Beijing (CIOC) – In her fourth bid for an Olympic medal, veteran runner Cydonie Mothersill proved her star is still rising in the Bird’s Nest Tuesday.
After two preliminary rounds in the morning and evening – Mothersill advances to the semi-finals on 20 August, a place where she has been before, but she has never made it to the Olympic finals.
In Mothersill’s first round this morning, the bright sun broke through the Beijing smog. And she was on fire, as she rocketed down the track to finish third in her heat with a lightening fast time of 22.76. This was a seasonal best time for Mothersill who finished third out of 46 overall and it moved her to the next round in the evening.
But something was a little off in the evening round as Mothersill struggled to maintain the relentless pace against tough competitors. Finishing the second round at 22.83, it was clear Mothersill was not happy with her performance. She tied with American Muna Lee for the ninth spot out of 31 runners. But it was still fast enough to get her into the semi-finals.
Minutes after the race, Mothersill still did not know whether she had performed a strong enough race to get into the semi-finals.
“I don’t think I was aggressive enough,” says Mothersill. “I reacted well, but I don’t know what happened. I am just not sure what part of my race I did wrong. But obviously, something went wrong so I have to regroup and go again.”
Even a few hours between races anything can happen. Competitors who placed first and second in the morning round, American Muna Lee and France Muriel Hurtis-Houairi placed ninth and 11th in the evening race.
Coach Kenrick Williams was more upbeat about Mothersill’s second round.
“She made it into the semi-finals and she is going to have to take it from there,” says Williams
Now every hour, every second of the day is focused on the mental game of staying calm and relaxed and more importantly, avoiding drama. Because even 100th of a second at this stage can make the difference between advancing to the next round or being shut out.