Norfolk’s Barbara Parker suffers London Olympics disappointment with early exit; James Dasaolu makes 100m semi-finals

Pott Row's Barbara Parker could not match her London Olympics hopes after failing to make the 3,000m steeplechase final at the Olympic Stadium on Saturday lunchtime.

The 29-year-old City of Norwich Athletic Club runner looked good early on in heat one, but lost ground on the leading group before eventually coming home sixth in nine minutes 32.07 seconds – almost eight seconds off her personal and season's best set at home in United States earlier in the year.

With the first four qualifying in each heat plus the three fastest losers for Monday night's final, Parker's hopes were left on the two remaining heats being slow.

But those hopes were dashed as quicker leading groups eased Parker down the summary standings and she eventually 17th – two places off making her first Olympic final.

In Beijing four years ago, Parker suffered a similar fate by also missing out on the final.


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'I wanted to be top four but someone trod on my foot and now it is bleeding,' said Parker immediately after her heat.

'I tried my best and that is all I can do. I have been in amazing shape and was just giving the steeplechase one last go before moving up to the 5,000m.'

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The news was better for Croydon Harrier James Dasaolu, with the 100m sprinter – drawn one lane inside Usain Bolt in heat four of round one – finishing third and qualifying for Sunday evening's semi-final.

Dasaolu's parents Akintola and Abosede run Steve McDonald News in Witard Road, north Norwich.

'I had a dream start and I just wanted to try hard,' said Dasaolu. 'I let Usain drag me along so I was really pleased with that. I wanted to beat him but I knew I was in a position to do well because I like to run against the quickest guys.'

Fellow Brits Dwain Chambers and Adam Gemili also qualified for Sunday's semi-finals.

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