Buck has final chance to hit Games standard

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RICHARD Buck insists it is silverware and not the clock that is occupying his mind as the 400m runner booked himself a spot in today’s final in Helsinki.

With the 25-year-old’s season-best sitting at 45.61-secs, Buck headed to Finland looking to dip under the Olympic A standard of 45.30 to claim the final individual 400m spot available after Martyn Rooney and Conrad Williams wrapped up two of the three places at the weekend’s Olympic trials.

Although Buck failed to secure the Olympic A standard yesterday, he lives to fight another day as his semi-final time of 46.13secs was good enough for second, earning him a place in the final.

But despite the backdrop of London 2012 looming over him, York’s Buck admits he only has eyes for the podium in Finland.

“It’s a major final so I am happy to be there in the final. I’m not focussing so much on the time, I just want to do what I can at a championships.

“I think it’s very hard to chase times especially with a deadline so close. I’d love an ‘A’ standard, but at worse I want to prove to selectors that I’m at least going to contribute strongly to a relay team.”

There was disappointment for Hatti Archer as she failed to make the 3000m steeplechase final, and Sheffield’s Mukhtar Mohammed also bowed out of the 800m.

The 21-year-old looked set for a place in the showpiece as he was in the top two for the majority of his semi-final, only to run out of steam on the home straight and cross the line third in 1:48.84.

The Sheffield RC star admitted: “I did not run well. At the start, I was all right but when I pushed I had nothing left, the lactic caught me and I was just passed to finish third.”

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