| Fadhil Yunus |
BRUNEI Darussalam national sprinter Muhammad Noor Firdaus Ar-Rasyid bin Haji Mohd Idris marked his debut in the IAAF World Athletics Championships London 2017 by finishing fourth in his heats at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on Monday night.
The national sprinter clocked a time of 22.36s in London, well outside his season best and personal best and finished fourth after three other competitors did not cross the finish line.
Muhammad Noor Firdaus, who is also preparing for the same event in the 29th SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur, finished in 44th overall only ahead of Zaire’s Kabongo Mulumba.
The Bruneian, running in lane 2, started to tail off on the bend and left too much ground to cover in the home straight as the frontrunners led by Great Britain’s Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake cruised to the finish line.
Mitchell-Blake led a trio of British runners including Daniel Talbot and Zharnel Hughes who qualified as the fastest loser to proceed into today’s semi-finals.
The former Europen Junior Championships winner, selected ahead of Adam Gemili, won the race with a time of 20.08s with Japanese star Shota Iizuka in second place with a time of 20.58s.
The Briton finished as the second quickest overall during the heats and only behind to Trinidad and Tobago’s Jereem Richards who set the tone with a time of 20.05s.
Guyana’s Winston George also qualified into the semi-finals after finishing third with a time of 20.61s.
The national runner became the country’s second representative to run at the World Championships since Mohd Fakhri Haji Ismail in Beijing in 2015.
South Africa’s star Wayde Van Niekerk, who has been tipped as a huge favourite for gold, ended in fourth place in the heats classification tied with a time of 20.16s alongside Britain’s Talbot and Turkey’s Ramil Guliyev.
Van Niekerk cemented his status as a world class superstar after winning gold in the 400m event in the last World Championships in Beijing before rising to greater heights after collecting 400m gold in the Rio Olympics last year.
But there is a household name in the form of Jamaican sprinter Yohan Blake who will be hoping to regain success in the World Championships since winning the 100m event in 2011.
The semis will also feature rising Japanese 18-year-old Abdul Hakim Sani Brown who sealed his passage after posting a time of 20.52s behind Blake in Heat 1 as well as French sprinter Cristophe Lemaitre whose bronze at the Rio Olympics made him a natural podium candidate.