Jamaican runs 6.44 – just five hundredths outside Maurice Greene’s global mark – and moves to fifth on the all-time 60m list to highlight the morning of the second day at the World Indoors
World records are not expected to be under threat in morning sessions at championships, but Asafa Powell’s 6.44 for 60m at the Oregon Convention Center on Friday stunned the crowd as he eased into tonight’s semi-finals.
Maurice Greene’s 6.39 from 1998 looks under threat after the former world outdoor 100m record-holder continued his amazing renaissance to climb to fifth on the world all-time list. The only other athletes besides Greene to have gone quicker are Andre Cason (6.41), Dwain Chambers (6.42) and Tim Harden (6.43).
Powell had only run two indoor competitions since 2004 before this year and, despite his 9.81 last summer for 100m, seemed past his best of 2008 when he clocked his last world record of 9.72.
The Jamaican, who has consistently underperformed at championships, now looks favourite tonight to win his first major individual title – although his 2013 sixth-month doping ban would not make him the most agreeable star of Portland 2016 for many.
Xi Zhenye was second in that heat with 6.55 to take five hundredths off his PB. The next quickest, on 6.56, was Kim Collins, who at 39 years 348 days became the oldest ever male competitor in these championships.
Britain’s James Dasaolu won his heat with 6.59, while his team-mate Andrew Robertson also went through to the semi-final with 6.66 for third in his race.
The poster boy of Portland 2016, Ashton Eaton, lived up to his billing by advancing to a sizeable lead in the first two events of the heptathlon. The twice defending champion amassed 2032 – 28 points down on the schedule to match his world record from Istanbul 2012 and 167 points ahead of the man in second, Ukraine’s Oleksiy Kasanov.
The Portland-born athlete started out with 6.81 in the 60m – 0.15 down on his PB – before long-jumping 8.08m – eight centimetres down on his indoor best.
His wife, Brianne Theisen-Eaton, was not expected to have such an easy time here and she lies third after three events in her pentathlon – 73 points behind leader Anastasiya Mokhnyuk.
Theisen-Eaton won silver two years ago and she is 28 points up on her tally at the same stage then. She began in the 60m hurdles with 8.04 – 0.06 under her best – and followed that with solid marks of 1.84m and 13.70m in the high jump and shot.
Mokhnyuk of Ukraine, the world No.1 on pentathlon performances this year, is slight favourite after her PBs of 8.11, 1.85m and 15.01m.
However, compatriot Alina Fodorova is just eight points adrift of the leader’s 3007. She set a hurdles PB of 8.27m, high jumped 1.85m and led the way in the shot with 15.44m.
Britain’s Morgan Lake is seventh on 2822 as she continued to have a shot at the world junior record of Carolina Kluft. Her 8.70m was seven hundredths outside her best and she was the only one to clear 1.88m in one of the two events alongside heptathlon at which she is world junior champion. She then put the shot out to 13.61m.
Matching her season’s bests of 6.07m in the long jump and 2:18.53 in the 800m tonight would see her two points better than Kluft’s mark.
In the men’s 3000m heats, defending champion Caleb Ndiku missed out on the last automatic qualifying spot as Britain’s Lee Emanuel came by him on the last stride, but the Ethiopian went through as a fastest loser. Emanuel was fourth in the second heat with 7:53.18 and will be the only Brit in the final after Tom Farrell was just seventh in his race with 7:59.77.
Yomif Kejelcha of Ethiopia won the first heat with Augustine Choge also going through. Abdelaati Iguider of Morocco won the second as Kenya’s Isiah Koech and USA’s Paul Chelimo were the other big names to progress.
The two favourites in the women’s 1500m safely made it through to the final. Ethiopia’s Dawit Seyaum and Netherlands’ Sifan Hassan, the two fastest in the field, won their respective heats in 4:09.05 and 4:07.28.
Qatari teenager Abdelalah Haroun was the fastest through to the semi-finals of the 400m, clocking 46.15. World No.1 Bralon Taplin of Grenada, defending champion Pavel Maslak of Czech Republic and Trinidad & Tobago’s Deon Lendore were among the other heat winners.
The favourites also went through in the women’s event. The US champion and fastest in the field, Quanera Hayes, won her heat with 52.98, while Bahrain’s Oluwakemi Adekoya was the quickest to go through with 52.27 and American Ashley Spencer was another with 52.96.
Mohammed Aman, the winner of the last two 800m titles at the World Indoors but who has not been at his best this year, scraped through to the final as a fastest loser. The Ethiopian, a world champion outdoors in 2013, was second in his heat in 1:48.02 behind Qatar’s Abulrahman Mussaeb Balla (1:47.61), who is the fastest in the field on this year’s times, and was quickest overall on the day.
Tonight’s action gets under way just past midnight UK time and finals include the men’s shot put, women’s long jump and women’s 60m hurdles.
» Get set for more World Indoor Championships action with our ones to watch preview here and then check out the latest AW magazine for further previews and rankings info