It had been billed as a head-to-head contest between Dafne Schippers and Barbara Pierre, but Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson launched herself into the reckoning for the 60m title by powering to victory in the semi-final in a personal best of 7.04.
The Jamaican was a runner-up to Schippers over 200m at the IAAF World Championships Beijing 2015, but landed a huge psychological blow ahead of Saturday night’s final by defeating the Dutch athlete in convincing style. Schippers placed second in 7.08, with British champion Asha Philip coming through for third in 7.13, which was fast enough to advance on time.
The first heat was won in facile fashion by Pierre, who again flew from the blocks and won cosily in 7.06 from Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith (7.11). Jamile Samuel of the Netherlands finished third, with Trinidad and Tobago’s Kelly-Ann Baptiste fourth. Both athletes were credited with 7.16, which was not enough to advance.
“I was reasonably happy,” said Asher-Smith. “I didn’t get the start I wanted but was happy to perform the way I did. I’m looking forward to the final later on.”
Michelle Lee-Ahye continued her winning ways in the second heat, equalling the national record of 7.09 she ran earlier in the day. Tori Bowie of the US came through strongly to take second in a personal best of 7.11, with Marie-Josee Ta Lou of the Ivory Coast third in 7.15, which was enough to see her through to the final.
Cathal Dennehy for the IAAF