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Lyles leads big names into world indoor semis, Mitton wins shot

Noah Lyles, Karsten Warholm and Femke Bol, three pin-ups of the world indoor championships, safely negotiated their opening rounds on the first day of competition in Glasgow on Friday.

The first gold of 26 on offer at the three-day champs at the Emirates Arena went to Canada as Sarah Mitton, the world outdoor silver medallist, managed a best of 20.22 metres on her sixth and final effort to win the women’s shot put.

Germany’s Yemisi Ogunleye took silver with 20.19m, while reigning two-time outdoor champion Chase Jackson of the United States rounded out the podium with 19.67m.

There was no drama on the track as six-time world outdoor gold medallist Lyles timed 6.57 seconds to win his heat.

Lyles, seeking 60m gold as a springboard to treble gold at this summer’s Paris Olympics, has little time to regroup, with semi-finals (1945) and final (2145) scheduled for Friday’s evening session.

“It was the first time I got to hear ‘six-time world champion’ in front of a world crowd. Every time I get to hear that, it gets me pretty excited,” Lyles said.

“It’s definitely different (from outdoors). The crowd is way closer, the energy is contained which makes it a lot more enjoyable.

“It’s a lot more energetic,” he said, adding that he had been back working on his 200m training since winning the US national championships.

“I’m just going to do whatever it takes to win.”

Also qualifying was Lyles’ US teammate and world 60m record holder Christian Coleman, the 2018 world 60m champion and silver medallist in Belgrade two years ago clocking 6.49sec.

Kenyan hope Ferdinand Omanyala, Japan’s Shuhei Tada — in a national record of 6.52sec — and Jamaica’s Ackeem Blake all also went through.

‘Have fun and race’

Two top hurdlers deciding to try their early-season form over the 400m flat just five months out from the Paris Olympics had no problem around the two laps of the six-lane 200m track.

Warholm, the world record holder, three-time outdoor champion and Olympic gold medallist in the 400m hurdles, clocked 46.68sec to win his heat after going out strong.

“I came here because I just got a feeling that I want to run a little bit,” said Warholm. “I am not in my peak shape because I have been training very hard for the summer.

“But I just want to have fun and race. I don’t know how well I will do here – time will show.”

Defending champion Jereem Richards of Trinidad and Tobago, who tied up badly in his heat, squeezed by two-thousandths of a second into the semi-finals scheduled for 2110 GMT later Friday, with the final set for Saturday.

Dutchwoman Bol coasted the first round of the women’s 400m, looking totally at ease as she won the fourth and final heat in 52.00sec.

The two-time world 400m hurdles champion, fresh from having broken her own world 400m indoor record of 49.24sec last month, will be joined by teammate Lieke Klaver, whose 51.31sec was the fastest time of the qualifiers.

“The track is nice,” said Bol. “I really like the atmosphere. Everyone is close to the track which is super nice. We changed the plan for this, so I am happy I can comfortably run 52.”

The semi-finals will be raced at 2050 GMT later Friday, with the final scheduled for Saturday at 2100.

Finland’s Saga Vanninen, on 2,883 points, was in control of the women’s pentathlon after the 60m hurdles, high jump and shot put, 38pts ahead of Belgium’s Noor Vidts.

The five-discipline event climaxes with the long jump and 800m later Friday.

Aside from the men’s 60m and the pentathlon, the evening session also sees finals in the women’s high jump and men’s shot.

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