Thursday 15 November, 2018

McPherson disqualified after victory in 400m semis at World Indoors

 Stephanie Ann McPherson.

Stephanie Ann McPherson.

Olympic finalist Stephanie Ann McPherson became the third Jamaican athlete to be disqualified at the 2018 IAAF World Indoor Championships in Birmingham on Friday.

McPherson's number was taken down for a lane infringement, seconds after the 29-year-old won her semi-final heat in 52.27 seconds.

The other Jamaican quarter-miler Tovea Jenkins progressed safely to the final following a second place finish in Heat 3 of the semi-finals.

Jenkins clocked 52.42 seconds, well behind  USA’s Courtney Okolo with 51.79 seconds, again breaking the 52-second barrier.

The other Jamaicans who suffered disqualifications were Kemoy Campbell, the country's sole representative in the 3000 metres and quarter-miler Steven Gayle  in Heat 3 of the men's 400 metres.

Meanwhile, Jamaica will have two athletes in the women's 60-metre final, scheduled to start at 4:38 pm.

The  finalists were decided in three thrilling semifinal heats, with two-time world silver medallist Murielle Ahoure of the Ivory Coast storming to a scorching 7.01 world lead in the process.

With a lightning fast start, the 30-year-old sped to victory in the first semifinal ahead of Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson. Olympic 100m and 200m champion Thompson took her speed up a gear from the first round with a swift 7.07 to finish second to Ahoure.

In a loaded semifinal, two-time world 200m champion Dafne Schippers of the Netherlands finished third in 7.09 but it was ultimately enough to advance as the fastest non-automatic qualifier.

US indoor champion Javianne Oliver and European indoor champion Asha Philip were not so fortunate, however. They clocked 7.10 and 7.13 respectively – times that would have won the gold medal here when the World Indoor Championships was last held in Birmingham in 2003 – but finished outside the available qualifying spots for the final. Oliver’s 7.10 is the fastest time never to make a world indoor 60m final.

The second semifinal was taken comfortably by Ahoure’s teammate Marie-Josee Ta Lou. The double world silver medallist registered 7.08 to qualify as third-fastest for the final. Behind her, Trinidad and Tobago’s Michelle-Lee Ahye and Remona Burchell of Jamaica tied with 7.15 – even down to the thousandth with 7.145 – to share the second automatic qualification spot. The knock-on effect of that was that it left just one non-automatic qualifying spot for the final.