#ReturnToLondon: Williams confident as all four J'cans advance to 100m Hurdles semis
Andre Lowe, Sports Editor
Defending champion Danielle Williams says she is looking forward to tonight's semi-finals after leading all four Jamaicans into the next round of the 100m hurdles at the World Championships on Friday inside the London Stadium.
Williams, who ran 12.66 in a -1.4 m/s wind for the win in her heat is the second fastest qualifier into the semis behind world record holder Kendra Harrison, who clocked 12.60 (-0.6).
Megan Simmonds, 12.78 seconds also finished first in her heat and qualified as the fifth fastest, while youngsters Yanique Thompson, who was third in 12.88, and Rushelle Burton - also third in 12.94, are safely through as well.
Williams said she was anxious to get started.
"It wasn't the cleanest run so I need to clean that up going into the semi-finals but I am feeling great, I am confident and it's just to execute at this point," said Williams.
The champion noted that she is focusing on herself but underlined that she is prepared to run a personal best if she must, in order to meet her ambitions.
Simmonds said that she is content with her first round effort and knows that there is more to come from her in the later round.
"I was content with the wait, the more I waited is the more relaxed I got. I am happy with that run, not fully happy though but OK and I have more to give in the semis," Simmonds noted.
For Thompson and Burton, who were both competing at their first senior international championships, it was an experience that they were looking forward to.
"It was good seeing that I didn't race in a long time, I did not race since trials so it was not a bad race," said Thompson." Funnily I was not nervous at all, it was my first World Championships and I mean the crowd was a big one, I thought I would be, but I was relaxed going into the semis."
Burton added: "That was not a perfect race but I know I can come back stronger, I did what I should at the start but I think I need to improve on the middle and the end for the semis. Honestly, I was very nervous, I didn't show it but I was and I'm now looking forward to the semi-finals."
Jamaica has four athletes into the event due to Williams' wild card entry as the defending world champion.
The 100m hurdles semi-final will take place at 7:05 p.m. (1:05 p.m. Jamaica time) on Friday.
Women's 100m Hurdles Heats Results:
1st, Jamaica, Williams 12.66;
2nd Germany, Dutkiewicz 12.74;
3rd Norway, Pedersen 12.94
1st Jamaica, Simmonds 12.78;
2nd USA, Ali 12.93;
3 Canada, George 13.01
1st USA, Harrison, 12.60;
2nd Belarus, Talay, 12.88(SB);
3rd Jamaica, Thompson 12.88
1st Australia, Pearson 12.72;
2nd USA, Harper 12.88;
3rd Jamaica, Burton 12.94