World Athletics Championship: Perri Shakes-Drayton relishing 400m hurdles final
Last Updated: August 15, 2013 5:56pm
Perri Shakes-Drayton: Will be aiming to bring home a medal in the 400m hurdles
Perri Shakes-Drayton says the pressure of her first global outdoor final will not affect her when she goes for gold in the 400 metres hurdles on Thursday.
The Londoner roared into the final as the second fastest qualifier and is set to go head-to-head with Czech favourite Zuzanna Hejnova.
Shakes-Drayton missed out on the final in her home Olympics last year but the 24-year-old says she will not buckle on the big stage this time around.
"People have expectations, and I have expectations of myself, but I don't see it as pressure. This is nothing like the Olympics, it's not in my back yard," she said.
Shakes-Drayton admitted after winning her semi-final yesterday in 53.92secs - powerfully running down defending champion Lashinda Demus - that doubts had played on her mind ahead of the race, but that they were now gone.
She has enjoyed the season of her life so far this year, running a new personal best of 53.67s at the London Anniversary Games, but admits now is when it matters.
She added: "This is the real deal."
Standing in her way is Hejnova, one of the most dominant athletes on the track this summer. She beat Shakes-Drayton into second at the Anniversary Games, running a world leading 53.07.
Indeed, she has run five of the six fastest times of the year and reckons there is more to come after cruising through her semi-final.
"I really would love to run my fastest time in the final. I think I was able to save some energy for that. I believe that in the end I can run very fast," Hejnova said.
Eilidh Child will also line up for Britain alongside Shakes-Drayton in the final, while Hannah England will hope for more 1,500m glory after taking silver two years ago.
Olympic bronze medallist Robbie Grabarz will look at add to his medal haul in the high jump final.