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400m final agony for Richard Buck
11:00am Saturday 30th June 2012 in Athletics
CITY of York Athletics Club ace Richard Buck faces an anxious weekend to see whether British selectors will hand him a London 2012 4x400-metre relay spot after his quest to claim the Olympic ‘A’ standard ended in disappointment in Helsinki last night.
Buck produced a battling performance in the 400m final at the European Championships but, after a slow start, he was forced to settle for fifth spot – agonisingly missing out on the bronze medal by a tenth of a second.
The Brit, who finished fifth at last weekend’s British trials, needed to run 45.30 seconds to claim the third and final individual spot in the 400m at the Olympic Games.
But, after being drawn in lane eight in the final, Buck was off the pace in the first 200m and, despite a battling final 100m, he clocked 45.92 seconds.
The Czech Republic’s Pavel Maslak took gold in 45.24 seconds, with Hungary’s Marcell Deak-Nagy the winning silver and France’s Yannick Fonsat the bronze.
“A tenth of a second over a quarter of a mile is tough, but this is a cruel sport,” said Buck. “I executed my race plan well, I went out nice and rhythmic and wound it up round the curve and really worked in the home straight but it wasn’t quite there like it has been in other races but I’m still happy.
“I’m really disappointed not to have got a medal. I knew that I could have done and I went out there to really fight for one and to be so close is disappointing.
“It was difficult in lane eight because I could not see what was inside me but I almost ran out of gas in the finishing straight, it was so close that I have to use this as a learning experience.
“But it’s better to be disappointed here than at the Olympics in a month’s time.”
Buck will take part in the 4x400m relay today and tomorrow.
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