Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce after her 100m semi-final at the IAAF World Championships, Beijing 2015 (Getty Images) © Copyright
Report Beijing, China

Report: women's 100m semi-finals – IAAF World Championships, Beijing 2015

If yesterday’s heats gave us the first clues as to the potential medallists later on Monday, these views hardened during three scintillating semi-finals.

The defending champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce was first to lay down a marker to her rivals and looked at her imperious best during the first semi-final.

The Jamaican, who has proved the outstanding sprinter of her generation, set the tone from the gun and flashed across the line in 10.82, within 0.04 of the fastest time ever recorded in a World Championships semi-final in this event, and even appeared to hold something in reserve by turning off the power in the final 10 metres.

Behind her, Blessing Okagbare put clear daylight between her and the rest of the field to take second in 10.89, 0.15 clear of Ivory Coast’s Marie-Josee Ta Lou, who claimed a shock third place with a PB of 11.04 although the latter just missed out on a place in the final.

There was disappointment for world number two English Gardner, from the USA. She got away reasonably well but rapidly faded out of contention over the second half of the race and wound up sixth in 11.13.

US champion Tori Bowie was an impressive winner of the second semi-final and looks like she has more to come in the final.

Bowie appeared to slightly stumble out of the blocks but remained unfazed and established control of the race before coasting to the win in 10.87.

A further 0.03 back was Trinidad’s fast-finishing Kelly-Ann Baptiste with Jamaica’s Natasha Morrison shaving 0.07 from her lifetime best to run 10.96 to clinch one of the two non-automatic qualifier spots.

Mujinga Kambundji had the consolation of setting a Swiss record of 11.07 in fifth but will play no part in the final.

In the third and last semi, Dafne Schippers showed her gold medal winning potential by taking a huge 0.09 from her national record.  

The 2014 European champion trailed quick-starting Veronica Campbell-Brown over the first half of the race but once her long limbs reached full speed, she flashed by the Jamaican to stop the clock in 10.83.

Campbell-Brown, the 2007 world champion in this event – and a renowned competitive performer – finished 0.06 further back to advance to her fifth world 100m final.

Trinidad’s Michelle-Lee Ayhe shaded Murielle Ahoure by 0.01 in a season’s best 10.97 to finish third and grab the second fastest non-automatic qualifier spot. This means the Ivorian, who won the silver medal two years ago in Moscow, became the first woman in history to run under 11 seconds in a World Championships semi-final but miss out on a lane in the final.

Steve Landells for the IAAF