Stuart Weir wrote this second piece on the Women’s 400m heats, which portends a fantastic womens’ 400m final on Friday!
Intriguing prospect for women’s 400.
I am looking forward to the final of the women’s 400m. Of course, Olympic and World Champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo opted not to compete for the Bahamas and the two Jamaicans who were on the final in Oregon – Stephenie Ann McPherson and Candice McLeod – are absent. But you can only beat those who are in the race.
The favorite will be Sada Williams (Barbados), who took bronze in Oregon. But there is a strong British contingent who could challenge for the medals. Wednesday morning’s heats lead into Friday night semi-finals and a Sunday morning final. In a piece of the quaint scheduling, the semi-finals are on Friday evening and the first round of the 4 by 400 relay on Friday morning!
The fastest in the prelims were
- Victoria OHURUOGU 51.34
- Sada WILLIAMS 51.66
- Zoey CLARK 51.84
Of course, it is hard to assess or compare times in a prelim where the top three qualify irrespective of time.
Two English athletes won their heats, Victoria Ohuruogu (51.34) and Ama Pipi (52.46), and three other English or Scottish athletes also progressed to the semis: Zoey Clark (51.34), Jodie Williams (52.47), and Nicole Yeargin (52.52). I was particularly delighted to see Jodie Williams – Tokyo Olympic finalist – back, having missed Oregon through injury.
The three English girls commented as follows.
Victoria Ohuruogu: “I felt a little bit rusty, especially at 150m but I kind of anticipated that. I think the semi will feel a lot more comfortable. I seem to always need a few rounds to get me going.
I thought she looked very comfortable, but she replied, “It is deceiving the way I look!”
The quick turn round from Oregon, she said: “We had a few days at home then onto prep camp, which was good, so it didn’t really feel as close as it was.”
Jodie Williams: “I wanted a little more out there today, so I am slightly disappointed. But I am physically fit. I was probably a little too relaxed. It is tough to come into champs in your first race in the season, especially in the 400. I need maybe five races under my belt. I am here to win. I got a silver in Glasgow 2014 in the 200m, and I feel I have a chance. The crowd was so loud today; it really helped me”.
Ama Pipi “I think I ran a controlled race out there. The main thing was to ensure qualification, and I got that, so I am happy. The turnaround from Eugene felt ok, not as bad as I expected. The atmosphere here today was really good – I have never been to a champs with this sort of crowd in the morning”.