It was a day to savour for Ivory Coast and the African continent as Murielle Ahouré stormed to the women’s 60m world title, beating a stacked field to win her first ever global title, racing to a lifetime best and World Lead (WL) of 6.97s.
It wasn’t just about Ahouré winning, but the fact that she led an Ivory Coast 1-2, as her compatriot Marie Josee Ta Lou finished 2nd to clinch Silver, having clocked the same time of 7.05s as Mujinga Kambundji who won Bronze.
Luckily for Ta Lou, she had a much faster reaction time of 043s, with Kambundji’s own being 048s, which saw the 2017 100m world Silver medallist slightly edging 2nd place. Both Elaine Thompson and Dafne Schippers finished outside of the medal places, finishing 4th and 5th in 7.08s and 7.10s respectively.
Ahouré showed a glimpse of what to expect in the semis when she bolted through with the fastest time of the rounds, winning her heat in 7.01s. However it was in the final that she really displayed her prowess, going on to better her previous African indoor record of 6.99s.
She now holds the two African records in the 60m and 100m, now going a step further to win her maiden global title, surpassing the double Silver she won in 2013 at the World Championships in Russia.
Meanwhile in the women’s 60m Hurdles, Kendra Harrison showed that she meant business at this competition, running the fastest time of all five heats to win heat 4 in 7.77s.
Denmark’s Isabelle Pedersen ran a Personal Best of 7.93s to win heat 2, with Nigeria’s Tobi Amusan and Bahamian Devvyne Charlton running a joint 3rd fastest time of 7.95s in the heats.
In the women’s 400m semifinals, Shakima Wimbley won heat 1 with an impressive 51.34s, however there was drama in heat 2 as Jamaica’s Stephanie McPherson got disqualified for a lane violation after her victory. There was no problems for Courtney Okolo who comfortably won heat 3 with a time of 51.79s, and will no doubt be the favourite for the title.
Spain’s Óscar Husillos was the talk of the men’s 400m semis, running a new National indoor record of 45.69 to win heat 2 ahead of USA’s Michael Cherry who was 2nd in 45.73s. While defending champion Pavel Maslak ensured that he would get a chance to defend his title, stretching out his right arm to narrowly beat Deon Lendore and win in 46.32s. The latter finished 2nd in 46.33s.
Meanwhile Genzebe Dibaba could go on to clinch a second title in Birmingham, easily winning her 1500m heat in 4:06.25 to qualify for the final ahead of Laura Muir who was 2nd in 4:06.54. However Sifan Hassan would want to have a say on how the medals would be shared, getting in the thick of things with victory in heat 3 with an SB of 4:05.46