Olympic 200m Champion, Allyson Felix may not have qualified from the US trials to defend her 200m title in Rio, but the 30 year old has already made known her intentions of winning her first Olympic GOLD in the 400m. The American easily won her Heat in 51.24s on Day 2 of the Athletics events, thereby progressing to the semifinals at the Olympic Games in Brazil.
The World 400m Champion who competed in Heat 2, was not threatened from the start and took things easy on the home straight to finish ahead of Ukraine’s Olha Zemlyak, who clocked 51.40s, while Serbia’s Tamara Salaski placed 3rd in 52.70s.
World Silver Medallist, Shaunae Miller also had an easy win in Heat 5, coasting to victory in 51.16s. The Bahamian, already had the win from 300m, and only had to jog to the finish line, arousing questions on how fast she can actually run at the Games.
Miller will be Felix’s stiffest challenger for the GOLD medal, as she’s currently No.1 on the 2016 World List with a Season’s Best (SB)/ Personal Best (PB) of 49.55s. Australia’s Morgan Mitchell took the second qualifying spot in the Heat with 51.30s, as Germany’s Ruth Sophia Spelmeyer placed 3rd in 51.43s.
However, the biggest upset of all Heats occurred in Heat 6, where World Youth Champion, Salwa Eid Naser of Bahrain clocked a PB of 51.06s for the win ahead of European Champion, Libania Grenot (51.17s) and European Siver medallist, Floria Guei (51.29s).
The 18-year old prior to the Olympics, had a PB of 51.39s which was set on her way to clinching the GOLD medal at the 2015 Military Youth Games. She has so far shown her consistency of showing up on big occasions, and won’t be looked over for a final spot when she competes in the semis.
Meanwhile, her teammate and compatriot, Kemi Adekoya also ran a PB/ National Record (NR) of 50.72s, finishing 2nd behind USA’s Phyllis Francis, who ran the fastest time of all Heats in 50.58s. Nigeria’s Margaret Bamgbose was 3rd, clocking 51.43s.
USA’s Natasha Hastings was the woman to beat in Heat 4, stopping the clock at 51.31s, while London 2012 Silver medallist, Christine Ohuruogu of Great Britain settled for 2nd in 51.40s.
World Bronze medallist, Jamaica’s Shericka Jackson won Heat 7 in 51.73s, with African Champion, Kabange Mupopo coming in a close 2nd clocking 51.76s, while Poland’s Justina Swiety finished 3rd in 51.82s.
In the final Heat, Jamaica’s Christine Day got the better of Canada’s Carline Muir, clocking 51.54s and 51.57s respectively. Poland’s Holub Malgorzata got the final qualifying spot, with her time of 51.80s.