In almost parallel runs in their semi-finals Angie Smit and Nikki Hamblin both finished third to qualify for tomorrow’s final of the women’s 800m.
Smit came through on the inside down the back straight on the last lap and dug deep in the home straight to hold out Scotland’s Lynsey Sharp for third in 2:01.97.
World champion in Moscow last year Eunice Sum of Kenya won in 2:01.38 with Melissa Bishop of Canada second in 2:01.86.
The 22 year old three times New Zealand champion said that she was just so happy.
“It has been my dream all along, especially after yesterday’s race I was a bit concerned after hitting the wall. Today I did what Maria my coach said, to make sure I didn’t go out too hard and save something for that last part and it obviously paid off,” said Smit.
“I was a bit worried to be sitting in seventh place at one stage but then I knew that they were going out hard so I thought oh no just be patient, be patient is the main thing, stay relaxed to my form and just trust that I have that kick at the finish.
“I’m so stoked, to be in that final has been the dream and now I’ve got to focus on performing and doing even better hopefully in the final.”
Smit said that she was so happy for Nikki making the final also.
“It was an incredible run for her, her fourth day in a row of awesome racing. I’ve always looked up to her obviously because she’s a bit older than me. The double silver medallist from the last games so I’m so inspired by her and think she’s amazing and it will be pretty cool racing with her tomorrow, two Kiwis in the final hopefully we can both be on that dais will be incredible,” she added.
Hamblin down for the second semi also had the strength over the closing stages to edge out the other Scot Emily Dudgeon for third in 2:02.87. Jessica Judd of England won in 2:02.26 and Winnie Nanyondo of Uganda was second in 2:02.83.
The 26 year old double silver medallist at the Delhi Games said that if she can get through the first round the second round is very much easier for her because she is strong.
“My coach Steve said to run on the rail don’t run any extra distance, it is 800 metres not 804 metres and trust that the gaps are going to open later that was shot to get in the final and that happened. My coach is generally right.
“I’m stoked for Angie and I are going to be there I get to go through all of this one more time and I’m really excited to do that,” said Hamblin.
“I would hope it would be sub-two and I would hope that I can hang on as long as possible and use my strength in the last 100.”
“I have faith in my strength and my strength comes in over the last 200 to 100 metres that’s when I know a lot of the more sprint trained girls, like the 400/800 girls are going to tie up. Probably my training is more like a 5km runner and I do the miles so I know that I am strong and I know that I’m probably going to tie up less than anyone else, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to beat them to the line but it means it gives me a better shot.”
Athletics New Zealand