12 AUG 2013 Report Moscow, Russia

Report: Women’s 400m Hurdles heats – Moscow 2013

Having finished fourth and out of the medals at the past three global championships, Jamaica’s Kaliese Spencer was hoping that her luck would change.

For a brief moment it looked as though it would as she cruised through her first-round heat, stopping the clock in 54.10, her fastest time of the year by a long way. Or at least it would have been, had she not been disqualified for a tail-leg violation. An appeal from the Jamaican team was later rejected.

But Spencer wasn’t the only athlete in the first heat to suffer some misfortune. USA’s Georganne Moline, an Olympic finalist last year, hit the seventh hurdle and crashed to the ground. She got back up and finished the race, but crossed the line in last place with 59.05.

The two dramatic exits left European silver medallist Denise Rosolova as the official winner of heat one, clocking 55.44 to finish just one hundredth ahead of Britain’s Meghan Beesley with Vania Stambolova of Bulgaria a stride behind in third with 55.91.

Spencer’s absence makes world leader Zuzana Hejnova’s task even easier than before, and the Czech record-holder easily won the second heat, jogging the final 30 metres and crossing the line in 55.25. Ukraine’s Hanna Titimets took second in 55.50 from Jamaica’s Nickiesha Wilson, 55.75. USA’s Christine Spence faded in the second half after going out hard, but her 55.96 was enough to get through to the semi-finals as a non-automatic qualifier.

Britain’s Perri Shakes-Drayton was drawn against the reigning Olympic champion Natalya Antyukh of Russia and defending World champion Lashinda Demus of the USA, but she ran unfazed to win the third heat in 54.42, the fastest time of the day.

Demus was half a second behind in 54.94 with Antyukh third in 55.29. Both Lauren Boden and Ristananna Tracey advanced on time.

The fourth and final heat was won by US champion Dalilah Muhammad. She was level with Britain’s Eilidh Child for much of the way but edged ahead to win in 54.90 from Child’s 55.17. Russia’s European champion Irina Davydova took the third automatic qualifying spot in 55.45, but fourth-place finisher Hanna Yaroshchuk of Ukraine also made it through.

A challenge from Spencer would have made the event more exciting, but currently the top two medal contenders appear relatively safe. Tomorrow’s semi-finals may have more surprises in store.

Jon Mulkeen for the IAAF

Heats Results

1 Denisa Rosolová CZECZE 55.44 Q
2 Meghan Beesley GBRGBR 55.45 Q
3 Vania Stambolova BULBUL 55.91 Q
1 Zuzana Hejnová CZECZE 55.25 Q
2 Anna Titimets UKRUKR 55.50 Q
3 Nickiesha Wilson JAMJAM 55.75 Q
4 Christine Spence USAUSA 55.96 q
1 Perri Shakes-Drayton GBRGBR 54.42 Q
2 Lashinda Demus USAUSA 54.94 Q
3 Natalya Antyukh RUSRUS 55.29 Q
4 Lauren Boden AUSAUS 55.37 q
5 Ristananna Tracey JAMJAM 55.94 q
1 Dalilah Muhammad USAUSA 54.90 Q
2 Eilidh Child GBRGBR 55.17 Q
3 Irina Davydova RUSRUS 55.45 Q
4 Anna Yaroshchuk UKRUKR 55.73 q

Previous Champion

Competitor Nat Date
Lashinda Demus USA USA 01 SEP 2011
Competitor Mark Nat Venue Date
Yuliya Pechenkina 52.34 RUS RUS Tula, RUS 08 AUG 2003
Competitor Mark Nat Venue Date
Melaine Walker 52.42 JAM JAM Berlin (Olympiastadion) 20 AUG 2009