Williams moves on to semi-finals at Worlds

Quarter-mile queen Sada Williams is the lone Barbadian athlete standing after the morning session of the second day of the World Athletics Championship in Budapest, Hungary.

Williams, the current world bronze medallist, eased into the semi-finals of the women’s 400 metres having won heat three early Sunday morning.

However, Jonathan Jones and DeSean Boyce concluded their meet with first round exits from the men’s 400 metres competition.

Jones finished seventh in heat three in 46.03 seconds, while Boyce did not finish heat five after ‘pulling up’ injured with just over 100 metres to go.

Jones faced a quick heat in which Norwegian Håvard Ingvaldsen stormed to victory in a national record 44.39 seconds.

Williams dominated the third of six heats, cruising to victory in a breezy 50.78 seconds after an aggressive first 300 metres.

She earned lane seven in the third and final semi-final heat which runs off on Monday at 3:28 p.m. Barbados time.

The first two finishers of the three heats plus the next two fastest times will progress to the final on Wednesday at 3:35 p.m.

‘Running blind’ and with her back to the rest of the field in lane nine, Williams opened a significant gap on the others, which included defending champion Bahamian Shaunae Miller-Uibo.

It was Miller-Uibo’s first 400 metres of the season, having given birth to a baby boy in April. She placed seventh in a season’s best 52.65.

Williams remained in full control of proceedings as she thundered down the back stretch to extend her lead.

Not even second-placed Paola Morán (51.59) of Mexico could challenge her. She maintained her form around the top bend and into the final quarter of the race, before coasting to the finish in a canter to secure her semi-final spot.

South African Zenéy Van der Walt closed out the automatic spots in heat three, finishing third in 51.76 seconds.

Overall, Williams’ time was the eighth-fastest, while medal contenders Marileidy Paulino of Dominican Republic and Natalia Kaczmarek of Poland were fastest in 49.90 seconds and 50.05 seconds, respectively.

Paulino won heat six, while Kaczmarek won heat one. (RW)