Monday, August 12, 2013

Dani Samuels slumps to a frustrating 10th

More anguish ... cuts a devastated figure after finishing 10th.

More anguish ... Dani Samuels cuts a devastated figure in Moscow. Photo: Getty Images

Moscow: The riddle of how to do again what you have done before still dogs Dani Samuels. That cursed mistress form denied her once more. A world champion four years ago she remains frustratingly out of touch of that sort of moment. Form teases her to believe she is closing in but then cruelly abandons her when she calls upon it in need.

Samuels was eliminated in the semi final of the discus at the World Athletics Championships in Moscow on Sunday night, finishing tenth and missing the cut for the final of the event she won in 2009 as a precocious talent who took the world by surprise.

Afterwards she was too distraught with the disappointment of her night to even speak of what had happened.

Entering the event she said she felt strong and relaxed because unlike in the world championships in Daegu when she entered as reigning champion this time she came in as just another competitor and without the weight of expectation.


She felt liberated and fresh. This time it would be different to Daegu, different to London.

With her first throw, a jittery 59.17m, the expression on her face betrayed the worry of de ja vu of those events.

In contrast, Croatian Sandra Perkovic had earlier almost put the entire competition to bed with her first throw of 67.52m. To salt the others wounds her next throw was bigger - 67.99m. That made a certainty of the eventual result, for no one would pass her.

That was Dani four years ago. But not Sunday night.

Samuels was able to find some range with her second throw (62.42) which edged her for a time into the final eight and the hope that she may still make the cut, particularly with a third throw up her sleeve.

Others snuck past her and squeezed her out of the final eight and then when her third throw which looked promising enough to possibly leapfrog her back into the final was deemed a foul her night, her championship, was over.

She finished 10th, her best throw well short of her best throw this year 64.46m a throw which would have been enough to place her fifth. And certainly shy of her personal best of 65.86 – that would have earnt her bronze.

At slightly the other end of the scale youngster Alex Rowe's impressive debut run at a championships was halted when he was eliminated in his semi final of the 800m.

Lara Tamsett did not finish the 10,000m, stepping from the track after 3,600 metres when she was trailing the field by a long way.
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