Beijing World Champs, Day Three, Session One: Lots of qualifying, by Alex Mills

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Kovacs_JoeWide-Beijing15.jpgJoe Kovacs, photo by PhotoRun.net

As I was heading over to the adidas Hospitality today, I ran into Joe Kovacs with Coach Art Venegas. I congratulated Joe and told him about this cool picture we had of him with a red umbrella. He had heard about it and wanted a copy, so I told him it was on RunBlogRun.

Joe Kovac's fantastic shot put win was overshadowed by the 100 meter hooplah!

Sorry, Joe! Watch for our feature in the next few hours on the Shot put!

Here is our reprise of Day 3, Session one, courtesy of Alex Mills, who continues to survive writing for me in Beijing.

On a morning jam packed with qualifying action it was the long jump and the 400m that stole the show on day three of the IAAF World Championships.

After the rapid times from of the men's 400m heats yesterday, it was the women's turn to put in some swift first round performances this morning as all but one of the six qualification races were won in 51.01 or less, with 10 women in total breaking 51 seconds.

Leading the way was Jamaica's Stephenie Ann Mcpherson who won heat four in a season's best 50.34 seconds, with Romanian Bianca Razor setting a PB 50.37 to surprisingly come through as the second fastest qualifier, winning the her heat ahead of Sherika Jackson, also of Jamaica. All of the main pre-event favourites were victorious as Allyson Felix, Shaunae Miller and reigning champion Christine Ohuruogu all came through to win without having to move out of first gear.

Over in the long jump, Jeffrey Hendersen and Greg Rutherford threw down the gauntlet for tomorrow's final as they cruised through the qualification round.

As the only two jumpers to clear the automatic standard of 8.15m it looks set to be an out and ut battle between the world leader

One leap was all it took world leader and marginal favourite Henderson to qualify for his first world championship final and what a jump it was from the Pan Am Games champion as he flew out 8.36m, the 9th best jump of his career.

Having fouled in the first round, Olympic champion Rutherford then responded by jumping 8.25m, his second best performance ever in a qualification event.

Aside from the battle for gold, with three athletes in the top six qualifiers, China has a great chance of claiming bronze, though predicting who it might be that wins it for them is tough given that the trio were all within two centimetres of each other.

Hiwot Ayalew (9:25.55), Habiba Ghribi (9:24.38) and Hyvin Kiyeng Jepkemoi (9:26.19) were the winners of 3000SC heats. With medal contenders Emma Coburn and Virginia Nyambura also among the automatic qualifiers. Coburn will be joined in the final by compatriots Stephanie Garcia and Colleen Quigley as the USA achieved another national firsts in the event by having three women in the final for the first time ever, just a day after the men's team secured a full quota for tonight's final.

Also making history was Lalita Shivaji Babar who became India's first ever world championship track finalist, setting a national record 9:27.86 in the process.

There will be 14 women in the final of the pole vault after the track judges decided to call it a day after once all 14 had cleared the 4.55m barrier. USA's Demi Payne was arguably the biggest casualty as she crashed out with three failures at 4.30m.

Cuba's Denia Caballero was one of only four women to clear the automatic standard of 63m as 60.72m was enough to make the women's discus final.

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