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De Grasse, Brown, Rodney all qualify for men's 200m semifinals at world championships

Andre De Grasse Andre De Grasse - The Canadian Press

BUDAPEST, Hungary — Canada's Camryn Rogers is one step closer to her golden goal after securing a spot in the women's hammer throw final with a qualifying throw of 73.95 metres at the World Athletics Championship on Wednesday

"I feel like qualifying is always a very intense situation to be in and experience," the 24-year-old Richmond, B.C. native said following her performance at Budapest's National Athletics Centre. "But the goal is always to get in and get out as fast as we can to get ready for the final."

Rogers landed her top throw on just her second attempt, after her first throw travelled 70.97 metres. To qualify for the final, participants needed to either reach a distance of 73 meters or be among the top 12 performers.

"First throw, I kind of was feeling things out a little bit and so to come back and hit the (automatic qualification) on my second throw definitely was good to see (and I) got taken out," said Rogers. "Now we just prepare for the final."

Hanna Skydan, of Azerbaijan, had the top throw in Wednesday's qualifying with a heave of 77.10 metres, followed by American DeAnna Price (76.25) and Finland's Silja Kosonen (74.19).

Rogers, 24, won silver in her worlds debut in 2022 and in the process, also became the first Canadian woman to ever win a world championship medal in a field event.

She owns the fifth-best mark ever in the women's hammer throw at 78.62 metres — and the Canadian record — which came in May. The second-ranked Rogers won gold at the 2022 Commonwealth Games and is a three-time NCAA champion and record holder.

The final is set for Thursday.

Earlier Wednesday, a trio of Canadians made it through to the men's 200-metre semifinals.

Andre De Grasse, Aaron Brown and Brendon Rodney all placed in the top two of their respective heats.

De Grasse of Markham, Ont., the reigning Olympic champion in the 200, ran 20.28 seconds to finish second behind young American star Erriyon Knighton — last year's worlds bronze medallist — in the sixth heat.

The 28-year-old De Grasse, who qualified for the event on the final day of the qualifying window on July 30 when he won the national title in a season-best 20.01 seconds, was content with how things have turned out so far despite a tough season.

"This season has been a lot more of a struggle than previous seasons. Usually when I come into champs, I know where I'm at, I know what it's going to take," he said post-race. "But this champs, at first, I was a little bit on edge, I didn't know what I'd be able to take, not trying to go too hard but still trying to put together a solid run to get a top-three performance.

"It turned out pretty well so now I've just got to put together a little bit more pieces and a sub-20 (second) performance could happen."

"For the semis, I think it's probably going to be tougher than the finals because everyone's running so good," he added. "Everyone's probably going to exert themselves a lot more, so it's going to take a sub-20 (second) to get in."

Toronto's Brown was second (20.08) in a competitive first heat behind Britain's Zharnel Hughes (19.99), the 100 bronze medallist, that saw five sprinters qualify.

Brown's time was the fourth fastest among all competitors, also behind Olympic silver medallist Kenneth Bednarek (20.01), and two-time defending world champion — and newly-minted 100 world champion — Noah Lyles (20.05), both of the U.S.

"It's nerve-racking waiting for your turn," he said post-race of getting to compete. "I chose to drop the 100 just to focus on the (200), because I knew there are some big dogs in the (200) this year, so I could give my best shot, put all my eggs in one basket.

"So far it's paying off and I felt pretty good running from lane two, running 20.0, and happy to finally get my feet wet."

Toronto's Brendon Rodney won the fourth heat with a season-best time of 20.14 seconds.

The semifinals are Thursday with the final taking place on Friday.

In other results, Toronto's Jazz Shukla advanced into the women's 800 semifinals with a personal-best time of two minutes 0.30 seconds. Madeleine Kelly of Pembroke, Ont., failed to qualify at 2:04.72.

Saskatoon's Michelle Harrison missed the women's 400 hurdles final with a time of 13.05 seconds in the third semifinal heat.

Julie-Anne Staehli (15:24.09) of Lucknow, Ont., Vancouver's Briana Scott (15:42.56) and Toronto's Erin Teschuk (15:56.54) failed to qualify for the women's 5000 final.

Regan Yee (9:26.39) of Hazelton, B.C., and Vancouver's Ceili McCabe (9:29.30) were shy of qualifying for the women's 3000 steeplechase.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug, 23, 2023.

Note to readers: This is a corrected version. A previous version had Shukla's time as two minutes 30 seconds.