EUGENE – Razorback training partners Britton Wilson and Shamier Little both advanced from the first round of the 400m hurdles on Tuesday during the fifth day of action at the World Athletics Championship held at Hayward Field.
In Wednesday’s semifinal Wilson and Little will race in adjacent lanes in the second of three semifinal heats. Wilson will occupy lane 5 with Little in lane 6. The semifinal heat also includes Femke Bol of the Netherlands, the Tokyo Olympics bronze medalist.
The top two in each semifinal heat, plus the next two fastest times advance to the final.
Wilson, running in lane 4, claimed the fifth and final prelim heat in 54.54 seconds, the fifth best time in the opening round while Little finished runner-up from lane 8 in 54.77, the eighth best time among the 24 hurdlers who advanced to Wednesday’s semifinal at 6:15 p.m. (PT).
“It was OK,” noted Wilson of her race. “It was a clean race. I’m glad everything felt good and clean. I will focus on getting fast and efficient over the hurdles.
“I just focused on winning my heat and from there see what needs to be done to get to the finals. The most important aspect is the speed. You can be clean and efficient over the hurdlers, but if you don’t have that speed, you will not be in the mix for the medals.”
Wilson, a Razorback sophomore, was third at 300m with a split of 39.80, trailing Jamaica’s Rushell Clayton (39.39) and Norway’s Amalie Iuel (39.710. An efficient final 100m enabled Wilson to pass both while holding off the charge by Italy’s Ayomide Folorunso.
Behind Wilson’s 54.54, Folorunso posted a 54.69 as Iuel clocked 54.70 and Clayton finished fourth in 54.99.
“I really did not panic about the lane,” said Little of running in lane 8. “I have got to focus on just me, like not racing against anybody. So, this race was just me against me.
“I was just focused on setting up the race on my own like we do in the practice. The goal is to qualify, but as long as you get there, you want to end up as high as possible.”
Six hurdlers from Little’s heat advanced to the semifinal. Little, a volunteer assistant with Arkansas, led the field at 300m with a 39.48 split ahead of Jamaica’s Janieve Russell (39.73) and Finland’s Viivi Lehikoinen (39.74).
Russell won the heat in 54.52 with Little runner-up at 54.77 as Lehikoinen finished third in 54.95.
World record holder Sydney McLaughlin won the first heat in 53.95, while Bol claimed heat three in 53.90, the overall leader, and American Dalilah Muhammad posted a 54.54 to win heat four.
World Championships | Arkansas schedule (PT)
Wednesday | July 20
|6:15 pm||W 400 Hurdles||Semifinal||Britton Wilson, Shamier Little|
Thursday | July 21
|5:10 pm||W 800m||Heats||Shafiqua Maloney|
|6:20 pm||M Triple Jump||Qualification||Jah Nhai Perinchief|