Jamaica’s sprinting prowess will be on show in the Russian capital today as all four male 100m contestants, led by Usain Bolt, eased into today’s semi-finals at the IAAF World Championships in Athletics, while Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and the rest of the female contingent get ready to launch their campaigns.
With the final (12:50 p.m. Jamaica time) also on the cards to follow the 10:05 a.m. semi-finals, Jamaicans will be banking on bothering the medal counters for the first time since the start of the championships in this event.
“I could not wait to come out and run,” Bolt beamed as he made his way through the Mixed Zone after a relaxed 10.07 win in his heat, which kept him on track to reclaim the title he lost to Yohan Blake two years ago after a false start.
“It was a good run, it was all about getting through to the next round, so I just took it easy and made it through,” Bolt added. “I’m feeling good, I’m just happy to go out there and run. I’m just happy to come out here and execute.”
Bolt has made no secret of his intentions to test his own 9.58 100m world record here, but there are others from the island that are looking to leave a mark as well.
Kemar Bailey-Cole, who also won his heat with much to spare, is the fastest Jamaican qualifier with 10.02, with Nesta Carter, 10.07, who was also first across the line in his race and Nickel Ashmeade, 10.12, all made their way to the next round.
“I am pretty pleased with the race because I executed well, got out of the blocks well and did the rest to get through to the semi-finals,” Bailey-Cole said.
The Jamaicans will be tested by Americans Mike Rodgers, 10.98 and Justin Gatlin, 10.99, Keston Bledman (Trinidad and Tobago), 10.02, as well as Frenchman Jimmy Vicaut, 10.06, who all looked comfortable in advancing.
Also today, all three ladies in the 400m will line up in the semi-finals (11:05 a.m.) after positive results yesterday.
Yesterday, McPherson, competing in her first international senior championships, covered the field, which included Francena McCorory, 50.56 by the 300m mark before slowing down to finish behind the American in a time of 50.98.
“I ran faster than I wanted to run today,” said McPherson after the race. “I wanted to run in the region of 51 seconds, but I’m glad to finally get the chance to come out and run.”
Williams-Mills ran a strong first 300m from lane two, before leaving some in reserve to finish second in 50.83 in her heat behind Russian Kseniya Ryzhova, 50.69, with Ukrainian Nataliia Pygyda, 51.17 running third.
Patricia Hall was a little more laboured in her heat, finishing third in 52.20, behind defending champion and world leader Amantle Montsho, 50.75, and Regina George, 51.01.
It was a disaster for long jumper Francine Simpson, who crashed out of the qualifiers without registering a legal mark.
Ten Jamaicans were expected to line up in today’s morning session, including Fraser-Pryce, Kerron Stewart, Schillonie Calvert and Sheri-Ann Brooks, in the women’s 100m heats (2:55 a.m.) while Javere Bell, Javon Francis and Omar Johnson will compete in the men’s 400m heats at 2:05 a.m.
Also, Hansle Parchment, Andrew Riley and Dwight Thomas will compete in the men’s 110m hurdles heats at 12:40 a.m.
Day 3 – Aug 12
JA TIME SEX EVENT ROUND
12:30 AM W 100 Metres Hurdles Heptathlon
12:40 AM M Discus Throw Qualification Group A
1:10 AM M 3000 Metres Steeplechase Heats
1:35 AM W High Jump Heptathlon
2:05 AM MDiscus Throw Qualification Group B
2:05 AM M 400 Metres Hurdles Heats
2:50 AM W 400 Metres Hurdles Heats
9:45 AM W Shot Put Heptathlon Group A
10:00 AM M Pole Vault Final
10:05 AM M 110 Metres Hurdles Semi-Final
10:35 AM W 100 Metres Semi-Final
11:05 AM M 400 Metres Semi-Final
11:25 AM W Shot Put Final
11:30 AM M Hammer Throw Final
11:35 AM W 200 Metres Heptathlon
12:15 PM W 400 MetresFinal
12:30 PM M110 Metres Hurdles Final
12:50 PM W 100 Metres Final