Olympic double sprint champion Elaine Thompson qualified for the women's 100 metre semi-finals on day-2 of the 16th IAAF World Athletics Championships at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Stadium in London on Saturday.
Thompson clocked 11:05 seconds in driving rain to win heat-2 from lane-2. She led her three compatriots into the semi-finals, as Jura Levy, 3rd in heat-1 in 11:09 secs, Simone Facey, 4th in heat-5 in 11.29 seconds and Natasha Morrison 3rd in heat-6 in 11.21 seconds qualified for the last twenty-four.
2015 World Championships Bronze medallist, Commonwealth and Pan American Games champion O'Dayne Richards, had a shock exit from the men's shot put, failing to make the final. Richards fouled his first throw and told our reporter in London, Spencer Darllington, that the foul throw threw him off and he panicked. This led Richards to a below par 19.84 metres and 19.95 metres on his next two qualifying attempts, not good enough to advance him to the final. Richards had tossed a new national record 21.96 metres three weeks ago on the Diamond League circuit.
But while Richards and Steven Gayle failed to qualify on day-2 for Jamaica - Gayle disqualified for a lane violation in his 400 metre heat in which he finished 7th in 46.33 secs - four other Jamaicans joined the women sprinters in making progress.
In the men's 400 metres, Demish Gaye 44.98 secs was second in heat-3 behind winner Baboloki Thebe of Botswana, as both advanced to the semi-finals. Nathon Allen won his heat (heat number-6) in 44.91 secs in a controlled performance to book his semi-final spot. Allen was taken to the medical post after the event and treated for dehydration.
Other impressive semi-final qualifiers and leading medal contenders were Olympic and World Champion Wade Van Neikerk of South Africa who throttled 45.27 secs to easily make progress; American Fred Kerley 44.92 seconds; Bahamian Steven Gardiner 44.74 secs and Botswanan Isaac Makwala 44.55 secs.
In the women's Triple Jump, Kimberly Williams, 14.14 metres, advanced in 9th position of the 12 best qualifiers for the final, while Shanieka Ricketts qualified automatically in 6th position with a hop, step and jump of 14.21 metres. The automatic qualifying mark being 14.20 metres.
On Saturday afternoon at 1:05pm, Jamaica time, Julian Forte runs in semi-final-1 of the men's 100 metres ; Yohan Blake goes in semi-final-2 at 1:12 pm; and the incomparable living legend Usain Bolt runs at 1:19pm in semi-final-3.
Fedrick Dacres and Traves Smikle, teammates from Calabar High School, will both show up for the men's discus final at 1:26p.m. while Damar Forbes goes in the men's long jump final at 2:05pm.
The men's 100 metre final takes place at 3:45p.m.