The six fastest women in the world this year at 60 metres are competing in Istanbul and all six advanced to the semi-finals on Sunday when the first-round heats were contested on Saturday morning.
Strangely enough, the defending champion and the woman on top of the world list – Jamaica’s Veronica Campbell-Brown and Tianna Madison of the USA – were the least impressive of the six.
Campbell-Brown won the seventh of the eight heats, but had to close strongly after a very ordinary first half of the race. She clocked 7.29 seconds to defeat Wei Yongli (CHN) and Guzel Khubbieva (UZB).
Only the first two in each heat advanced automatically. Khubbieva was ultimately among the eight fastest non-automatic qualifiers.
Madison, who ran 7.02 to win the US championship, ran only 7.24 in the eighth and final heat, losing by 0.01 to the oldest female competitor at the championships, Chandra Sturrup of the Bahamas (born 12 September, 1971).
Behind them came one of the youngest, Britain’s World Youth and World Junior champion at 100 metres, Jodie Williams (28 September, 1993), who also advanced to the semis on time.
Fastest time of the round was shared by Gloria Asumnu (NGR) and Ivet Lalova (BUL) who won the second and fourth heats, respectively in 7.19.
LaVerne Jones-Ferrette (ISV), second on the world list with 7.05, was next fastest with 7.21 in winning heat six and Murielle Ahoure (CIV), equal fifth with Campbell-Brown at 7.08, took heat five in 7.23.
The remaining heats winners were Audrey Alloh of Italy, who took the first heat in 7.33, and the USA’s other representative, Barbara Pierre, who won heat three impressively in 7.24.
Japan’s Chisato Fukushima set a national record 7.29 in finishing second to Asumnu in heat two. Third in that heat in 7.33, and also advancing to the semi-finals, was Athens 2004 100 metres Olympic champion, Yulia Nestsiarenka.
Len Johnson for the IAAF