Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Athletics: Natasha's Not Going Home Yet; Determined Brit in Osaka for Medals

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Athletics: Natasha's Not Going Home Yet; Determined Brit in Osaka for Medals

Article excerpt

Byline: By Andrew Mullen

BRITAIN'S Natasha Danvers-Smith reckons sheer determination will be enough to inspire a medal-winning performance at the World Championships in Osaka after smashing her season's best to storm through yesterday's 400 metres hurdles semi-final.

The 29-year-old 2000 Olympic finalist clocked 54.08 seconds to finish second behind Australia's former world champion Jana Rawlinson and heads into tomorrow's final brimming with confidence after coming within 0.6secs of her lifetime best at the Nagai Stadium.

The US-based Commonwealth silver medallist posted her personal best of 54.02secs in 2003 before taking a two-year break following the birth of her son.

The UK champion now believes she is back to her best after comfortably claiming victory at the London Grand Prix at the start of August.

"My theme here was that I am not going home, that was all I said to myself while I was warming up, that I was not going home," she said.

"I want to be in that final and that is the end of it. There were no other thoughts in my mind, I was not going home.

"So when you go into a race fired up like that, you just go for it. My coach told me that I had to zone in on the last three hurdles like I never have before and I knew that these girls are no joke, I could not leave it to chance and I had to go for it.

"I want to shoot for a medal because the simple fact is, if I can drive for something like that, the worst than can happen is I finish fourth or fifth."

Danvers-Smith, sidelined for eight weeks earlier this year after suffering an Achilles injury, was forced to fight off a late challenge from Russia's Yevgeniya Isakova.

She was second behind Rawlinson coming down the home straight, but looked to be fading after coming badly off the last hurdle before dipping over the line to grab the last automatic qualifying berth. …

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