There were a few surprises in the women’s 100m heats which took centre stage on Day 2 of the ongoing IAAF World Championships in London even as the major contenders comfortably booked their spots in Sunday’s semifinal race.
Germany’s Gina Luckenkemper sprung a surprise in Heat 1 where she raced to the overall fastest time of 10.95s, setting a new Personal Best (PB) in the process to upstage Moscow 2013 Silver medalllist Murielle Ahoure who placed 2nd in 11.04s. Jura Levy and Asha Philip also secured their place in the semis with times of 11.09s and 11.14s in 3rd and 4th place.
Championship favourite Elaine Thompson comfortably won Heat 2 in a time of 11.05s, inspiring Canada’s Crystal Emmanuel to a PB of 11.14s in 2nd place, while USA’s Ariana Washington finished 3rd in 11.28s.
Beijing 2015 Bronze medallist Tori Bowie was the woman to beat in Heat 3 where she stormed to victory in 11.05s as Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare Ighoteguonor came from behind to settle for 2nd place (11.22s). Ivet Lalova-Collio followed in 3rd position with a time of 11.31s.
Marie Josee Ta Lou showed some signs of brilliance as she beat Dafne Schippers to the finishing line to win Heat 4 in 11.00s. The Dutchwoman returned a time of 11.08s in 2nd while South Africa’s Carina Horn joined the list of automatic qualifiers with her 3rd place finish, clocking a time of 11.28s.
Brazilian Rosangela Santos emerged the surprise winner in Heat 5 where she upstaged Michelle-Lee Ahye to set a PB of 11.04s, with Mujinga Kambundji placing 2nd in 11.14s. Home girl Darryl Neita (11.15s) was inspired by the support of the home fans and raced to victory in Heat 6 ahead of USA’s Deajah Stevens (11.17s).
Meanwhile in the men’s 800m, 19-year old Kipyegon Bett stole the show in Heat 1 where he clocked 1:45.76 as Andreas Kramer of Sweden followed in 1:45.98.
Canada’s Brandon McBride (1:45.69) dominated Heat 2 for the better part of the race before relinquishing the lead to Thijmen Kupers who took the win in 1:45.53. Kevin Lopez was 3rd in 1:45.77.
Ferguson Cheruiyot Rotich was unstoppable in Heat 3 where he stormed to victory in 1:45.77 to finish ahead of Isaiah Harris (1:45.82) and Elliot Giles (1:45.86).
World Leader Emmanuel Korir (1:47.08) was comfortable in Heat 4, allowing Poland’s Michal Rozmys (1:47.09) to take the lead before overtaking as they approached the home straight.
Nijel Amos left no room for error, executing a tactical race to finish ahead of his rivals in a time of 1:47.10 in Heat 5. Frenchman Pierre-Ambroise Bosse and Adam Kszczot were 2nd and 3rd respectively in 1:47.25 and 1:47.36.
US 800m Champion Donavan Brazier held off the rest of the field to cross the finishing line 1st in Heat 6 in a time of 1:45.65 as former World Champion Mohammed Aman came from behind to occupy the 2nd spot with a time of 1:45.81.