Michelle Jenneke (NSW) and Sally Pearson (Qld) booked their ticket to the semi-finals of the 60m hurdles at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Birmingham.
The fastest four women in each heat earning an automatic start in the semi-final, with the next fastest also qualifying.
Jenneke was the first of the Australian team out of the blocks on Friday evening in the third of five heats for the event. Clean over the five hurdles, Jenneke crossed the finish line in 8.20 in fifth. The Bahamas Devynne Charlton the winner of the heat in 7.95, followed by current European Champion Cindy Roleder (Ger) in 7.97 and Nadine Visser (Ned) in 8.01.
The fastest heat of the night was to follow with Kendra Harrison (USA), world record-holder in the 100m hurdles, clocking the fastest-ever Big Q for the 60m hurdles. Harrison’s 7.77 the clear benchmark to follow with one final heat to come.
Pearson got off to the equal-fastest start of the night (0.133 reaction time) and was soon joined by Oluwatobiloba Amusan (Nig). The pair were evenly matched until the final hurdle with Amusan (7.95) crossing the finish line just ahead of Pearson (7.96).
The results give Pearson the fifth-fastest Big Q of the night behind Harrison, Isabelle Pedersen (7.93 – Nor), Charlton and Amusan. In-form US pair Christine Manning and Sharika Nelvis follow Pearson. Jenneke had a nervous wait but qualifies in 21st of 24 starters for the semi-finals.
You can catch the semi-finals of the 60m hurdles on Sunday morning starting at 0505 AEDT on Eurosport. Jenneke will be up first, drawing Charlton, Amusan and Manning in her semi-final. Pearson, in the second semi-final will be alongside Harrison.
On Saturday night Australian time, Ryan Gregson (NSW) begins his 1500m campaign at 2218 AEDT and Damien Birkinhead (Vic) will also be in action in the shot put starting at 2257 AEDT.