Kendra Harrison and Brianna Rollins made bold statements of intent in the heats of women’s 60m hurdles heats on Friday evening (18), blitzing their way to the final in the third and fourth fastest times of the year.
Rollins was first into action in heat one, and the US champion blasted over the five hurdles and left her rivals trailing far behind as she recorded 7.82 to win from Alina Talay (7.96) of Belarus and Serita Solomon of Britain (8.04).
The American is the fastest in the world this year, having run 7.77 to win the US Championships last weekend, and the 24-year-old former world champion appears in form to now add the world indoor title to her list of accolades.
However to do so she will have to overcome the challenge of Kendra Harrison, who rocketed from the blocks in the final heat and ran a perfectly clean race to take victory in 7.81. The relatively unheralded Croatian Andrea Ivancevic made a major breakthrough in second, running a national record of 7.91 to lower her previous best of 7.94. Canada’s Angela Whyte also advanced to the final on time with her clocking of 8.09.
Reigning champion Nia Ali of the US was clinical in winning heat two in 7.91 seconds ahead of Tiffany Porter of Britain (8.00), and unfortunately for Ukraine’s Hanna Plotitsyna, her third place time of 8.09 was not fast enough to advance to the final.
Cathal Dennehy for the IAAF