Jason Rogers of St Kitts and Nevis wins his 60m heat at the 2014 IAAF World Indoor Championships in Sopot (© Getty Images)
In the absence of their injured compatriot and 2014 world leader James Dasaolu, British duo Richard Kilty and Dwain Chambers qualified as the fastest for Saturday’s’s semi-finals.
The 24-year-old Kilty had a blistering start, with a 0.122 reaction time to be the quickest man out of his blocks, and equalled his 6.53 personal best to win the fourth heat, while 35-year-old Chambers – the 2010 world indoor champion and bronze medallist in Istanbul two years ago – took the last of six heats in 6.57.
Germany’s Lucas Jakubczyk won the fifth heat in 6.57 while four men registered 6.58 during the heats.
Among them was Iran’s Reza Ghasemi’s performance with second place in the fourth heat behind Kilty, which earned him the national record, and Polish champion Dariusz Kuc pleased his home crowd with a lifetime best finishing just behind Jakubczyk in the fifth heat.
Jamaica’s two-time Olympic and two-time world 4x100m champion Nesta Carter opened his campaign in search of consolidating his silver medal position from the 2012 event in Istanbul with third place in heat four.
China’s Su Bingtian sped to a commanding second heat victory in 6.58. Jason Rogers, from St Kitts and Nevis, clocked 6.59 to win the third heat, and Zambia’s US-based Gerald Phiri claimed the tight first heat with the same time.
US champion Marvin Bracy will have to raise his game after finding himself under pressure in the first heat. He registered 6.60 for third place, a disappointing result for the man who arrived at the event carrying the ‘gold medal favourite’ tag courtesy of an impressive 6.48 at altitude at the US Championships in Albuquerque last month.
The only slight surprise was the elimination of Qatar’s Samuel Francis, who won the Asian indoor title in China last month but who could do no better than fifth in Kilty’s heat, crossing the line in 6.69, and that was not good enough for the Asian 100m record-holder to progress.
Nicola Bamford for the IAAF