OLYMPICS: Andy Turner through to hurdles semi-finals

Andy Turner
Andy Turner

STAR Hucknall athlete has qualified for the Olympic semi-finals after a dramatic opening round of the 110m hurdles this morning (Tuesday).

The 31-year-old went in the heats of the Olympic stadium in central London with the first three to cross the line securing qualification.

Turner, who grew up on Nottingham Road, has endured a tough season plagued with injury and only came third in the British trials.

But despite looking pensive on the start line, he stormed through to win his heat in a time 13.42 seconds.

He negotiated all ten hurdles cleanly.

Turner may well make the GB headlines, but the race will also be noted globally for the disaster that hit Chinese favourite Liu Xiang.

For the ex-world champion clattered into the very first hurdle and was left as a mere spectator on the track as the others completed the race.

After the run, Turner told the BBC: “It felt relatively easy. I was petrified. I haven’t had the best year, I’ve been struggling for form but training has gone well for two weeks. Now I’ve got that out of the way, I feel I can get my legs turning over and there’s more to come.

“I’ve medalled in every final I’ve been in, some by luck, but a medal is a medal and I can use my experience and pull out a better race in the semi-final because I’ve got to run a lot quicker.”

After his fall, Xiang chose to hop the whole length of the home straight on one leg to kiss the final hurdle.

He was then embraced by Turner, who brought up the loudest cheer of the morning with his win.

On Xiang’s heartbreak, Turner said: “I know full well how painful Achilles problems are and what (Liu Xiang) has gone through in the last four years and for this to happen is devastating and I really feel for him because he’s the greatest hurdler ever.”

Turner must now focus on his semi-final and hopefully final, which are tomorrow night (Wednesday) at 7.15 pm and 9.15 pm respectively.