China’s Lilu Liu outclassed the rest of the field in the second heat when he ran a personal best to win the heat in 13.88 seconds, in front of Brazil’s Eder Antonio Suza with 14.07 in second. The fast heat produced new National Junior Records for Senegal, with Seleke Samake, running 14.29 for fifth place and Albania, with Elton Bitincka, sixth across the line in 14.31, sixth.
Equally dominant in the third heat was Cuba’s Dayron Robles, who jogged home in the final metres after heading the field from the first hurdle. The long-legged Cuban crossed the line in a comfortable 13.82 seconds to second-placed Maksim Lynsha of Belarus’ 13.99 PB in second place. Aymen Ben Ahmed of Tunisia equalled his National Junior Record of 14.17 seconds in third place. Robles has already run 13.75 this year and looked as though he could go much faster if pushed – which he is likely to be as the competition progresses to semi-finals (Saturday) and final (Sunday).
World number 2 in the junior performance lists for 2004 with a time of 13.47, Aries Merritt of the USA was not stretched as he won the fourth heat comfortably in 13.83 from Ruan De Vries of South Africa, who clocked a new PB of 14.13, as did John Burstow (AUS) in 4th place with 14.27.
Merritt’s compatriot Kevin Craddock joins him in the semis after winning the final heat (5) in a personal best of 13.82, finishing well clear of Greece’s Nikolaos Filandarakis in second place in 14.35. South Africa’s Leon Fourie finished third in 14.49, despite hitting just about every hurdle in his lane. Christophe Du Mee finished 5th in 14.51 to set a new National Junior Record for Mauritius.
South American champion Rodgrigo Pereira won the dip from France’s Bano Traore to take the honours in the first heat of the men’s 110m Hurdles. The Brazilian crossed the line in 14.07 to Traore’s 14.11 to take the two through to the semi-finals automatically, with the first 2 of each heat and the six fastest losers qualifying.
Patrick Lee (JAM) and Jens Werrman (GER) ran new PBs of 14.18 and 14.22, respectively in 3rd and 4th positions.