DOHA 2019: Danielle Williams leads 3 Jamaicans into 100 hurdles final
Danielle Williams, of Jamaica and Nia Ali, of the United States compete in a women's 100m hurdles semifinal at the World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar, Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek).
Jamaican record holder Danielle Williams is closing in on her second career world title after qualifying fastest in the women's 100-metre hurdles semifinals.
Competing in the first semifinal on Sunday's final day of action in Doha, the 2015 gold medalist ran 12.41 seconds to win her semifinal in a close finish ahead of 2016 Olympic silver medalist Nia Ali of the United States, who clocked a new personal best 12.44 seconds.
Megan Tapper and Janeek Brown, who is the second-fastest woman in the world, are also in the final, while the other Jamaican Yanique Thompson crashed out.
Tapper, the bronze medallist at the 2019 Pan American Games, enters the final with a new personal best 12.61 for second place behind the world record holder Kendra Harrison, who won in 12.58 seconds.
Thompson clocked a season's in 12.80 seconds for third place, but the time wasn't good enough to get her a spot in the final as one of the non-automatic qualifiers.
Brown, who won the NCAA title in 12.40 to hold the Jamaican record for a matter of weeks before Williams broke it, also secured an automatic qualifying spot going into the final after she finished second in the third and final heat in 12.62 seconds.
Nigeria’s Tobi Amusan produced a new personal best 12.48 seconds to win the heat and heads into the final with the third-fastest qualifying time behind Williams' 12.41 and Ali's 12.44.
Williams is the big gold medal favourite. When she won the world 100m hurdles title four years ago, it was seen as one of the biggest surprise performances of the championships. Now, however, the Jamaican will be hard to beat.
Over the past couple of months, she has produced the four fastest times of her career.
At the IAAF Diamond League meeting in London, she ran a PB of 12.41 in her heat and followed it with a national record of 12.32 to win the final, moving to seventh on the world all-time list. She notched up two more IAAF Diamond League victories, winning in Birmingham and at the final in Zurich, clocking 12.46 on both occasions.
More significantly, though, she defeated Harrison, both times.
The final is scheduled to begin at 12:50 pm Jamaica time.