LONDON (Sporting Alert) — Track and field action began in glorious fashion on Friday with several athletes already voicing their intentions for Olympic Games medals.
Leading the way in the first session on day one of competition, were Jessica Ennis and David Greene of Great Britain, Javier Culson of Puerto Rico, Olga Rypakova of Kazakhstan, Kimberly Williams of Jamaica, Sanya Richards-Ross of USA, Amantle Montsho of Botswana, as well as the heavy hitters, Koji Murofushi of Japan and Primož Kozmus of Slovenian in the men’s hammer throw.
They said the track is fast and Ennis showed this by posting a fantastic 12.54 seconds to win her heat of the women’s heptathlon 100m hurdles behind a huge roar from the crowd on the opening morning.
Also looking good on the track was world No. 1 in the men’s 400m hurdles Culson, who cruised to a superb 48.33 seconds when winning his heat in the fastest time of the morning, despite looking around all the way home. Kerron Clement of USA was also in good form when finishing second to Culson in 48.48.
Great Britain’s captain Greene won his heat in 48.98secs and he said he was just focusing on getting through.
“I tend not to be too worried in the heats, but tomorrow night is when it really starts for me,” Greene, who ran from the inside lane said.
Two-time Olympic champion Angelo Taylor (USA, 49.29) and Felix Sánchez (DOM, 49.24) were also heat winners in the 400m hurdles as well.
In the women’s 400m dash, favourite for gold Richards-Ross won her opening heat in easy fashion, shutting down in the home stretch to win in 51.78.
World champion Montsho of Botswana was the fastest of the morning in the preliminaries with 50.40, while defending champion Christine Ohuruogu (50.80) of Great Britain, Deedee Trotter of USA (50.87), Antonina Krivoshapka of Russia (50.75) and Jamaican Novlene Williams-Mills (50.88) also went through to the semis.
In field event action, Rypakova of Kazakhstan and Williams of Jamaica set the marks in the women’s triple jump, heading into the finals, while Reese Hoffa (USA, 21.36m), David Storl (GER, 21.15m) and defending champion Tomasz Majewski (POL, 21.03m) all made it from the men’s Shot Put.
Murofushi threw 78.48m and Kozmus did 78.12m to qualify for the final in the men’s hammer.