BEIJING, China, Sporting Alert – Shaunae Miller and Allyson Felix both secured places in the women’s 400m final at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing, on Tuesday.
Felix posted the fastest time of the semi-finals after winning her heat in a seasonal best time of 49.89 seconds.
The American champion got off to a very aggressive start before taking it easy as she raced past the 200m mark.
Felix then picked back up the pace in the home stretch where she held off a mini-challenge from Jamaica’s Shericka Jackson, who she carried with her into the final.
Jackson’s gallant effort saw her crossing the line ahead of fellow countrywoman Novlene Williams-Mills in a new personal best 50.03 seconds.
Williams-Mills collected one of the fastest losers spots after running a season’s best time of 50.47 for third behind Felix and Jackson.
Looking equally as impressive was Shaunae Miller from the Bahamas, another one of the gold medal contenders and she ran an effortless 50.13 secs.
Like Allyson Felix, Miller also got away to an aggressive start, but running a more even race midway in the contest.
The Bahamian sprinter, who is hoping to become only the second woman from her country to win gold in a 400m at the world championships, moved past Jamaica’s Christine Day in the home straight and then shut things down in the final 40-metres to cross the line very comfortably in 50.12 secs.
Day was second in that semis in 50.82.
Season campaigner and Britain’s defending world champion Christine Ohuruogu won the second semi-final in 50.16.
Ohuruogu, as she’s done throughout her impressive career thus far, showed up for another major championships in good form and she will also be one to watch in the final.
Stephenie-Ann McPherson of Jamaica, the Commonwealth Games champion from 2014, was second in 50.32, with American Phyllis Francis, who was third in 50.50, securing a place in the final as a fastest loser.
So looking back at these completed semi-finals, you would have to say Allyson Felix remains the favourite, but the effortless performance from Shaunae Miller to win her race also makes her a big threat.
Ohuruogu will also need to be watched very closely, while McPherson must improve significantly if she wants to add to her Commonwealth Games medal.