COMMONWEALTH GAMES: Buoyant England elated at securing spot in final

Hannah England (second left) crosses the line in fourth to qualify for tonight’s 1500m final, with Kenya’s Hellen Obiri taking victory

Hannah England (second left) crosses the line in fourth to qualify for tonight’s 1500m final, with Kenya’s Hellen Obiri taking victory

First published in Sport Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Sports reporter specialising in Rugby, Cricket and Athletics. Call me on 01865 425456

Hannah England was delighted to qualify automatically for tonight’s 1500m final after only scraping through in past championships.

The 27-year-old Oxford athlete finished fourth in a surprisingly fast heat to set up a medal chance at Hampden Park (9.50pm).

Running for her namesake country, the former world silver medallist clocked a season’s best time of 4mins 5.62secs, while winner Hellen Obiri (Kenya) broke the Commonwealth Games record with 4.04.43.

England said: “It felt good. It was a bit nerve-wracking in the last 50 metres.

“I was trying not to think about it, but I am always bad in semi-finals.

“In both the last two world championships, I have only made it through on fastest losers.

“That was one of my better semi-final performances today.”

England needed to finish in the top four to be sure of progressing – and managed that despite coming under pressure from Australia’s Melissa Knight in the finishing straight.

The Oxford City ace was joined by Scotland’s Laura Muir (4.05.19), who finished third, in making the final from heat one.

Kenya’s Faith Kibiegon won heat two in 4.05.77, with England’s Laura Weightman (4.08.58) and Jemma Simpson (4.09.27) also progressing – the latter as a fastest loser.

England added: “I was really pleased with that. I was glad it was fast.

“With the quality field and it being the first heat, I was almost more relaxed when we went through 800m fast.”

Asked if she felt she was peaking at the right time, England replied: “Absolutely, I do.

“I am excited about tomorrow. It’s going to be a great race.”

Having finished fourth at Delhi 2010, England is eyeing up a podium spot this time.

She said: “The field is a lot deeper than it was four years ago, but I am a lot better than I was then.

“Hopefully, I can do better.”

After two quicker than expected heats, England bel-ieves another Games record may be needed to take gold.

“That’s interesting now that the Games record has gone,” she added. “I think it could go again.”

Oxford United put trust in youngster Holmes-Dennis

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Friday 31st October 2014

MICKEY Lewis says the form of rookie defender Tareiq Holmes-Dennis has surpassed his expectations, allowing Oxford United to loan out Tom Newey to Northampton Town yesterday.

Lewis calls for Oxford United to match Wycombe's intensity

Oxford Mail:

9:10am Friday 31st October 2014

OXFORD United’s players must be prepared to match Wycombe Wanderers’ work rate when the sides meet at the Kassam Stadium tomorrow, according to Mickey Lewis.

Riley open to extended stay at Oxford United

Oxford Mail:

9:10am Friday 31st October 2014

JOE Riley would consider extending his loan at Oxford United, but is in the dark about where his future lies in the new year.

RUGBY UNION: Injury-hit London Welsh may need more signings

Oxford Mail: Justin Burnell

9:00am Friday 31st October 2014

JUSTIN Burnell says London Welsh may have to bring in some new players to cope with their mounting injury problems.

Oxford United fans gearing up for Yellow Army Day

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Friday 31st October 2014

MORE than 500 flags have been delivered as part of the plans for Yellow Army Day tomorrow.

Ainsworth relishing 'M40 derby' with Oxford United

Oxford Mail:

8:40am Friday 31st October 2014

GARETH Ainsworth is expecting the atmosphere at the Kassam Stadium to crackle when Oxford United host his Wycombe Wanderers side tomorrow.

Whing delight at injury-free appearances for Oxford United

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Friday 31st October 2014

IT may have ended on a low note with defeat at Carlisle United, but last week marked a major step forward for Andy Whing.

ROWING: Tethys rule the roost in Upper Thames Autumn Head

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Friday 31st October 2014

While Oxford University’s lightweight women, Tethys, had a bumper day in the Upper Thames Autumn Head at Henley there were successes, too, for other local clubs, writes John Wiggins.

RUGBY UNION: Henley blow as Robinson gets recall to Welsh

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Friday 31st October 2014

HENLEY Hawks will be without regular half backs Will Robinson and Connor Murphy for their trip to Canterbury in National 2 South tomorrow.

ATHLETICS: Oxford Mail Cross Country League starts on Sunday

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Friday 31st October 2014

The Oxford Mail Cross Country League begins for another season at its traditional curtain-raising venue of Ascott-under-Wychwood on Sunday.

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