WRITTEN FOR THE IAAF WEBSITE
The men’s sprint hurdlers opened their campaign this evening with all of the main protagonists safely progressing through to tomorrow afternoon’s semi final stage, as Great Britain’s Andrew Pozzi led the way with a swift 7.53 clocking.
The European indoor champion pleased his local crowd with an encouraging season’s best to win the fourth heat, while the USA’s Jarrett Eaton – fourth in the 2016 edition of these championships – registered 7.56 to take the second heat.
Cyprus’ Milan Trajkovic came within one one-hundreth of a second of his recent national record with 7.56 to claim the opening race, and Cuba’s Roger Iribarne sped to a 7.59 lifetime best for second place behind Eaton.
World record holder for the 110m hurdles and 2012 Olympic champion, Aries Merritt of the USA clocked 7.61 behind Pozzi, whilst Aurel Manga of France ran 7.62 for the runner-up spot adrift of Trajkovic.
His team mate, the two-time world indoor runner-up, Pascal Martinot-Lagarde claimed the fifth heat in 7.62, as Ahmad Al-Molad of Saudi Arabia was timed at 7.63 as the heat three winner.
Other notable names to qualify for the next round include Ronald Levy of Jamaica (7.65), Hungary’s world outdoor bronze medalist, Balazs Baji (7.66) and Konstadinos Douvalidis of Greece (7.66).
The Czech Republic’s Petr Svoboda clocked 7.68 behind Martinot-Lagarde and Olympic sixth-placer, Jonathan Cabral of Canada ran 7.70.
The best of the non-qualifiers include Australia’s Nicholas Hough who registered a 7.76 personal best, Genta Masuno of Japan who ran a 7.97 lifetime best, Rio Maholtra of Indonesia who set a 7.98 national record and Peru’s Javier McFarlance who clocked a 8.00 personal best.