The much-anticipated semifinal of the men’s 100m tonight in Tokyo (this morning for those of us at home) was full of surprises. The first two men in each of three races advanced, with two additional qualifiers based on time advancing to the final later this evening. First, Reece Prescod of the U.K. visibly false started, taking off even before the gun was heard, and was sent home. Canada’s Andre De Grasse, the defending bronze medallist from Rio, got off to a slow start, and finished second to the U.S.’s Fred Kerley. Though commentators have noted that he performs well under pressure, his 9.98 was only the seventh-fastest of the eight men who will advance.
Unpredictable, to say the least https://t.co/AnieJ15sCU
— Matt Lawton (@Lawton_Times) August 1, 2021
The second heat was won by the U.K.’s Zharnel Hughes, followed by Enoch Adegoke of Nigeria, with Trayvon Bromell of the U.S., the man with the fastest time on the track this year going into the Games (9.77) leading early in the race, then fading, and his 10.00 was not enough to get him into the final.
In the final heat, Bingtian Su of China won by a considerably margin, his 9.81 setting a new Asian record. The U.S.’s Ronnie Baker was second, running a personal best of 9.83 to advance to the final. Italy’s Lamont Marcell Jacobs was third, and his 9.84 was a new PB, a European record, and the third-fastest time of the day, meaning he will appear in the final based on time. Akani Simbine of South Africa was fourth, but his 9.90 was the second-fastest of the non-automatic qualifying times, so we’ll see him again later today.
Here are the finalists, in order of their semi-final time:
- Bingtian Su – China – 9.83 (Asian record)
- Ronnie Baker – USA – 9.83 (PB)
- Marcell Jacobs – Italy – 9.84 (national record)
- Akani Simbine – South Africa – 9.90
- Fred Kerley – USA – 9.96
- Zharnel Hughes – UK – 9.98 (SB)
- Andre De Grasse – Canada – 9.98
- Enoch Adegoke – Nigeria – 10.00
Puerto Rico’s Jasmine Camacho-Quinn clocks an Olympic record in the women’s 100m hurdles semifinals with a 12.26!
— Chris Chavez (@ChrisChavez) August 1, 2021
Women’s 100m hurdles semi-final
The women’s 100m hurdles was racked by faulty starts and crashes, but that didn’t stop Jasmine Camacho-Quinn, who competes for Puerto Rico, from setting an Olympic record in 12.26, just six hundredths of a second off Keni Harrison’s world record. Those two plus six other women advance to the final, which happens Monday morning in Japan (Sunday evening in North America). Watch for world-record-breaking performances.
Men’s 800m semi-final
In a shocking turn of events, Nijel Amos, the fastest 800m runner this year, was eliminated in the third semifinal when Isaiah Jewett, who was directly in front of him, appeared to trip during the second lap, and both men went down. Marco Arop looked very smooth in the second semi, leading well into the second lap after a quick 50.94 first lap, but did not have enough left in the tank to finish the job, and faded to last. Arop will not advance to the final. Peter Bol, who ran a national record for Australia in his heat, won that semi, lowering his new record yet again, to 1:44.11, followed by the American, Clayton Murphy, who started well back but snuck through on the inside in the final 100 metres. Ferguson Rotich of Kenya won that heat, followed into the final by Amel Tuka of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The final of this event goes Wednesday evening, Aug. 4 (Wednesday morning for Canadian viewers).