The 1997 world indoor champion, Jamaican Michelle Freeman ran the fastest time in the semifinals of the 100m hurdles, and for the second time in this championships set a Central American and Caribbean record, with a 12.52. Running in the first heat from lane 4, Freeman had a very good start, and took command of the race from the very first obstacle.
The 1997 world leader and 1994 European champion, Bulgarian Svetla Dimitrova had a poor start, and only recovered by the 5th hurdle to grab the second place with 12.74. The 1996 Olympic silver medallist, Slovenia’s Brigita Bukovec was third in a season’s best of 12.76. Canadian Katie Anderson was fourth in a personal best of 12.80.
The second heat was taken by the 1996 Olympic champion, Sweden’s Ludmila Engquist with 12.53. Engquist grabbed the lead by the fifth hurdle. France’s Patricia Girard-Leno, the 1996 Olympic games bronze medallist had a good start and finished second in 12.68.
Russian Svetlana Laukhova was third in 12.88 and Jamaican Dionne Rose was fourth in 12.89, the slowest time to advance to the final that will take place later this evening.