EUGENE, Oregon — Despite all three women not being completely satisfied with their performances in the first round of the 100m hurdles on Saturday's penultimate day of the 18th World Athletics Championships, all three stayed in contention for medals today when the semi-finals and final will be contested.
Britany Anderson won her heat in 12.59 seconds (-0.3m/s), while former champion Danielle Williams clocked 12.87 seconds (1.5m/s) and Olympic bronze medallist Megan Tapper posted 12.73 seconds (0.5m/s) — and all got the "big Q" and advanced automatically.
It was mixed feelings having to wait nine days into the championships to start competing, and while Anderson and Williams might have welcomed earlier starts, Tapper was happy for the extra time to get back into competitive shape.
The event, one of the most unpredictable, lived up to expectations as defending champion Nia Ali of the United States hit the ninth hurdle while she battled Anderson in the first heat, then crashed into the 10th barrier and never recovered.
Anderson, the fastest Jamaican this season at the championships, said she did just enough to get to the semis.
"It feels great to finally be out here, to finally get the heats out of the way; it's been a long wait," said the World Under-20 silver medallist in 2018 in Finland.
Williams, who won the gold medal in 2015 and bronze four years later, was second in her race behind Tobi Amusan who improved on her African and Nigerian record, clocking 12.40 seconds, marginally shaving the 12.41 seconds that she ran in June.
"I can't say that I was pleased with the run," she said. "It was a quick gun [and] I wasn't fully up and set when the gun went off, and it threw me a little bit and I had to throw caution to the wind and just start running ," she disclosed.
Williams was aware she will not have that luxury in the semi-finals where the quality will be much higher. "For the semis I need to get into the set position a little quicker," she admitted.
After winning two medals at this level the national record holder knows what it takes to get on the podium.
"I am definitely confident that I can medal once I put together my best race."
Tapper said she has not had the best of build-ups and was still working on her race execution."It was not the best, I know that it wasn't the best — it was more about having a really hard last three weeks. It has been tough to get ready to come out here and I am really grateful to be here," she said.
— Paul Reid