The preliminary round of the men’s 100m is not where you would expect to find a man who has run 9.91, or finished fourth and fifth in the past two World Championships finals.
But that is exactly where Daniel Bailey of Antigua and Barbuda found himself on the first morning of competition in the Luzhniki Stadium. A combination of a hamstring injury and a qualifying window which now virtually mandates running a standard during the championship season meant that Bailey joined 29 others without a qualifying standard in competing for 11 places in this evening’s first round.
“I don’t mind. I need the races,” Bailey said after comfortably winning the first heat in 10.51. His season’s best is 10.23, just outside the minimum standard, but he said he felt right physically now and was confident he could advance through to the semi-finals.
Bailey eased down noticeably over the latter stages of the race to finish almost a metre clear of Holder da Silva of Guinea Bissau, who took the other automatic spot in the first round by finishing second in 10.59.
Although Russian men’s sprinting is some way short of its glory days, too, the preliminary round is not the place you would look for the host nation’s only representative.
Aleksandr Brednev ensured there would be home presence in the first round by winning the second heat in 10.49, just ahead of Burundi’s Innocent Bologo (10.49).
Sapwaturrahman Sapwaturrahman of Indonesia took third place in 10.75 and advanced to the first round as one of the three fastest non-automatic qualifiers.
Barakat Mubarak Al-Harthi of Oman took the third of the four heats in 10.47, the fastest time of the round, ahead of Fiji’s Ratu Banuve Tabakaucoro, this year’s Oceania 100m and 200m champion, who ran 10.53.
In the closest of the four heats, Idrissa Adam of Cameroon took third place in 10.56 to also advance.
The fourth and final heat was won by Singapore’s Calvin Kang Li Loong in 10.52, a personal best, the only one of the 11 men to go through to record a PB. Shernyl Burns of Montserrat took the other automatic qualifying place in 10.63 and third-place Ifrish Alberg of Surinam clinched a non-automatic place in finishing in 10.70.
The preliminary round was run in warm and virtually still conditions, with the temperature at 22°C and the winds ranging from -0.5 to +0.3m/s.
The first round, featuring the athletes with automatic qualifying performances, will be conducted in the evening session of the first day.
Len Johnson for the IAAF