09 MAR 2012 Report

EVENT REPORT - Men's 60 Metres - Heats

Trell Kimmons of the United States competes in the Men's 60 Metres first round during day one - WIC Istanbul (Getty Images)Trell Kimmons of the United States competes in the Men's 60 Metres first round during day one - WIC Istanbul (Getty Images) © Copyright

Seven men got the rust out and stretched their legs with sub-6.70sec or faster runs in the opening round of the men's 60m, but no clearer picture emerged as to who could be deemed the favourite for tomorrow's evening-capping final.


Spaniard Angel David Rodriguez and Justin Gatlin of the U.S. were the early evening's fastest at 6.64 but their races played out in entirely different ways. Rodriguez, a five=-time Spanish champion, produced a powerful performance to surprisingly beat back Jamaican Nesta Carter, the season's fourth fastest man at 6.49, in 6.64, equalling his season's best and reaching the finish a full tenth of a second ahead of the Jamaican.


Gatlin meanwhile dominated his race, despite a vary cautious start. Clearly ahead by the midway point, the 2003 World Indoor champion forged on comfortably, finishing well ahead of runner-up Reza Ghasemi (6.87) of Iran.


The defending champion Dwain Chambers was also a clear winner in the eighth of eight heats, his 6.65 well clear of runner-up Michael LeBlanc of Canada who clocked 6.74.


Others at 6.70 or better were Frenchman Emmaneul Biron and Italy's Simone Collio, at 6.68 the winners of the second and third heats; Marc Burns of Trinidad & Tobago, the heat five winner in 6.69; and world leader Trell Kimmons, the heat six winner in 6.70, but not before two fals start disqualifications.


With 24 men moving on to tomorrow's semi-final, the opening round wasn't expected to result in major casualties. But it did.


Lerone Clarke, this seasons's equal second fastest with Gatlin at 6.47, found himself stuck in the blocks when the gun sounds, a faux pas from which he was unable to recover. An apparent hamstring injury - no word on the seriousness - in the waning stages added salt to the proverbial wound before the Jamaican crossed the line in 7.05 and a badly beaten fourth.


Also of note was the opening heat, won by Nigerian Peter Emelieze in 6.85, just a scant 0.01 ahead of Zambian Gerald Phiri. The latter, who crossed the line injured, may be questionable for the semis.


A modest 6.91 was enough to move on to the semis; 59 men started the round.


Bob Ramsak for the IAAF