Dafne Schippers set the second fastest 200 metres time in the world this year as she progressed to the final at Rio 2016 on Tuesday.
World champion Schippers delivered a timely reminder of her quality to surge to victory in the first of the three semi-finals at the Olympic Stadium, winning in 21.96 seconds, just shy of her world-leading season’s best of 21.93secs, ahead of new 100m champion Elaine Thompson of Jamaica.
Tori Bowie appears likely to be Schippers’ main threat for gold aside from Thompson, the American – silver medallist in the 100m – claimed victory in the third semi-final in 22.13secs.
Michelle-Lee Ahye of Trinidad and Tobago ran a national-record time of 22.25secs to qualify behind Bowie.
The second semi saw Ivory Coast’s Marie-Josee Ta Lou run a personal best of 22.28secs to triumph ahead of Bulgaria’s Ivet Lalova-Collio, who qualified with a season’s best of 22.42secs.
Deajah Stevens of United States and Great Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith progressed as fastest losers.