World Athletics day three: Mixed fortunes for Fraser-Pryce & Lavillenie
Like Usain Bolt before her, Jamaica’s female counterpart Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce mounted a successful defence of her 100m title at the World Athletics Championships on day three of Beijing.
Pushed close by Dutch sprinter Dafne Schippers, whose conversion from the Heptathlon has been hugely impressive and is now odds-on at 1/2 to be 200m champion, Fraser-Pryce ran 10.76 seconds to secure a sixth world Gold medal. Tori Bowie of the USA built on her own improvement to bag Bronze.
Kenya did a long-distance double, as Vivian Jepkemoi Cheruiyot beat women’s 10,000m favourite Gelete Burka of Ethiopia and Ezekiel Kemboi led three of his compatriots home for a fourth world men’s 3000m Steeplechase crown.
Pole vault world record holder Renaud Lavillenie, meanwhile, saw his World Athletics Championships curse continue, as he failed to clear 5m 90cm – a height way down on his best.
The Frenchman bottling it on this stage once again saw him have to settle for Bronze, and allowed up-and-coming Canadian vaulter Shawn Barber to surprisingly take top honours. Defending champion Raphael Holzdeppe scooped Silver.
Ladies’ triple jump chance Ekaterina Koneva of Russia could not replicate her 15m form when it mattered most and finished seventh, as Caterine Ibarguen defended her title with a best effort of 14m 90cm. Hanna Knyazyeva-Minenko, jumping for Israel, was 11cm down on the Colombian, while Olympic champion Olga Rypakova took Bronze.
Also in the field, Olympic and Commonwealth men’s long jump champion Greg Rutherford made the world final, going out to 8m 25cm in qualifying. He’s 7/4 to complete his Gold medal collection, but the USA’s world leader Jeff Henderson jumped further and remains odds-on 1/2 favourite for top honours.
Team GB’s Rabah Yousif sneaked into the men’s 400m final as a fastest loser with a new personal best. Grenada great Kirani James is now even-money to regain the world title after impressing in his semi, with Wayde van Niekerk of South Africa reckoned to be his main competition at 13/8.
British teammates Christine Ohuruogu and Anyika Onuora came through the first round of the women’s 400m. The former, who is defending champion and 12/1 to retain her world title, won her heat, while Onuora ran a personal best to sneak into the semis as a fastest loser.
American athlete Allyson Felix remains odds-on at 8/15 to grab Gold round one lap of the track, ahead of Bahamas sprinter Shaunae Miller (5/2) and compatriot Natasha Hastings (20/1). Jamaican quartet Stephanie-Ann McPherson (18/1), Shericka Jackson (20/1), Christine Day (33/1) and Novlene Williams-Mills (25/1) are all through too.
Over the 400m hurdles, defending champion Zuzana Hejnova has been shortened to 1/3 after winning her semi. Cassandra Tate (USA) and Kaliese Spencer (Jamaica) are expected to be the Czech Republic star’s closest challengers. Eilidh Child is a British interest here, but is unlikely to figure among the medals.
During the morning session, there were easy qualifications for firm field events favourites Sandra Perkovic (discus) and Yarisley Silva (pole vault).