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Ferguson falters in semis; fails to make final

Guardian Sports Editor

Published: Aug 13, 2013

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MOSCOW, Russia ¬ The look on Sheniqua Ferguson’s face when she came through the tunnel in the mixed zone on Monday said it all.

Despite running a respectable 11.35 seconds here at the Luzhniki Big Sports Arena in Moscow, Russia on Monday evening, it was not the race that she wanted to run at all, and as a result, she failed to make another final at another major meet competition. Ferguson finished sixth in her semi-final heat of the women’s 100 meters (m), and was tied for 16th overall at these 14th International Association of Athletic Federations’ (IAAF) World Championships. Only the two fastest times in each semi-final heat, and the next two fastest times, qualified for the final.

It was the highest individual finish for Ferguson at a major global competition – World Championships or the Olympics- but the reigning national champion in the event wasn’t prepared to hear that. As a matter of fact, she was so distraught over not making another final, that she refused to talk to reporters when she came through the mixed zone here in Moscow.

Simply put, Ferguson didn’t get the start that she got in the opening round heat, and didn’t have the kind of drive phase that was needed to keep up with world beaters such as Jamaicans Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Kerron Stewart who finished first and second respectively in that semi-final heat.

Two-time Olympic Champion, and now two-time World Champion in the event, Fraser-Pryce, was on a level by herself in the final. She won the gold in a blazing world-leading time of 10.71 seconds. Murielle Ahoure, of the Ivory Coast, finished second, in 10.93 seconds, and the defending champion in the event, Carmelita Jeter, of the United States, had to settle for the bronze medal last night in 10.94 seconds. American English Gardner was fourth, in 10.97 seconds, and Jamaican Stewart ran an identical time for fifth.

As for Ferguson, she got out of the blocks extremely late in her semi-final heat, but it might not have made a difference anyway as Fraser-Pryce and Stewart truly proved to be the class of the field in securing the two automatic qualifying spots for the final.

American Alexandria Anderson grabbed one of the two non-automatic qualifying times for the final, as she finished third in Ferguson’s semi-final, in 11.01 seconds. Bulgarian veteran sprinter Ivet Lalova finished fourth in that semi-final heat in 11.10 seconds, and Myriam Soumare, of France, out-leaned Ferguson for fifth, in 11.31 seconds.

After having the fastest reaction time in her morning heat, Ferguson turned in the slowest in her semi-final race. It was just not to be for the 23-year-old Bahamian sprinter.

Her focus will now have to shift to the women’s sprint relay which will be held on the last day of the championships on Sunday, August 18.

The group which includes Ferguson, Anthonique Strachan, Shaunae Miller, Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie, Cache Armbrister and Nivea Smith have a realistic shot of advancing to the final, and even winning a medal.


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