Despite a downpour affecting many of the runners at the Olympic Stadium in London on Saturday, Canada’s Crystal Emmanuel blazed into the semifinals of the women’s 100-metre event with a personal best time.
Emmanuel ran to a mark of 11.14 seconds, just behind Olympic champion Elaine Thompson of Jamaica, who won their heat in 11.05.
Gina Luckenkemper of Germany, who raced before the rain came had the top time of 10.95 seconds, was the only woman to break the 11-second mark, while Dafne Schippers of the Netherlands had more of a struggle finishing second to Marie-Josee Ta Lou of Ivory Coast. Ta Lou had the second-best time of 11.00.
Crystal Emmanuel advances to 100-metre semis with personal best at IAAF worlds4:04
The semifinals and final are set for Sunday (2:10 p.m. ET, CBC, CBCSports.ca).
McBride moves on
Canadian Brandon McBride advanced to the semifinals in the men’s 800m with a third-overall finish in the heats.
McBride’s time of 1:45.69 was just off the lead time of Thjimen Kuper of the Netherlands, who was the top qualifier in 1:45.53.
“I just wanted it to be an honest race,” McBride told CBC Sports. “I just wanted to control and dictate the pace.”
Sunday’s semifinal is slated for 4:15 p.m. ET (CBC, CBCSports.ca)
Walsh goes all out
Shot put qualifying is usually about doing enough to get into the final. They didn’t tell Tomas Walsh.
The New Zealander had a massive throw of 22.14 metres, which the IAAF said was the second biggest ever in the 34-year history of the event. The championship record is 22.23 metres, set by Werner Guenthor in 1987.
Joining Walsh in Sunday’s final with a first automatic qualifying mark were Olympic champion Ryan Crouser and two-time world champion David Storl of Germany.
Canada’s Tim Nedow had a mark of 20.09 but failed to qualify for the final.
Van Niekerk starts strong
Wayde van Niekerk won his opening heat in the 400 metres on Saturday, his first race of possibly six in as many days at the world championships. The Olympic champion crossed in 45.27 seconds, .26 ahead of Nery Brenes of Costa Rica.
The South African is seeking to win gold in both the 400 and 200 metres over the next week. He is tipped by many to become the sport’s next star now that Usain Bolt is retiring after the world championships.
In both races, though, he might find his toughest rival in Isaac Makwala of Botswana. Makwala was just as good in his heat. Following a fast start, it was a jog in the finishing straight as he finished in 44.55 for the top time of the day.
The two are equally tight competitors in the 200, too, yet there is no bitterness in their rivalry.
“Wayde van Niekerk is my brother,” Makwala said. “We want to conquer the world together and make the final for Africa. He is so friendly and a lovely guy.”
End of an era
Later on Saturday, reigning Olympic and world champion Bolt and longtime rival Justin Gatlin will headline the men’s 100-metre semifinals (CBCSports.ca, 2:05 p.m. ET).
The 30-year-old Bolt, who is retiring after the competition, is seeking his fourth world title in the event he has dominated since the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
The final goes on CBC and CBCSports.ca at 4:45 p.m. ET.
Stafford, Sifuentes set for semis
Two Canadians will run in the women’s 1,500 metres semifinals at 2:35 p.m. ET.
Gabriela Stafford ran a personal-best 4:04.55 to place seventh in her heat and move on. The top six in each heat automatically advance, plus the next six fastest runners overall.
“I was boxed in for a little bit but i stayed patient and confident,” Stafford said.
Nicole Sifuentes ran a season-best 4:05.24 to place eighth in her heat and advance.
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