Nadine Visser in the 60m hurdles at the IAAF World Indoor Championships Birmingham 2018 (AFP / Getty Images) © Copyright
Report Birmingham, UK

Report: women's 60m hurdles semi finals - IAAF World Indoor Championships Birmingham 2018

Team USA's ambitions to produce the first ever national podium sweep at a World Indoor Championships stayed alive after the 60m hurdles semi-finals with the focus falling firmly on the US trio of Kendra Harrison, Christina Manning and Sharika Nelvis.

Manning cruised to victory in the opening heat, exploding from the blocks to take the first hurdle with a clear lead and extending it over the next two. She took her foot off the gas between barriers four and five, coasting to a 7.83 clocking.

In her wake, Devynne Charlton clocked a 7.89 national indoor record for The Bahamas. Oluwatobiloba Amusan of Nigeria, who was third in a quick 7.91, was forced to wait it out before her ticket to this evening's final could be punched.

The second heat starred Harrison who again threw down the gauntlet, producing a run nearly identical to her sizzling 7.77 run in Friday's opening round.

As promised, Harrison didn't hold back, powering down the straight en route to a 7.79 performance, again the fastest of the round. Germany's Cindy Roleder was next in 7.86 with Sally Pearson, the 2017 world sprint hurdles champion outdoors, third in 7.92. Now, the Australian sat on the qualification bubble.

What the first two races offered in power and speed the last served up in drama. Sluggish out of the blocks, Nelvis was in trouble for the first 30 metres, unable to find the gear she usually switches to after clearing hurdle three. Meanwhile, Dutchwoman Nadine Visser was en route to the finest race of her career. Pulling away from hurdle four, she forged on to the victory in 7.83, slashing a mammoth 0.09 from her previous best. Isabelle Pedersen was inspired as well, closing stronger than she ever had before to draw even with Nelvis at the line.

Both stopped the clock in 7.86, for the Norwegian a lifetime best by 0.07. The photo gave Nelvis the edge for second by four one-thousandths of a second and Pedersen a ticket to the final joining Amusan as the two qualifiers by time.

Pearson, who clocked 7.92, didn't make the cut. That was the fastest non-qualifying performance ever at a World Indoor Championships, consolation which likely won't make the cut for the fiercely competitive Australian.

Bob Ramsak for the IAAF