DOHA 2019: Thompson, Forbes qualify for 200m semis; Calvert-Powell out
Elaine Thompson of Jamaica competes in the women's 200m heat at the World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar, Monday, Sept. 30, 2019. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty).
Olympic champion Elaine Thompson on Monday qualified for the semifinals of the women's 200 metres at the 2019 ISSA World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar with an easy looking 22.61-second clocking in the third heat.
Shashalee Forbes is also through to Tuesday's semifinals, but the third Jamaican - Schillonie Calvert-Powell - failed to get out of the opening round.
The 22-61-second clocking handed 27-year-old Thompson, a second-place behind Britanny Brown of the United States who won in a lifetime best 22.33. Lisa Marie Kwayie (22.77) of Germany also clocked a lifetime best for third place and the final automatic qualifying spot from the heat.
Thompson, who finished a disappointing fourth in the women's 100m final on Sunday won by her teammate Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, is the gold medal favourite for the 200m.
She arrived in Doha with ambitions to capture a world title that has eluded her since she landed squarely into the 200m world elite in 2015.
In what turned out to be an epic showdown at the World Championships in Beijing that year, the Jamaican pushed Dafne Schippers to the line clocking 21.66, finishing a scant 0.03 behind the Dutchwoman. Both have sat third and fifth on the world all-time list.
Thompson has run under 22 seconds four times since, including a 21.78 run, her second fastest ever, that propelled her to the Olympic title in Rio. But lingering bouts with injury over the past two seasons have slowed her progress over the half lap, a funk she seems to have broken from this year with a 22.00 performance at the Jamaican Championships, her fastest in nearly two years.
Dina Asher-Smith, who is Thompson's biggest threat for the gold medal, secured the fastest qualifying time from the heats. The 23-year-old Briton clocked 22.32 seconds to easily win her heat, 24 hours after she won the silver medal in the 100m.
Forbes, 23, clocked 23.15 to finish third and secured the last automatic qualifying place into the semifinals from the opening heat.
The Bahamas' Anthonique Strachan won the heat quite easily in 22.86, with second place going to Trinidad and Tobago's Kamaria Durant in 23.08.
And Calvert-Powell, 31, could only manage seventh place in the sixth heat in 23.52 seconds. Anglerne Annelus of the United States won the heat in 22.56 seconds.