Sprint hurdler sizzles in her semi-final as we bring you a round-up of qualifying results from Sunday night in Tokyo
Five years ago Jasmine Camacho-Quinn crashed out of her sprint hurdles semi-final at the Rio Olympics after hitting a barrier. The Puerto Rico athlete was still a teenager back then, though, whereas now, aged 24, she is favourite going into Monday morning’s final in Tokyo after a scintillating semi-final run.
With 12.26 (-0.2) she set an Olympic record and looks like she could go close to Keni Harrison’s world record of 12.20 in the final.
The performance lifted Camacho-Quinn from seventh to No.4 on the world all-time rankings and she looked on total control as she glided over the barriers.
“Honestly, the main thing was just to make it through,” said Camacho-Quinn. “Five years ago I didn’t make it through so I just wanted to have the speed to get to the final.
“I just take it step by step. Don’t overthink it, don’t panic and everything will happen. That’s what you just saw right there.”
Harrison, of the United States, also qualified with 12.51 (0.0) but she was runner-up to Jamaican talent Britany Anderson, who ran a PB of 12.40 (0.0), in a semi-final that featured three false starts.
“Everyone hopes to bring their A game and I will give it everything I’ve got,” said Harrison ahead of the final.
Tobi Amusan of Nigerian, Megan Tapper of Jamaica, Nadine Visser of Netherlands, Devynne Charlton of Bahamas and Gabriele Cunningham of the United States also qualified for the final.
But British duo Cindy Sember and Tiffany Porter went out. Sember was seventh in 12.76 Camacho-Quinn’s semi, whereas Porter was fifth in 12.86 in Anderson’s and Harrison’s race.
Porter, 33, said: “It was definitely a blessing having my sister here and to be able to experience this one last time with her. Obviously I would have preferred for things to go differently but that’s sport and I’m definitely going to hold my head up high every day knowing that every day of my career I put my best foot forward and I did it with integrity, so I can definitely rest on that.”
Younger sister Sember added: “It was fast, but to be fair I didn’t feel like myself and execute the race as I have been all season, so that’s a bit unfortunate, but to be in such a quick race and go against so many competitive girls was a blessing and to be here with my sister again is just amazing, so I’m very grateful.”
One-lap hurdles excitement builds
The men’s 400m hurdles final on Tuesday looks set to be one of the races of the Games.
Karsten Warholm came into the Olympics fresh from setting a world record of 46.70 and he won his semi-final on Sunday morning in Tokyo. But American rival Rai Benjamin pushed him close as the pair were separated by seven hundredths of a second.
Warholm ran 47.30 with Benjamin, who was running on his inside and leading into the home straight, clocking 47.37. The Norwegian edged ahead in the final metres to secure the best possible lane for the final and possibly to prove a point too.
Behind, Yasmani Copello of Turkey clocked 47.88 in third while Ireland’s Thomas Barr ran 48.26 in fourth, missing out on a place in the final in what was a stacked race.
Alison dos Santos of Brazil will be a feature in the final too. He has been in great form this year and ran 47.31 to win his semi-final ahead of a resurgent Abderrahman Samba – the Qatari clocking 47.47.
The final heat was not as fast with Kyron McMaster of the British Virgin Islands taking the win in 48.26 from Rasmus Magi’s Estonian record of 48.36.
Drama in men’s 800m semi-finals
These were probably the most competitive 800m semi-finals in history as just 0.8 of a second covered the fastest 13 athletes and less than second for the top 16.
The two British representatives were among that very close time span but both just missed out in frustrating fashion.
The first semi-final was a tight affair. American Bryce Hoppel led through 400m in 52.12 and then at 600m the Belgian Elliott Crestan put a big burst in and powered around the bend into a clear lead. However he began to tie up and left a gap on the inside which European indoor champion Patryk Dobek used to his advantage and a strong kick took the Pole to victory in 1:44.60.
It was close for second with Emmanuel Korir, who had seemingly got himself deliberately disqualified from the 400m heats earlier in the day, having too much speed for Mexican Jesus Lopez as the pair ran 1:44.74 and 1:44.77.
Marco Arop started the second semi at a much faster pace as he bounded through 400m in 50.94 and reached 600m in 1:17.33.
He faded in the straight though has Australian Peter Bol won and improved his Oceania record to 1:44.11.
USA’s Olympic bronze medallist and trials winner Clayton Murphy was lucky to find gaps all the way up the finishing straight and being badly boxed and nipped second in 1:44.18.
France’s Gabriel Tual was a shock third in a PB 1:44.28 and Spain’s Adrian Ben also put himself in the fastest losers spot with 1:44.30. Dan Rowden, who had stayed well off the pace back in sixth at 600m, looked like he had more there but just couldn’t find the gaps that Murphy did and finished a close fifth in 1:44.35 – which ultimately left him just 0.05 from making the final as a fastest loser.
In the final semi, no one looked interested in taking the pace and so Elliot Giles took it on and was ahead at 400m in a controlled 51.43 and he kept the pressure on to lead through 600m in 1:17.33 which was 1:43 pace.
Following him closely was double world medallist Amel Tuka, who has been way off form in 2021 with an average of seventh in last five races.
On the last bend Ferguson Rotich, who ran the fastest Olympic qualifier in history the day before, sped by on the outside to move into a challenging position just as world leader and 2012 Olympic silver medallist Nijel Amos was looking to extricate himself from the pack and the Botswanan caught the heels of Isaiah Jewett and both fell heavily to the ground.
Up ahead, Giles led into the straight but the Kenyan sprinted past easily to win in 1:44.04 – the fastest of the day and his last 200m was just 25.8.
In the battle to the line, Giles could not get clear of Tuka, who eased by to take second in a season’s best 1:44.53. Giles tied up a little in the last 50 metres and his 1:44.74 meant his last 200m of 27.11 was simply just not quick enough to get that fastest losers’ spot.
There was a big gap to fourth and Moroccan Oussama Nabil’s 1:46.42. Former world champion Pierre-Ambroise Bosse was also affected by the fall and he finished sixth in 1:48.62.
Jewett and Amos finally got to their feet and ambled across the line together in 2:38.12 and 2:38.49, although Amos was later added by officials to create a nine-man final on Wednesday night.
Giles said: “I ran a good race until the last 50 metres and then my legs fell off and I couldn’t hold it any more. It wasn’t meant to be.”