1 Sep 2011

Robertson qualifies for 5000 metres final

6:07 pm on 1 September 2011

New Zealand's Jake Robertson has qualified for the 5000 metres final at the world track and field championships in South Korea after it looked as if a fall in his heat had ruled him out.

Robertson was well placed in the early stages of the second heat, but was tripped and fell heavily before regaining his feet, chasing down the bunch in very hot conditions.

He took the lead, only to be badly checked again with 800 metres to go, losing any chance of the top five placing he needed to advance to the final and finishing 12th.

However the New Zealand team manager Raylene Bates protested the fall and Robertson was added to the final after being judged to have been obstructed.

Robertson says he almost tripped with 800 metres to run and that's when he really dropped off getting better every year and hope to be a threat in future.

The 36-year-old Kenya-born American Bernard Lagat was the fastest qualifier winning the first and fastest of the two heats in 13 minutes 33.9 seconds.

But New Zealand's Nikki Hamblin has just missed out reaching the 800 metres semi-finals after fading to fifth in her heat and finishing one place and 0.03 of a second away from qualifying.

The Commonwealth Games double silver medalist had looked as if if she was going to get the top four finish she needed to make up for her fall in her 1500 metres heat.