Murielle Ahoure in the 60m at the 2014 IAAF World Indoor Championships in Sopot (© Getty Images)
Murielle Ahoure continued her quest to become the Ivory Coast’s first global athletics gold medallist when she sped to 7.06 to win the first of three semi-finals.
It was not the quickest of starts for Ahoure but she picked up rapidly and powered away from her rivals in the second half of the race to finish just 0.03 away from her 2014 world-leading mark, notching up her ninth straight win (including heats) since the start of the year.
Nigeria’s Gloria Asumnu followed her home 0.05 in arrears to take the second automatic qualifying place for the final later on Sunday.
German’s 2010 European 100m champion Verena Sailer took the second semi-final after edging in front in the final 20 metres to equal her personal best of 7.12.
USA’s 2005 world long jump champion Tianna Bartoletta had a poor start but came through strongly to also secure her place in the final with second place in 7.14.
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce was another athlete who will be having a think about her reaction to the gun for the final and Jamaica’s 2013 World Athlete of the Year had to work hard to come through to win but she showed her class to take the third heat in a season’s best of 7.08.
Asha Philip, from Great Britain, showed her growing maturity and developing talent by equalling her personal best in 7.09, the fastest time by a European this winter, when taking second place behind the triple gold medallist from the 2013 IAAF World Championships.
Jamaica’s Veronica Campbell-Brown and Trinidad’s Michelle-Lee Ayhe qualified for the final as the fastest non-automatic qualifiers, after finishing third in the last two semi-finals respectively.
Phil Minshull for the IAAF