TOKYO, Japan — All the athletes who qualified for the final of the women’s 400m at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games required a sub-50-seconds performance in the semifinals on Wednesday (4). Click here for the results.
Two Americans and two Jamaicans advanced to the final of the event, while defending champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo from The Bahamas also secured passage into the medal race.
Pacing the list of qualifiers was Marileidy Paulino of the Dominican Republic who ran a massive lifetime best and a national record of 49.38 seconds and looked very impressive doing so as well when winning the first semis.
Paulino who entered the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games with a personal best of 49.99s, looked as though she still has loads remaining in reserve and we could very see her PB come down in the final.
Jamaica’s Candice McLeod also clocked a personal best of 49.51s to finish second in the first semis, with Cuban Roxana Gomez (personal best, 49.71) and American Quanera Hayes (49.81) who finished third and fourth, respectively in the first semifinal, also progressing to the final on times.
Defending champion Miller-Uibo won the second semis in 49.60s and Bahamian also looked comfortable when taking the victory.
Great Britain’s Jodie Williams clocked a big lifetime best of 49.97s to hold on for second place behind Miller-Uibo.
The semifinal heats were closed out with a smooth victory from Jamaica’s Stephenie Ann McPherson who took the race in a PB of 49.34s. She too seems to have a lot more in reserve and I am expecting her to go even faster in the final.
American, the silver medalist to Miller-Uibo at Rio 2016, Allyson Felix set a world women’s 35 best mark of 49.89 when earning her place in the final.
Will we see a sub-49 seconds race in the medal race?
Who knows. But I wouldn’t bet against seeing at least one.