Less than 24 hours after her arrival in Birmingham, US champion Gail Devers was the class of the opening round with a relaxed 7.92 clocking, as the top three in each heat automatically advanced to the semifinal later today.
Challenging the three-time outdoor World Champion in her heat was World Cup runner-up Brigitte Foster of Jamaica (7.99).
Susanna Kallur also ran a superb race, winning her heat easily in 7.93 after a superb start. Finishing second was two-time European indoor champion Linda Ferga-Khodadin of France (8.09).
Ferga’s teammate, Patricia Girard, the Atlanta bronze medallist, was a heat winner in 8.02, bettering the 8.08 of Commonwealth Games champion Lacena Golding-Clarke of Jamaica.
Sydney bronze medallist Melissa Morrison of the US prevailed on a photo finish ahead of European champion Glory Alozie of Spain, as each was timed in 8.13, the day’s slowest heat.