GOLD COAST, Australia, CMC – Olympic champions Elaine Thompson and Shaunae Miller-Uibo both won their preliminary heats as they cruised into today’s semi-finals of the 200 metres at the Commonwealth Games.
The 25-year-old Thompson, the reigning double sprint champion from the Rio Games, won heat four in 23.09 seconds, leading eight Caribbean qualifiers into the penultimate stage of the event yesterday.
Trinidadian Kai Selvon finished fourth behind Jamaican Thompson in 23.23 to book her spot in the semis.
Thompson will clash with Olympic 400m champion, Miller-Uibo, in today’s second semi-final after the Bahamian captured heat three in 22.95 seconds.
Miller-Uibo, who sensationally won her Olympic title two years ago when she dived over the line, said she was running the event to strengthen her performances in the 400m.
“It all went to plan. I think I did a pretty good job today. I have only been here five or six days and I have only just started to acclimatise,” Miller-Uibo said afterwards.
“My coach believes the first 200m is my weakness [in the 400m] so I have been sent out to run the 200m. I am having a bit of fun with it.”
Jamaican Shericka Jackson also advanced by winning heat five in a time of 22.87, with Trinidadian Kamaria Durant coming home third in 23.33 to also qualify.
Jamaican Shashalee Forbes, second in heat one in a season-best 22.88, Trinidadian Semoy Hackett who followed her home in third in 23.37, along with Bahamian Anthonique Strachan, who finished fourth in heat two in 23.52, were the other qualifiers from the region.
In the men’s event, meanwhile, Jamaican Warren Weir booked his spot in the semi-finals when he clocked 20.60 to win the opening heat.
The 28-year-old, an Olympic silver medallist from London 2012 who also won silver at the last Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, was one of eight Caribbean qualifiers.
Jamaican Rasheed Dwyer won heat three in 20.78 while Kyle Greaux of Trinidad and Tobago clinched heat eight in 20.67, with Barbadian Burkheart Ellis Jr finishing second in 21.02.
Antiguan was third in 21.10 but qualified as one of the fastest losers.
In heat five, Trinidadian Jereem Richards made sure of his qualification by crossing the line first in 20.33.
Jamaican Kenroy Anderson, second in heat two with 20.89 and Bahamian Teray Smith, second in heat four with 20.82, both also also qualified.
Zharnel Hughes, who formerly represented Anguilla before recently suiting up for England, raced to victory in heat nine in 20.34.
In the women’s 400m, Jamaicans Anastasia Le-Roy and Stephenie McPherson both won their semi-finals to qualify for today’s final.
Le-Roy clocked a season-best 51.08 to win semi-final one while McPherson was timed at 51.21 in taking semi-final three.
In the men’s 400m hurdles, Jamaican Jaheel Hyde led the Caribbean qualifiers for Thursday’s final with a win in heat two in 49.14, with countryman Andre Clarke (49.10), Kyron McMaster of British Virgin Islands (48.78) and Bahamian Jeffery Gibson (49.75) all advancing.
On the women’s side of the event, Jamaicans Janieve Russell (54.01), Ristananna Tracey (55.66) and Ronda White (55.10) all reached the final along with Trinidadian Sparkle McKnight (55.15).