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Hannah seals semi-final spot in style
Hannah England felt she was back where she belonged after reaching the Olympic 1,500m semi-finals.
The 25-year-old Oxford City athlete finished fifth on her Games debut to progress to Wednesday’s semis with comparative ease.
England clocked 4mins 5.78secs, which was only fractionally slower than the 4.05.68 she ran to take world silver in Daegu last year.
“I was really, really pleased,” said England. “I felt like myself.
“I felt like I had presence in the race. I felt like that last year in Daegu in the first round.
“I felt I really belonged. It is nice to feel like that again after the time I have had out and the last major race I did coming last.
“It was good progress.”
England was in a very competitive heat, which was won by Ethiopia’s Abeba Aregawi in 4.04.55, but her time was the fifth fastest of all those progressing to the semi-finals.
The Oxford star led early on and never looked in trouble.
She said: “I felt really good. I got out fast, which I don’t usually manage to do. I think that was probably down to the crowd.
“I just tried to get myself near the front and stay there.”
England managed just two pre-Olympics races after recovering from an Achilles ‘spike’ injury she suffered in May.
She came last in the London Diamond League meeting and was then second in a low-key British Milers’ Club race in Solihull.
But England believes she has made great strides since, and her performance yesterday backed that up.
“I have been feeling great in training the last two weeks,” said England.
“It is important to transfer that into races and I really felt like I managed that today.”
England led a British trio into the semis with heat two winner Lisa Dobriskey (4.13.32) and Laura Weightman (4.07.29) also progressing.