10:30AM, Thursday 24 March 2022
Getty Images for British Athletics
Despite producing one of her best times of the season, WSEH’s Jessie Knightjust failed to reach the final of the 400m at the World Indoor Athletics Championships in Belgrade.
In a competitive semi-final, Knight pushed the likes of the Bahamas’ Shaunae Miller-Uibo all the way to the finish line, but her time of 51.93 wasn’t quite good enough to make the final, by just a few hundredths of a second.
It's been an eventful championship for Knight who was initially disqualified from her heat for stepping off the track, however, it would be more accurate to say she was jostled off it.
However, having recovered to finish second in 52.93 – and successfully appealed her disqualification – she was reinstated in the event.
In her semi-final she finished just behind Miller Uibo (51.38), Poland's Justyna Swiety-Ersetic (51.67) and the Netherlands’ Lieke Klaver (51.81).
Her time of 51.93 was bettered only by the personal best of 51.57 she set in winning the British Indoor 400m championships a few weeks ago in Birmingham.
The finalists stepped up the pace once again in the medal match, with the two-time Olympic champion Miller-Uibo taking gold in a season’s best 50.31 from Femke Bol of the Netherlands in 50.57. Jamaica’s Stephenie Ann McPherson took bronze in 50.79.
Knight also excelled in the 4x400m relay, running a final leg split of just 50.88 as Team GB finished fifth in the world behind gold medal winners Jamaica, silver medallists Netherlands and Poland who took bronze. The USA finished in fourth.
Knight’s split time in the relay was the third fastest of any athlete in the event.
Despite her obvious talent for the 400m, Knight's focus for the outdoor season remains the 400m hurdles.
Last season proved a challenging one for Knight as her Olympic efforts were beset by cruel luck. She fell at the first hurdle in her 400m hurdles heat in Tokyo having been forced to self-isolate in the crucial period leading up to the event after being deemed a close contact of someone who tested positive for COVID on the flight to Japan from Heathrow.
She does though consider herself to be in a much better place, ‘physically and mentally', heading into the 2022 outdoor season.