MOSCOW (AFP) – Nigerian Blessing Okagbare and Ivorian Murielle Ahoure advanced to the final of the women's 100m at the world championships on Monday in their bid to become the first African to medal in the event.
But the duo will face a tough test against two in-form Jamaicans and a quartet of Americans led by defending champion Carmelita Jeter.
Okagbare, fresh from silver in Sunday's long jump, won her heat in 11.08sec from American Octavious Freeman, while Ahoure came in second to Jeter in 10.95sec.
With Veronica Campbell-Brown ruled out of the championships because of a doping infringement, Jamaican teammate Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce has been left as the country's main contender for gold in the blue riband event.
The double Olympic gold medallist and 2009 world champion, fastest in the world this season with 10.77sec, won her heat easily in 10.87.
Compatriot Kerron Stewart, a seven-time medallist in worlds and Olympics including a 4x100m relay gold in Berlin in 2009, took the other automatic qualifying spot.
Also going through to the final will be Americans Alexandria Anderson and English Gardner, the shock winner of the US trials.