Title favourite Adam Gemili was amongst the quickest qualifiers in the men’s 100 metres on the opening day of the World Junior Championships in Barcelona on Tuesday morning.
The Great Britain star, who has the fastest personal best in the field – clocked 10.37 seconds to win his heat comfortably and says he still has a lot in his reserve.
“Today i didn’t give my best because I wanted to reserve for tomorrow race,” Gemili said following the heat run.
“I hope to make it great tomorrow.”
American Tyreek Hill also ran 10.37 to win his heat and he will be joined by his fellow countryman Aaron Ernest, who took his preliminary heat in 10.39.
Amongst the notable qualifiers were Jamaica’s medal contenders Jazeel Murphy (10.45) and Odean Skeen (10.40), as well as Japan’s Kazuma Oseto (10.50) and Carlos Nascimento of Portugal, who ran a personal best of 10.43.
Daisy Jepkemei of Kenya and Shiying Liu of China set world-leading junior times in the morning session.
Jepkemei put herself in line to win the women’s 3000m Steeplechase gold medal by dishing out the quickest of the early semi-finals heat time of 9:56.33.
Ethiopian Tejinesh Gebisa had posted a then world junior leading performance of 10:01.48 to take the first heat until Jepkemei bettered that mark in the following race.
Kenya’s Stella Jepkosgei Rutto (10:07.13), Russian Evdokiya Bukina (10:07.38) and USA’s Brianna Nerud (10:08.15) were also amongst the top qualifiers.
Chinese javelin thrower Liu wasted little energy in the qualifiers by letting go a world-leading 58.47m to top that event list and marched into the final.
She had company though, as Sweden’s Sofi Flinck did 58.16m to set a new national junior record.
Elsewhere, Hamza Driouch of Qatar clocked the fastest time of the men’s 1500m with 3:38.06, while Jessica Judd of Great Britain ran 2:02.71 to lead the way in the women’s 800m.
“I didn’t expect the race to be so fast but I’m confident for the final,” Judd said.