconds flat.
The British athlete has now finished in the top five for the last three successive World Championships but has failed break the top three in any of them.
And after clipping the first hurdle as he burst from the blocks, Sharman cut a disconsolate figure after the race.
“I’m not very pleased with that," he said.
“I made a mistake off hurdle one and it was hard work from there. It’s good to make the final but once you’re in the final you have to get a medal and all I needed to do was to perform to the best of my ability – I can’t wake up tomorrow morning and say I did that.
“At the beginning of the season this was the aim, you have to improve on what you’ve done before.”
Elsewhere, Katarina Johnson-Thompson admits she had to get angry to get her heptathlon campaign back on track during a Jekyll and Hyde first day.
With Olympic champion Jessica Ennis-Hill forced to miss the trip to Russia with an Achilles injury, British hopes rested on the young shoulders of Johnson-Thompson.
But the 20-year-old didn’t seem too weighed down, running 13.49 seconds in the 100m hurdles – just 0.01 off her personal best.
However, she could only manage 1.83m in the high jump – usually one of her strongest disciplines – and after finishing way down in 31st in the shot put, she sat 14th overall.
But when she needed it most she pulled a personal best of 23.27 secs in the 200m to go into the overnight break sixth in the rankings on 3739 points.
“The first day has been mixed emotions as it always is with the heptathlon,” she said.
“I had a good start in the hurdles and I was quite happy with where I finished in the 200m, it was just the high jump and shot put that let me down.
“The shot put lets me down in most major competitions, but the high jump is one of my favourite events so I was quite heartbroken that I couldn’t do what I wanted to do.
“So I took the frustration out on the 200m and it just came off. I was running angry and I think it showed out there with a PB.
“But overall I am happy with where I am and heading into the second day. The long jump and 800m are two of my best events so hopefully I can have good results there.”
It was less good news for Asha Philip and Nigel Levine who went out in the semi-finals of the women’s 100m and men’s 400m respectively.
But while Levine admitted he was still some way off competing with the world’s best, the 22-year-old Philip took plenty of optimism from her first major outdoor championships.
“I’m not happy with that race at all but I can’t complain,” said Philip, who has suffered terribly with injuries since bursting onto the scene with 100m gold at the World Youth Championships in 2007.
“I’ve just got to take it that I’m at my first senior championships and I got to the semi-final, so that should be a pat on the back in itself.
“Coming from what I’ve done, never being able to believe in myself and coming this far, I’m going to take it as a positive.”
© Sportsbeat 2013