Timely wake-up call for bumbling Brits

Timely wake-up call for bumbling Brits

Hot favourite and defending champion Jessica Ennis had to be content with the heptathlon silver. AP

False starts and big flops have been the story so far in Daegu, with defending heptathlon world champion Jessica Ennis and 10,000 metres favourite Mo Farah letting gold slip through their fingers.

Olympic 400M champion Christine Ohuruogu was disqualified for a false start, world 1,500M silver medalist Lisa Dobriskey failed to get through the heats and pole vaulter Holly Bleasdale, ranked ninth in the world, failed to record a height.

Dwain Chambers would have gleefully accepted the offer of matching world record holder Usain Bolt's performance in Daegu. The veteran sprinter did as much but not in the way he envisaged -- leaving the track with his head in his hands after false starting in the 100M.

A target of five to eight medals had been set before the worlds in South Korea, and while Britain will probably achieve that mediocre mark few, if any, will be gold.
Steve Cram, Britain's former 1,500 world record holder and 1983 world champion, said the team's performance had been "slightly disappointing".

"We've had a couple of false starts, Holly Bleasdale no-heighting, so it's been a bit up and down. A bit below par from what was expected," he said in the bowels of Daegu's cavernous stadium.

"Hopefully we can still win a handful of medals here and they will be of a different colour next year."

Sheffield-born Ennis gifted her world heptathlon title to Tatyana Chernova with a feeble javelin throw that dropped 13 metres behind the Russian's, while Farah blew his chance to become Britain's first 10,000M world champion.

Somali-born Farah had been touted as the man to shatter Kenenisa Bekele's aura of invincibility in the event and when the Ethiopian, never beaten on the track over the distance, limped out of the race the title was there for the taking. Farah, however, shot himself in the foot.

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