LYNSEY SHARP flew out of Doha yesterday, declaring that her first-round exit from the 800 metres had been a “disaster”.

The 29-year-old had been tipped for a world championship medal but instead crashed out in tears by ending up fourth in Friday’s heats.

It was a crushing deflation for the former European champion who has rebuilt her career this summer after pondering her future following 12 months of disappointing performances, but tactically, she got it all wrong.

“In hindsight, I should have planned the race differently," she said. "But I thought I had all the tools to run it that way and finish in the top three. It was really close. But that’s the sort of margins that it comes down to at a major championship.

“You can’t do anything if you don’t get through the heats and it’s been a bit of a pattern. It’s been similar at British Championships and I need to work out how to run those races and win those races. Because it’s no use being in 1:57 shape doesn’t matter if you can’t do that.”

A torrent of abusive messages towards the Scot flooded social media from the supporters of reigning champion Caster Semenya, barred from competing in Doha due to new rules limiting testosterone levels, but Sharp said the edge had been taken off the hurt by the support of team-mates who rallied around when she returned to the hotel.

She said: “It’s nice to hear that people think I’m resilient and can bounce back because right now, I’m questioning that. But I’ll be back.”

It was a difficult night, too, for Sharp's boyfriend Andy Butchart, who admitted the Hokey-Cokey night that ended up with him losing out on a spot in tomorrow’s 5,000 metres final was a brutal rollercoaster ride.

The 27-year-old was one place short from qualifying from Friday’s heat, then found himself reprieved when Norway’s Jakob Ingebrigtsen was disqualified, then eliminated again by an appeals jury just after midnight.

Butchart revealed he only learned of the second U-turn when he woke up yesterday - and prepared to pack his bags rather than return to the track.

“It was a bizarre night and I’ve never experienced post-race emotion like it,” he said. “I was pretty upset when it was confirmed that I wasn’t going into the final. Five minutes later, I heard that on Twitter that [Jakob] had stepped on the infield and was a potential DQ.”

But officials eventually ruled that Ingebrigtsen, the European champion, had not gained any unfair advantage.

Butchart bears no grudge towards the Norwegian for pleading his case.

He said on his Instagram: “I wish Jakob all the best in the final. But to all the Norwegians, I never knew I could receive so many hateful messages in such a short period .. Love you all.”