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.
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…