Elaine Thompson-Herah vs Dina Asher-Smith and Marie-Josee Ta Lou vs Shericka Jackson are the highlighted matchups in the women’s 100m semifinals on Day Two at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games here on Saturday (31).
Attractive Early Battle In This Semi
Defending champion Thompson-Herah and Asher-Smith will battle in the first of the three semifinal heats at the Olympic Stadium and the pair are seen as the favorites to advance automatically.
The Jamaican opened her title defense with an impressive, yet cruising 10.82 seconds to win her heat on Friday, while the Briton medal contender was also easy when clocking 11.07s for second place in her qualifying heat.
The semifinal heat, which is loaded with world-class talents, also includes Blessing Okagbare of Nigeria, the new Swiss record holder Ajla Del Ponte who ran 10.91s in her heat on Friday, as well as American Jenna Prandini.
Ta Lou Ready To Repeat Performance?
In the meantime, the inform Ta Lou, fresh from her African Record equaling performance of 10.78s in the heats, will take on Jamaican emerging short sprint talent and quality quarter-miler Jackson who eased into the semis with a time of 11.07s when taking second place in her heat.
Ta Lou will certainly be buzzing from her opening Tokyo 2020 performance which is the fifth-fastest time in the world this year.
“I’m in shock actually,” she told reporters. “I really didn’t expect to run as fast as I just did. I have never run here. I didn’t even train in the warm-up area. So it’s my first time and I was like, ‘Wow!’”
Wow, indeed. Judging by how comfortable she looked in the heats, I would like to believe that she will go even quicker in the semis if it’s required.
Michelle-Lee Ahye of Trinidad and Tobago who is unquestionably heading back to her best form since 2017, will also have her eyes on one of the qualifying spots. She ran 11.06 to win her heat.
Fraser-Pryce Is All About Execution
Heat three, meanwhile, will see the world-leader and two-time Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce going up against Swiss star Mujinga Kambundji and American Teahna Daniels.
Despite issuing a high amount of energy for only about half of the race, Fraser-Pryce still sailed into the semifinals with a relaxed-looking 10.84s to win her heat, and she was happy about her race execution.
“It’s good to execute in the heat, because I guess there’s less pressure, and then it gets to the semis where it’s a little bit more pressure,” Fraser-Pryce told reporters. “So you just want to make sure that you execute.”
Daryll Neita of Great Britain cracked the 11.00 seconds barrier for the first time in her career on Friday and she will be hoping to improve on the 10.96s personal best mark from the first round.
Nzubechi Grace Nwokocha of Nigeria and Ivorian Murielle Ahoure who is the joint African Record holder, will also take on Fraser-Pryce.
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