Fabrice Lapierre ‘s reigning world silver medallist has squeezed into final of the long jump as the last qualifier despite not hitting any of his jumps cleanly.
Lapierre managed to grab 12th place of 12 qualifiers with a best effort of 7.91m to go through to the final on Sunday (London.time). He advanced among the next best performers, or lucky losers group, outside those who automatic qualified with jumps of 8.05m or more.
Lapierre jumped from before the take off board on each of his three attempts, leaving him confident that if he can launch a good clean jump from the board he will find the extra range to still replicate his effort in Beijing at the last worlds two years ago.
“I didn’t hit the board on any of my attempts tonight, and if tomorrow I can do that then I’m in the mix for a medal,” Lapierre said.
“It was pretty nerve-wracking waiting, once I saw Jeff [Henderson, the Olympic gold medallist from American in Rio last year] go up I thought I was no chance but I managed to sneak in. I just can’t wait to come back tomorrow. The crowd is awesome.
“The first one I was just getting used to the runway, and the second one I went for the qualifier. I think I would have got there had I hit the board,” His second jump was his biggest.
In Rio last year Lapierre also got through to the final but ultimately could not replicate the form of a year earlier in Beijing when he won the world silver medal. At the Olympics he finished tenth and was disappointed in his performance.
Fellow n Henry Frayne was eliminated after a best jump of 7.88m.
In the 1500m ‘s Zoe Buckman made it through to the semi-final with her run of 4:05.44 enough for to qualify among the fastest losers outside automatic qualification.
Young pair Linden Hall (4:10.51) and Georgina Griffith 4:08.99 ran well but missed out on qualifying.