MOSCOW, Russia – Lady Tiger alum Nickiesha Wilson lined up in her second career World Championships final in the women’s 400-meter hurdles and departing senior Kimberlyn Duncan advanced to her first career international semifinal in the 200-meter dash during Thursday’s evening session at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium.
Wilson, who matched her 2013 seasonal best with a run of 54.94 seconds in Tuesday’s semifinal round, took eighth place in Thursday’s final after crossing the finish line in 57.34.
Czech Republic’s Zuzana Hejnova was the only finalist to break 53 seconds as she raced to a new world-leading time for the 2013 campaign at 52.83 to claim an easy gold-medal-winning victory over USA’s duo of silver medalist Dalilah Muhammad (54.09) and bronze medalist Lashinda Demus (54.27) across the finish line.
Rounding out the field were Ukraine’s Anna Titimets (54.72) in fourth, Great Britain’s Eilidh Child (54.86) in fifth, Ukraine’s Anna Yaroshchuk (55.01) in sixth and Great Britain’s Perri Shakes-Drayton (56.25) in seventh.
It marked the second time in her career that Wilson has lined up in the final of the 400-meter hurdles at the IAAF World Championships in Athletics as she earned a fourth-place finish in her championship debut in 2007 as a sophomore at LSU. The Jamaican international ended her collegiate career in 2008 as the NCAA Outdoor champion in the event.
While making her international debut for the United States, Duncan advanced to the 200-meter semifinals during Thursday’s evening session after winning the first of seven heats with her time of 22.84 (+0.0) earlier in the day in the qualifying round. She then returned to the track to claim a third-place finish in the second semifinal heat with the 13th-fastest time of the round at 22.91 (+0.0) while crossing the finish line behind a pair of international sprint stars in reigning Olympic champion Allyson Felix (22.30) of the United States and Blessing Okagbare (22.39) of Nigeria.
Duncan, a six-time NCAA champion in the 200 meters during her collegiate career at LSU from 2010-13, earned her spot on Team USA as this year’s U.S. Outdoor champion when she ran the fastest wind-aided time for the world rankings at 21.80 at the USA Outdoor Championships held in June in Des Moines, Iowa.
Also taking to the track in the qualifying round of the women’s 800 meters during Thursday’s morning session was Jamaican international Natoya Goule, who finished just one second off of her personal best with a run of 2 minutes, 0.93 seconds for sixth place in the first heat. Goule, the reigning NCAA Indoor and NCAA Outdoor champion, finished in 18th place overall in qualifying in her World Championships debut.
Highlighting Friday’s action at Luzhniki Stadium will be 2013 SEC Outdoor and NCAA Outdoor champion Damar Forbes of Jamaica in the men’s long jump final at 10:30 a.m. CT and former Lady Tiger Rebecca Alexander of the United States in the preliminary round of the women’s 4x400-meter relay.
Time Schedule for LSU Entries at the 2013 IAAF World Championships in Athletics
Note: Times are Central and subject to change based on round-by-round qualifying
Friday, August 16
TV Coverage: LIVE on Universal Sports (12:30-3 a.m. CT); LIVE on Universal Sports (10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. CT)
2:30 a.m. – Women’s 4x400 Relay Heats (Rebecca Alexander)
10:30 a.m. – Men’s Long Jump Final (Damar Forbes)
Saturday, August 17
TV Coverage: LIVE on NBC (11-11:30 a.m. CT); TAPE-DELAY on NBC (1:30-3 p.m. CT); TAPE-DELAY on Universal Sports (8-9:30 p.m. CT)
10:30 a.m. – Women’s 4x400 Relay Final (Rebecca Alexander)
Sunday, August 18
TV Coverage: TAPE-DELAY on NBC (1:30-3 p.m. CT); TAPE-DELAY on Universal Sports (6-7:30 p.m. CT)
7:50 a.m. – Men’s 4x100 Relay Heats (Richard Thompson)
9:40 a.m. – Men’s 4x100 Relay Final (Richard Thompson)