1 September 2011Daegu, Korea - The prospect of a World Championship double may have disappeared for both Allyson Felix and Veronica Campbell-Brown following their respective defeats at 400 and 100 metres – but that only served to heighten the importance of the event where they met in the middle.
On a day made for sprinters, as temperatures climbed into the mid-30s under a hazy, cloudless sky, both sprinters progressed from the 200m heats to the semi-finals later in the day.
Campbell-Brown won the last heat in 22.46, pushing all the way to the line to establish the best qualifying time by almost two tenths of a second. Perhaps she was sending out a message to her rivals.
In following the Jamaican double Olympic champion home, Bulgaria’s Ivet Lalova earned the second best time of the round, a season’s best of 22.62, while 100m champion Carmelita Jeter stood third in the list with her winning time of 22.68.
Felix, running out in lane eight in heat three, established an early lead which she never lost, and as she moved through the final 50 metres the cadence of her long legs slowed as she eased off. Despite that, she clocked 22.71, looking very easy. It was the sixth swiftest time of the morning.
By contrast, Dafne Schippers of the Netherlands, who came through to claim victory in lane four in a personal best of 22.69, appeared to be working hard. The former heptathlete was more than happy with her performance.
“it is my first individual 200m at this level,” she said. “I am very surprised and now looking forward to the semi-finals.”
Jeter won her heat in 22.68 despite appearing to step on something unexpected 30 metres from the line and stumbling briefly as she looked down to her left.
Jamaica’s Sherone Simpson, in lane three, had the better start and led as the field straightened out, but Jeter applied steady pressure from lane seven and even the blip on the run-in did not affect her victory.
Simpson was timed at 22.94, with Elizabeta Savlinis of Russia following her home in 23.09.
Myriam Soumare of France took the opening heat in a season’s best of 22.71 after leading into the straight and holding off the challenge of Kerron Stewart in the inside lane, and, out in lane seven, Russia’s Yulia Guschina.
Stewart, who drew level halfway down the final straight but then appeared to ease off slightly, crossed in 22.83, while the Russian finished in a season’s best of 22.88.
“! am very satisfied,” Soumare said. “A season’s best is great – even more, because I am so sleepy today. I did not sleep this night much, I was so nervous…I will get a good sleep right now.”
In heat four, Shalonda Solomon of the United States came home strongly in 22.70 – the fifth swiftest time of the morning - with Ukrain’s Mariya Reymyen taking second place in 22.77 and Trinidad and Tobago’s Kai Selvon coming home third in a personal best of 22.89.
Mike Rowbottom for the IAAF
- Allyson Felix eases through the opening round of the women's 200m (Getty Images) © Copyright
- Kerron Stewart of Jamaica in action in the opening round of the 200m (Getty Images) © Copyright
- Yulia Gushchina of Russia in the opening round of the women's 200m (Getty Images) © Copyright
- Carmelita Jeter in the opening round of the 200m (Getty Images) © Copyright