Dalilah Muhammad of USA
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TOKYO, Japan — All the major contenders, led by world record holder Sydney McLaughlin, defending Olympic champion Dalilah Muhammad and European star Femke Bol, advanced to the semifinals of the women’s 400m hurdles on Day Two at Tokyo 2020 Saturday.

The list of qualifiers were led by American Muhammad, the Rio 2016 champion, who clocked a well relaxed 53.97 seconds to win her heat in the morning session here.

Carolina Krafzik of Germany was second in the same race in a personal best of 54.72s with Léa Sprunger of Switzerland taking third in 54.74s.

READ MORE: Tokyo 2020: Warholm, Benjamin eased into 400m hurdles semis

In the meantime, McLaughlin, the world record holder with her 51.90s at the 2021 U.S. Olympic Trials, was in cruise mode on a hot morning inside the Olympic Stadium, posting a 54.65s jog when winning heat three.

The American took Gianna Woodruff (55.49) of Panama with her into the semifinals, along with Sara Slott Petersen (55.52) of Denmark.

World No. 2 ranked Bol also eased through the first round after clocking 54.43 to take heat four ahead of Barbadian Tia-Adana Belle (55.69) and South African Wenda Nel (56.06). Jamaican Ronda Whyte was disqualified from the race for false starting.

Also advancing to the semifinals are Anna Ryzhykova of Ukraine who took heat two with the third-fastest time overall on the day at 54.56 to finish in front of Jamaica’s Janieve Russell, while another Ukrainian, Viktoriya Tkachuk took the first heat in 54.80 ahead of Melissa González of Colombia who did a national record of 55.32 in second place.

It was a bad day in the event for the Jamaicans as Leah Nugent was also disqualified from the race after she had initially secured a top-four semifinal spot.

Fellow Caribbean representative Trinidad and Tobago’s Sparkle Ann McKnight was removed before the start of the race after testing positive for COVID-19.

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