MOSCOW, Russia (Sporting Alert) — Jamaican Shelly Ann Fraser-Pryce begins her quest for the sprint double when she runs in the heats of the 200m on day six at the IAAF World Championships in Moscow, Russia, on Thursday.
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Fraser-Pryce, who captured the women’s 100m title earlier this week with a world-leading 10.71seconds, races from lane four in Heat 4 and should have no problems booking a semi-finals place.
Olympic champion Allyson Felix of USA should also have her own way in her heat although she goes up against Anneisha McLaughlin of Jamaica who seems to be rounding into good form heading into the contest.
American champion Kimberlyn Duncan will go in heat one, Blessing Okagbare of Nigeria, who was beaten out of the medal places in the 100m, despite being one of the pre-championships favorites, goes in heat two, while 100m silver medallist Murielle Ahoure from the Ivory Coast, starts in the seventh and final heat.
Action in the women’s 800m also goes off on Thursday, with Americans Alysia Montano and Brenda Martinez, Mariya Savinova and Elena Kotulskaya of Russia, Malika Akkaoui of Morocco and Margarita Mukasheva of Kazakhstan all set to face the starter.
There will be six finals in the evening session on day six, including the men’s and women’s 400m hurdles deciding race.
World leader and gold medal favourite Zuzana Hejnova from the Czech Republic takes on a very tough field, but she believes she is ready to run below the 53-seconds barrier which would then take something special to stop her.
Hejnova ran a quick time in the semis with very little effort and she said she wasn’t planning on going that fast.
“It was not my plan to run so fast in the semi-final,” she said. “It just happened maybe because I felt better than (the day before).
“I really would love to run my fastest time in the final. I think I was able to save some energy for that, I did not run my usually last 100 metres.”
Defending champion Lashinda Demus of USA and Great Britain’s on form hurdler Perri Shakes-Drayton will also be in the final and they both believe anything can happen once you’ve booked a lane.
“I feel good. It’s the first World Championships final I have ever made,” a delighted Shakes-Drayton said after taking her semis.
“Now that I’ve got this far, in the final anything can happen. My aim was to get a good lane, I passed that test.”
American Dalilah Muhammad is also hunting a podium position.
On the men’s side, Trinidad and Tobago’s Jehue Gordon, Puerto Rico’s Javier Culson, Michael Tinsley of USA and Olympic champion Felix Sanchez of the Dominican Republic are all gold medal contenders.
A pumped Tinsley can’t wait for the final.
“I’m happy with how the semi-final went, I ran a good time,” the American said. “Our final will be exciting! Make sure you tune in for the race!
Culson is hoping to have his best race on Thursday.
“Everybody who is in the final can become the World champion,” he said. “In this event, nobody was able to defend this title so far.
“I did not feel well since the meeting in Lausanne until London because I had flu but now it should be OK.”
Other finals down for day six are the women’s Triple Jump and 1500m, as well as the men’s 3000m Steeplechase and High Jump.
The heats of the men’s 4x400m relay are also on the schedule.