Lennon-Ford blames 'tight' track
Luke Lennon-Ford blamed a "blatantly tight" track on his disqualification from the 400 metres heats at the European Championships in Helsinki.
Lennon-Ford and team-mate Richard Buck had seemingly advanced to the semi-finals of the 400 metres after winning their heats, but were then disqualified for running outside of their lanes in the Olympic Stadium.
A total of seven athletes were initially disqualified for lane infringements from the five heats, and although Buck was subsequently reinstated after the British team protested about the "inconclusive" video evidence, Lennon-Ford had no such recourse.
The European Under-23 bronze medallist blamed the renovations to the venue which saw the football pitch in the infield widened to meet international regulations and the track relaid.
"One of the Finnish radio reporters told me they've changed the curve and they have blatantly made it too tight," the 23-year-old said. "I was only going 85% around the top bend and had to cut back to 65% around the next.
"I was in and out of the lane and thought I was going to get DQ'd. I'm gutted. It's really frustrating. I've had the worst four days of my life after getting a virus before the trials and not being able to do anything there.
"Everything happens for a reason I suppose. I hope in some way I can still get selection for the Olympics."
Buck still needs to record two 'A' standards of 45.30 seconds in the semi-final and final to have a realistic chance of being selected for the Olympics, with Nigel Levine in a strong position to claim the final place available alongside Martyn Rooney and Conrad Williams.
There could be no excuses about the track for Britain's other athletes though, with Abigail Irozuru (long jump) and Carl Myerscough (shot) failing to reach their respective finals and former Olympic finalist Jeanette Kwakye crashing out in the heats of the 100 metres.
Irozuru has jumped 6.80m this season and needed another leap over the Olympic 'A' standard of 6.75m to be eligible for selection on Monday, but committed a foul with her opening attempt, ran through the pit on her second and managed just 6.19m on her final effort to finish 22nd out of 30.
The 22-year-old could still achieve the qualifier in a low-key meeting in London at the weekend, but said: "I'll need to talk to my coach because right now I don't even feel like doing that, I feel so despondent.
"I'm shocked and very disappointed. I seriously do not have any belief in myself when I'm jumping right now, I feel like I'm a big fluke getting that 6.80. I feel like I've let a lot of people down."
Kwakye has been plagued by injuries since reaching the Olympic final in Beijing and trailed in seventh in her heat in 11.98 seconds.
"I've got a couple of 'A' standards from last year but only four weeks until the Games, and you know I can't start on the line in London if I'm going to be in that kind of shape and form, I wouldn't do myself justice and psychologically it doesn't help," Kwakye, 29, said. "I'm devastated."
Trials winner Ashleigh Nelson was third in her heat in 11.43secs to advance to the semi-finals. Nelson needs to run 11.29s here to secure her place in London.
Isobel Pooley, who needed to clear 1.95m in the high jump to secure an automatic Olympic place, managed just 1.78m to fail to reach the final, while Richard Yates also went out in the heats of the 400m hurdles.
However, Nathan Woodward and Rhys Williams - who are battling for the last Olympic spot - both won their heats to advance to tomorrow's semi-finals.
In the men's 100m, Mark Lewis-Francis and Harry Aikines-Aryeetey advanced to the semi-finals after finishing fourth and second respectively in their heats, Aikines-Aryeetey recording a season's best of 10.27s behind France's defending champion Christophe Lemaitre.
Gareth Warburton and Mukhtar Mohammed advanced to the semi-finals of the 800m, with Warburton just missing out on the 'A' standard he requires to be eligible for selection by 0.2s.
Goldie Sayers qualified for the javelin final with her second throw of 60.90m, but team-mate Laura Whittingham (52.82m) missed out.