Nia Ali in the 100m hurdles at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games (Getty Images) © Copyright
Report Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Report: women's 100m hurdles semi-finals – Rio 2016 Olympic Games

Can anyone stop the USA in the 100m hurdles? On this evidence, it will be hard task as the most successful nation in the Olympic history of this event boasted the individual winner in each of the three semi-finals.

If they can pull off a clean sweep of the medals, it will be the first time at the Olympics in this event and only the seventh occasion it would have happened in a women’s event.

In heat one, pre-event favourite and US champion Brianna Rollins demonstrated her rich ability to take an assured victory in 12.47.

Unlike in the first round, when she had a momentary scare when clipping hurdle eight, the 2013 world champion was super-smooth in her second race in Rio.

Mounting a surprise to grab the second automatic spot was Pedrya Seymour, who wiped 0.19 from her lifetime best to set a Bahamian record of 12.64. 

In the quickest of the three semi-finals both women who placed third and fourth advanced on time as non-automatic qualifiers.

World silver medallist Cindy Roleder (12.69) became the first German to qualify for an Olympic 100m hurdles final since 1988 while Tiffany Porter, Great Britain’s 2013 world bronze medallist, progressed in fourth in 12.82.

There was disappointment for world bronze medallist Alina Talay, who lost her balance off the eighth hurdle and almost came to grief. The Belarusian wound up last in 13.66.

The US earned more success in the second semi-final as two-time world indoor champion Nia Ali claimed victory in 12.65 but there was heartbreak for NCAA champion Jasmine Camacho-Quinn who endured a late mishap to derail her dreams of becoming the first Puerto Rican woman to reach an Olympic athletics final.

The field got away to an even start but by midway the three women from lanes five to seven – Ali, Canada’s Phylicia George and Camacho-Quinn – held a clear advantage on the rest.

Unfortunately, for highly-talented Camacho-Quinn, aged just 19 and a student at the University of Kentucky, she clipped hurdle eight and approached the next hurdle off balance.

After clattering through hurdle nine, all she could do was plough through the bottom of the final hurdle and was eventually disqualified.

Ahead, Ali held her composure to take the first automatic qualification spot – some 0.12 ahead of George who also advances to her second successive Olympic final.

It was mishaps and mayhem in an incident-prone third semi-final.

However, there was no such drama for heat winner Kristi Castlin, who ensured a US athlete won each of the three semi-finals, recording a time of 12.63.

Cindy Ofili of Great Britain joined her sister Tiffany Porter in the final, which is scheduled to take place at 22:55 later on Wednesday, by clocking 12.71.

Megan Simmonds of Jamaica was the quickest out of the blocks and over the first several hurdles but had to be satisfied with third in a time of 12.88 and will play no part in the final.

The challenge of Anne Zagre of Belgium effectively ended after striking hurdle eight hard and coming to a virtual stop.

Meanwhile, at the penultimate hurdle Nikkita Holder of Canada struck the top of the hurdle and crashed to the surface of the track. Both Holder and Zagre were disqualified.   

Steve Landells for the IAAF