Trinidad and Tobago’s Michelle- Lee Ahye stormed into her second final of the 2016 Olympic yesterday, booking her place in the Women’s 200m gold medal showdown with a second place finish in semifinal three at the Olympic Stadium, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Ahye, running out of lane six, shattered her national 200m record to cross the finish line in a breezy 22.25 seconds. American Tori Bowie was first in 22.13 seconds.
Ahye, still hunting for an Olympic medal, had a an average start but made up ground on the final 100 metres with her blistering pace.
She was hot on the heels of race leader Bowie with around 40m to go but seemed to be content with the automatic qualification spot instead of pushing for the win. She has been been assigned lane 7 for the final at 9.30pm tonight which also includes 100m champ Elaine Thompson of Jamaica.
Hopes of two TT athletes in the final was dashed when Tobagonian Semoy Hackett faded on the final straight in semifinal two to place sixth in 22.94. Hackett, in lane eight, started strong and looked to be within striking distance of the leaders around the bend. But in the second half of the race, the 27-year-old ran out of steam as Ivory Coast’s Marie-Josee Ta lou took the race in 22.28 followed by Bulgaria’s Ivet Lalova -Collio (22.42).
Meanwhile in the Women’s 400m hurdles semis, TT ’s Janeil Bellille failed to advance, placing a distant sixth. Competing in semifinal three out of lane two, Bellille ran a season’s best of 56.06 but she was not in contention in a race that included former World silver medallist Dalilah Muhammad of USA and European champion Sara Petersen who finished 1-2 in 53.89 and 54.55 respectively.
Keshorn Walcott will start his defence of the Olympic javelin title today, when the qualification round takes place at the Olympic Stadium.
Walcott, who threw 84.58 metres to capture gold at the 2012 London Games, will be among a group of 18 entrants in Group B, which will get going at 8.55 pm (TT time).
Group A, which features 19 participants, will begin at 7.30 pm.
According to the Games’ website, throwers who reach the qualifying distance of 83 metres or, at least, the 12 best performers will advance to Saturday’s final.
Some of the notable names in Walcott’s group are Antti Ruuskanen of Finland, who got Olympic silver at London, and 2012 bronze medallist Vitezslav Vesely of Czech Republic.
Walcott, under Cuban coach Ismael Mastrapa Lopez, crossed the 90-metre barrier on July 9 2015 when he threw 90.16m at an IAAF Diamond League Meet in Switzerland.
Walcott’s best performance this year occurred in June at a Diamond League Meet in Norway with a distance of 86.35m.
Rondel Sorrillo qualified for the men’s 200 metres semi-final but Kyle Greaux was eliminated in yesterday morning’s heats.
Sorrillo placed third in the 10th heat, stopping the clock in 20.27 seconds. Andre DeGraase of Canada, who got bronze in the men’s 100m final on Sunday night, won the heat in 20.09. Sorrillo, by virtue of his time, was able to progress to today’s semi-finals, scheduled for 9 pm. Greaux was fourth in his heat in 20.61 but his time was not good enough to see him advance.