Marvellous Mo eased down ‘too much’ on way to win

Mo Abdullahi. Picture: Mick Young
Mo Abdullahi. Picture: Mick Young
Ali Watson  and Katy Bradley scan finishing tokens for first time parkrunners Rebecca Howell and Jess Gwynn

Gallery: Lee-on-the-Solent parkrun 149

Have your say

New 400m champion Mo Abdullahi had mixed emotions after claiming gold at the Hampshire Track & Field Championships.

The talented 21-year-old defeated City of Portsmouth team-mate Chris Tandi – who finished third – on his way to victory over one lap of the track.

But his time of 49.65secs was slower than he had hoped for – especially after two personal bests and an eighth-place finish at the British Universities & Colleges Sports Championships the previous weekend.

Abdullahi put his time down a poor back straight.

However, knowing he still had plenty left in the tank came as a consolation to the University of Portsmouth student.

‘I was a bit annoyed about the time,’ he said.

‘I eased down a bit too much on the back straight.

‘The tactic was to ease down for the second 200m but I think I eased down to much.

‘I underestimated the wind and that gave me a lot to do in the last part of the race.

‘But I had the strength to pull through and win in the end.

‘I’m happy that I won, though – that’s all that matters really.

‘It’s been a good day and a good weekend all round.’

Abdullahi set a new personal best of 48.88 in qualifying for the 400m final of BUCS showdown at the Olympic stadium.

He then bettered it in his semi-final, reducing it to 48.36 – before equalling the mark en route to an eighth-place finish at the new London landmark.

Those times earned him an invite to the prestigious Loughborough International later this month, capping an impressive couple of weeks for the emerging City talent.

‘I ran two PBs in the Olympic stadium and got to the final of the uni games – you can’t really complain,’ he said.

‘I’ve now got the Loughborough International next week.

‘Hopefully I can run a PB there and get under 48 seconds, which is the goal for the season really.

‘It’s massive to get an invite to it.

‘There are going to be so many big names there.

‘I’m buzzing at the thought of it already.’

Abdullahi added he still had his sights set on the Olympic trials in Birmingham, with qualifying still open until June 18.

‘I need to run 47.6 before June 18, so I’ve got to keep working hard and training but I should get there’ he said.

‘It’s touch and go, really. My coach said I’m in 47.8 shape.

‘I need to run 47.6, so the sooner I execute my race right I should get under the mark.

‘It will be a bonus if I get under it.’