Dafne Schippers in the 200m heats at the IAAF World Championships London 2017 (Getty Images) © Copyright
Report London, UK

Report: women's 200m heats – IAAF World Championships London 2017

Following the last-gasp drama in the women’s 100m final on Sunday, there ought to have ben two women in the hunt for famous sprint doubles at the IAAF World Championships London 2017: training partners Tori Bowie and Shaunae Miller-Uibo.

But Bowie was a non-starter in the 200m heats in the London Stadium tonight (8 August) as the Olympic bronze medallist from the USA is still recovering from her fall at the conclusion of the 100m final.

Michelle-Lee Ahye, the Trinidadian who finished sixth in the Olympic final last year, was another non-starter. And, with Olympic champion Elaine Thompson not contesting the event, the threats to Miller-Uibo completing a historic double at 200m and 400m are thinning out.

No woman has ever won the 200m and 400m at the same World Championships and Miller-Uibo is already through to the final of the longer distance on Thursday.

With that engagement in mind, the Olympic 400m champion from The Bahamas took it easy around the bend in her 200m heat, easing past Simone Facey in the home straight to win comfortably in 22.69, with the Jamaican runner-up in 22.98.

It proved to be the second-fastest time of the round, defending champion Dafne Schippers of the Netherlands taking the opening heat in 22.63, ahead of Tynia Gaither of The Bahamas (22.98).

"I felt really good,” said Schippers, who took the 100m bronze medal on Sunday. "The medal in the 100m was a boost for me. I've recovered well from the 100m and was looking forward to this one. It's my favourite event."

Third fastest was Marie-Josee Ta Lou, the Ivorian who was denied gold in the 100m by Bowie’s dip on the line. She was a decisive winner of her heat in 22.70.

“I’m hoping for another medal in the 200m,” Ta Lou said. “I will try my best but I don’t think it is certain.

“It is sad that Tori is not in this event because I like to compete in the strongest event possible.”

Until last month, it looked like Dina Asher-Smith would not be in 200m. Fifth at the IAAF World Championships Beijing 2015 and at the Rio Olympics last year, the 21-year-old British sprinter broke a bone in her right foot while attempting to complete a plyometric exercise in the gym in February and only finished sixth in the 100m on her return to action at the British Championships.

Following a third placed finish at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Monaco, however, the Londoner is rapidly gaining momentum. Roared on by the home crowd, Asher-Smith – a kit carrier at the London Olympics in the same arena five years ago – stormed to victory in her heat in 22.73, a season’s best, ahead of Canada’s Crystal Emmanuel (22.87).

"I'm so happy to be here,” she said. “I really can't emphasise how grateful I was to be selected and that I'm now in decent shape coming into these championships.

"To be competing in front of a home crowd is so special, but to do it after the season I've had is really good. Fingers crossed, this can be a good championships for me."

US duo Kimberlyn Duncan (22.74) and Deajah Stevens (22.90) were also impressive heat winners.

Simon Turnbull for the IAAF