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Page last updated at 11:31 GMT, Wednesday, 20 August 2008 12:31 UK

Rimmer reaches 800m semi-finals

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Video - Rimmer through to 800m semis

Britain's Michael Rimmer proved he had recovered from a bout of illness to move into Thursday's 800m semi-finals with a determined run in the heats.

The 22-year-old led from the first lap before he was overtaken at the bell, but he caught the leaders to cross the line first in one minute 47.61 seconds.

Emily Freeman failed to reach the 200m final, finishing seventh in the first Olympic semi of her career.

Mo Farah got his tactics wrong as he failed to reach the men's 5,000m final.

Rimmer's build-up to the Games had been disrupted by a stomach upset which he picked up at the holding camp in Macau but the Liverpool runner comfortably came through his first-ever Olympic race.

"Nerves accompanied with food poisoning has left me a bit flat," said Rimmer, who is competing at his first Games.

"I don't feel fantastic but hopefully I will feel better in the semis."

Across the eight testing heats Kenyan Wilfred Bungei was the fastest qualifier through, clocking 1:44.90.

Main protagonists, Kenya's world champion Alfred Yego, defending Olympic champion Russian Yuriy Borzakovskiy and Sudan's world number one Abubaker Kaki, also safely advanced.

Things did not go to plan for Farah, Britain's only representative in the men's 5,000m, as he failed to qualify for Saturday's final.

The 25-year-old finished sixth in a tricky second heat in 13 minutes 50.95 seconds, which was not good enough to go through as a fastest loser.

"I thought the pace was slow but you can't think 'I'm going to sit and wait' so my aim was to wind it up," Farah told BBC Sport.

"But it didn't quite happen. I'm so disappointed because the Olympics only come round every four years and it's every athlete's dream to run at them. I gave it 100% but I'm so disappointed."

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Video - Farrah felt tactics were right

Farah's loss underlined Britain's lack of middle distance runners. The team has no representative in the men's 10,000m and is once again relying on Dan Robinson in the marathon.

The 5,000m final is set to be a fascinating encounter with plenty of athletes capable of claiming the title.

Among that pack are double Olympic 10,000m champion Kenenisa Bekele and his brother Tariku, world champion Bernard Lagat, Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge, the bronze medallist four years ago in Athens, and world bronze medallist Moses Kipsiro.

American Matthew Tegenkamp was the fastest man in 13:37.36 but new 1500m champion Rashid Ramzi did not show up for his attempt at a much-hyped double.

Freeman finished seventh in her 200m semi-final in 22.83 secs, which was won by American Allyson Felix in 22.33.

Despite failing to reach her first major final, the 27-year-old from Huddersfield was pleased with her performance in Beijing.

"It was brilliant," said Freeman. "They are all world-class girls.

"I need more races like this. I want the final at the next championships I'm in, definitely. I've learnt what it takes to compete at this level."

Jamaica's defending champion Veronica Campbell-Brown was the fastest qualifier in 22.19.

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Video - Freeman happy to compete with the finest

There was disappointment for Steve Lewis as he endured a dismal performance in the pole vault on his Olympic debut.

The 22-year-old Commonwealth bronze medallist failed all three attempts at his opening height of 5.45m - well short of his personal best of 5.71m - to bow out in the early stages of qualifying.

Lewis said afterwards that he thought the stands in which the bar rests were not in the correct position for his final jump.

"I asked for the stands to be changed because I changed the pole, but when I landed I'm not sure they were in the right place," he said.

"I'm gutted, I can't believe it."

In Wednesday's finals, Britain's Tasha Danvers claimed a brilliant bronze in the women's 400m hurdles, crossing the line in a personal best of 53.84 secs.

Welshman Christian Malcolm finished sixth in the final of the men's 200m in 20.40.

Athletics medals table

Sunday, 24 August 2008 10:17 UK <
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see also
Danvers wins bronze behind Walker
20 Aug 08 |  Athletics
Ohuruogu grabs gold for Britain
19 Aug 08 |  Athletics
Mason jumps to silver for Britain
19 Aug 08 |  Athletics
Rooney through to 400m showdown
19 Aug 08 |  Athletics
BBC Olympics blog
15 Aug 08 |  Olympics
Beijing 2008
14 Feb 08 |  Olympics
Find your local athletics club
13 Oct 05 |  Get Involved

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Rank Country Gold Silver Bronze TOTAL
1 also show each event results forUSA 7 9 7 23
Men's 100m 0 0 1
Men's 110m Hurdles 0 1 1
Men's 200m 0 1 1
Men's 400m 1 1 1
Men's 400m Hurdles 1 1 1
Men's 4 x 400m Relay 1 0 0
Men's Decathlon 1 0 0
Men's Shot Put 0 1 0
Women's 10000m 0 0 1
Women's 100m Hurdles 1 0 0
Women's 200m 0 1 0
Women's 400m 0 0 1
Women's 400m Hurdles 0 1 0
Women's 4 x 400m Relay 1 0 0
Women's Discus Throw 1 0 0
Women's Heptathlon 0 1 0
Women's Pole Vault 0 1 0
2 also show each event results forRussia 6 5 7 18
Men's 20km Walk 1 0 0
Men's 4 x 400m Relay 0 0 1
Men's 50km Walk 0 0 1
Men's High Jump 1 0 1
Men's Pole Vault 0 1 0
Women's 20km Walk 1 0 0
Women's 3000m Steeplechase 1 0 1
Women's 4 x 100m Relay 1 0 0
Women's 4 x 400m Relay 0 1 0


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