Carroll Loses Out in Slower Heat

Mark Carroll’s Olympic dreams ended in Sydney tonight when he placed seventh in his heat of the 5,000m, missing out on one of the six automatic qualifying places.  A slower heat than the first one, and a time of 13:30.80, put paid to any hope of being one of the fastest losers.  Although he ran and positioned well for most of the race, the pace was not there when it mattered most.  “I think I got myself in the right positions throughout the race but when it came down to it I didn’t have the snap to go and do it at the finish,” he said.  “My race plan was to be well enough placed to wind it up over the last 600 metres and work off my strength. That’s the way it’s been for me most of the season but today it just wasn’t there.  This time it took me longer than normal to change gear 200 metres out and I cannot explain that.  When I needed to quicken it took me too long to get going.  That’s what makes it all the more disappointing. The basics which have worked so well for me before coming to Australia simply didn’t function out there.  I was full of confidence going into the last 600 metres. Even against these guys I’m always able to kick down. In grand prix races I am blowing by most of them every time – but not here.  I didn’t get firing all out until the finishing straight. But then it was too late and I just ran out of track.”  The Algerian, Ali Saidi-Sief, won the heat from Sergiy Lebid of the Ukraine and Dagne Alemu of Ethiopia in 13:29.24.  Africa’s dominance was even more pronounced in the other heat in which they filled the top six places.