The dream is still well and truly alive for Jamaican fans hoping to see a world 100m champion crowned at the IAAF World Championships London 2017.
Elaine Thompson, the Olympic champion in both the 100m and 200m, progressed to the women’s final with a relaxed 10.84 run that suggests that she is capable of getting close to the 10.71 world-leading time that she set in Kingston in June.
The 25 year-old went in the second of three semifinals and emerged from a long drive phase three metres clear of the field, easing across the line ahead of Rosangela Santos, although the contrast in styles between the two was stark.
While Thompson looked fresh, Santos, the 2007 IAAF world U18 silver medallist, was all gritted teeth and ran all the way through the line. That determination was rewarded though, with a South American record of 10.91, which moved the Brazilian to tears.
In the earlier semifinal, Marie-Josee Ta Lou sped to a season’s best of 10.87 to earn her own slot in the final, despite a relatively slow start. Trinidad and Tobago’s Kelly-Ann Baptiste and world 200m champion Dafne Schippers left the blocks much better, but the Ivorian appeared to accelerate away in the final 40 metres.
Schippers will, however, get to line up once again against Thompson, who defeated her in Rio over the longer sprint, as she held on for second in 10.98. Schippers punched the air as she moved through the line, suggesting satisfaction with the result.
Baptiste’s 11.07 for third was also just enough to earn her a chance to run again, as she secured one of the two qualifications on time.
The final heat was arguably the most competitive, featuring Olympic silver medallist Torie Bowie, multiple world finalist Blessing Okagbare, 2013 world silver medallist Murielle Ahoure, Trinidad and Tobago champion Michelle-Lee Ahye and Germany’s Gina Luckenkemper, who was the fastest qualifier from the first round, with 10.95.
Bowie and Ahoure got the best starts and produced the strongest finishes, finishing first and second in 10.91 and 10.99. Ahye managed 11.04 to secure a non-automatic qualification spot, but Okagbare’s 11.08 wasn’t enough to secure a fourth successive world final.
Luckenkemper, who broke 11 seconds for the first time only yesterday, was never in contention, her 11.16 only good enough for sixth, as Jamaica’s Natasha Morrison edged her by 0.01.
Dean Hardman for the IAAF