Reigning champion Tina Clayton and her Jamaican compatriot Serena Cole have safely advanced to tonight’s final of the women’s 100m at the World Athletics Under-20 Championships in Cali, Colombia.
The final is scheduled to start at 8:35 pm.
Clayton, who won the title in Nairobi last year, easily won her semifinal heat in 11.17 seconds on Wednesday night. N’ketia Seedo of the Netherlands finished second in 11.26 to secure the other automatic qualifying spot from the heat.
Cole also secured an automatic qualifying spot into the medal round with second place in the third and final semifinal heat.
Cole clocked 11.29 seconds to finish behind Nigeria’s Tima Seikeseye Godbless, who took victory in 11.20.
Godbless ran a national U20 record of 11.09 on Tuesday to lead the first-round performances.
US champion Shawnti Jackson, the daughter of 2005 world 400m hurdles champion Bershawn Jackson, is the quickest in the semifinal heats with a new personal best of 11.16, surpassing the previous best of 11.28 when she equalled in the preliminary round.
Clayton’s 11.17 represents the second quickest in the heats.
Clayton is the big gold medal favourite and given her performances this season, the 17-year-old looks in form to gain another gold. Clayton dipped below 11 seconds for the first time last month, breaking the Jamaican U20 record with her world U20-leading time of 10.96 – a mark that puts her fifth on the world U20 all-time list.
She also formed part of Jamaica’s world U20 record-breaking 4x100m quartet in Nairobi last year, alongside Cole, Kerrica Hill, and her twin sister Tia Clayton.