Fresh off his Bronze medal win in the men’s 100m at the 2023 World Championships in Budapest, Zharnel Hughes led qualifiers in the 200m heats on Wednesday morning as the only man under 20 seconds across all seven heats with a time of 19.99s!
He ran that in perfectly still conditions ahead of Aaron Brown who clocked 20.08s while Luxolo Adams who was a finalist last year, posted his best time of the season in 20.15s to also qualify.
In the same lane, newly minted World 100m Champion Noah Lyles was in cruise control in his heat which he won in 20.05s (-0.1) from Jamaican Champion Andrew Hudson in 20.28s while Letsile Tebogo who completed the 100m podium ran 20.22s, perhaps looking the easiest in qualification. He ran into a 1.4m/s headwind and shut down running at about 120m out.
Kenny Bednarek and Erriyon Knighton were other heat winners. Bednarek ran a very impressive race which he won in 20.01s ahead of Alexander Ogando who was 2nd in 20.14s while Erriyon Knighton looked easy in his heat with 20.17s to win.
On the women’s side, Sha’carri Richardson ran the fastest time across all heats, looking incredibly easy with 22.16s (-0.7). She was drawn in the same heat with Marie Josee Ta Lou who was a close second, running a Season’s Best (SB) of 22.26s while Olivia Fotopoulou came 3rd in 22.50s.
The opening heat saw Anthonique Strachan come away winner in 22.31s, easing down before the finish from Daryll Neita who posted 22.39s. Spanish athlete Jael Bestue got the third automatic spot in that race in 22.58s.
Meanwhile, Julien Alfred maintained the consistency she has kept all season long, taking her own heat in 22.31s. Dina Asher-Smith and Shericka Jackson also progressed, winning their races in 22.46s and 22.50s respectively.