Arron and Felix impress in semis
Christine Arron must wish every race was a heat. The Frenchwoman is becoming expert at running through the rounds in the style of a champion. Whether she can actually become a champion we’ll have to wait until tomorrow to see.
She looked the woman to beat right through the 100m rounds but couldn’t hold it together for the final when she was let down by a bad start and could only take bronze. That is less of a problem in the 200m, of course, and if her performance in the semi-finals tonight is anything to go by she will again be in the medals, at least.
Arron was by far the quickest of the 200m semi-finalists this evening. On another day more suited to wet weather gear and ski hats than world class sprinting, she cut through a -2.7 headwind and left the American pair of LaTasha Colander and Rachelle Smith in her wake to win the first race.
Arron ran a smooth bend to enter the straight ahead and pulled away through the puddles to clock 22.45. Colander, Smith and the Cayman Island’s Cydonie Mothersill were the other qualifiers.
Arron won’t have it all her own way, however.
The Olympic gold and silver medallists both qualified from the second semi, won by an equally impressive looking Allyson Felix. Although the powerful Jamaican Veronica Campbell led off the bend, it was Felix who looked more relaxed, gracefully striding through the water-littered track into a biting -4.0m/s wind for an easy win in 22.90.
After her exertions in the 100m final on Monday, Campbell took it easy in the heats yesterday morning. Although she was an easy qualifier here, she seemed to be trying this time, but was actually caught on the line by Belgium’s Kim Gevaert, running 22.97 to Campbell’s 23.02.
In last year’s Olympic Games, Campbell became the champion after running quickest through all the rounds and setting a world leading time in the semi-final.
Russia’s Yuliya Gushchina, who had blasted through the cold winds in yesterday’s first round, struggled through the rain and wind this evening but made the final in fourth place in 23.10.