Reigning champion Tobi Amusan won her qualifying heat in the women’s 100 metres hurdles on Tuesday in Budapest to secure a spot in the semi-finals.
Amusan, whose world record is 12.12, was slow out of the blocks before cruising to a time of 12.48 seconds, third fastest on the night.
“I’m just thankful I’m here in Budapest and able to race, using my talent,” she said.
“It has not been the best, but I’m here. I tried to stay as relaxed as possible (through the uncertainty) and do what my coach tells me. So, here I am.”
Kendra Harrison of the U.S. blazed to a world-leading 12.24 seconds to top the heats.
“I do not really know how I did it, I was kind of blurred, I need to go back and look at it,” Harrison said.
“In the U.S. team, we have the hardest team to make in the hurdles and that is what makes our event so exciting. Hopefully, we will be able to make a podium sweep.”
Team mate Nia Ali, the 2019 gold medallist who fell in the opening round last year, won her heat (12.55) to advance.
Amusan’s presence at the global showpiece was a surprise, with her suspension lifted just two days before the meet began.
The 26-year-old, who set the world record in the semi-finals of last year’s event, had had a provisional anti-doping suspension lifted on Thursday.
But she could still face an appeal that could potentially reinstate the ban.
The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) provisionally suspended her last month due to three whereabouts failures within a 12-month period.
But the decision was overturned by the AIU’s disciplinary tribunal panel.
The details of her case will be published on the AIU’s website as early as Wednesday, chairman David Howman told reporters.
The AIU have 30 days to decide whether or not to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).(Reuters/NAN)