Laura Muir and Robbie Grabarz empty-handed on rare off-night for GB: Rio Olympics athletics

Laura Muir and Robbie Grabarz empty-handed on rare off-night for GB: Rio Olympics athletics

Laura Muir and Robbie Grabarz empty-handed on rare off-night for GB: Rio Olympics athletics

Laura Muir admitted she paid the price for going for gold as her 1500 metres hopes were dashed on a night of disappointment for Great Britain’s athletes at the Rio Olympics.

The Scot broke Kelly Holmes’ British record last month, but had to settle for seventh place here as she tried to go with Kenya’s Faith Kipyegon and Ethiopia’s world record holder Genzebe Dibaba when they broke away, only to be swallowed up by the field with 150m to go.

The 23-year-old crossed the line in four minutes 12.88 seconds as Kipyegon beat Dibaba to the gold in 4mins 8.92secs.

“I went for it, I wasn’t aiming for a top five, or third. I went for the gold,” Muir said. “I gave it everything I could. I couldn’t have done any more, it just so happened that the legs weren’t in it. First Olympics, seventh is not quite what I wanted, but it will do.”

London 2012 high jump bronze medallist Robbie Grabarz and sprint hurdler Andy Pozzi also saw medal chances elude them.

Grabarz had to settle for fourth with a best clearance of 2.33m, while Pozzi offered a brutally honest assessment of his failure to even make the final.

Pozzi’s bid to become Britain’s first Olympic 110m hurdles medallist in 28 years was dashed in the semi-finals.

The 24-year-old, aiming to make up for the heartbreak of limping out of the heats at London 2012 with a torn hamstring by bouncing back from three years of injury hell, produced his slowest race of the season at the worst possible time.

Pozzi, who has lowered his personal best three times this year to 13.19s, started well before crashing into several hurdles and crossing the line in 13.67. It saw him finish fifth, his time not enough to qualify as a fastest loser.

He said: “I just didn’t get into the race, it was just abysmal. To be honest I’m just embarrassed. I’ve never, ever run that badly and I can’t begin to describe why.”

Pozzi’s team-mate Lawrence Clarke, fourth at London 2012, also failed to make the final, finishing sixth in 13.46.

There was better news for 400m hurdles medal hope Eilidh Doyle, who booked her spot in the final as a fastest loser after finishing third in 54.99, but Jack Green went out in the semi-finals of the men’s event.

Dina Asher-Smith squeezed into the 200m final as the fastest loser after finishing fourth in 22.49.

Asher-Smith said: “I’m quite a bit disappointed as I know I can run better than that and I’ve got the opportunity now to do that in the final.”

Jodie Williams went out as she finished eighth in her semi-final in 22.99.

In the long jump Lorraine Ugen (6.65m) and Jazmin Sawyers (6.53m) both qualified for the final, but world silver medallist Shara Proctor could only manage a best of 6.36m and went out.

Ben Bloom on Laura Muir and Laura Weightman

There is some way to go, but there were just enough signs that the audacious prediction made by Laura Muir’s coach may yet come true in the not too distant future.

It was January 2013 when Andy Young messaged a friend to tell him he had “the next Paula Radcliffe/Kelly Holmes” on his hands. Three years later it was such boldness that was perhaps Muir’s undoing as she promised so much, but ultimately failed to deliver on the biggest stage at the Olympic Games in Rio.

In light of her insistence that the Tokyo 2020 Games are her main aim, a seventh place finish in the 1500m final was a commendable achievement for the 23-year-old. But she had hoped for much more.

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