The results from the two qualifying groups in this morning’s World Championships women’s discus throw were remarkably similar. Each group produced two automatic qualifiers and well as four by next-best distance.
Boom! We have ourselves a final of 12, with all of the favorites advancing to Tuesday evening’s final.
Germany had two automatic qualifiers in Nadine Muller (64.39) and Julia Fischer (63.38). Croatia’s discus queen Sandra Perkovic, World and Olympic champion, also surpassed the automatic qualifying standard (63.00/206-8) with her 64.51, and Cuba’s Denia Caballero led all qualifiers at 65.15 (213-9).
With Shanice Craft also advancing, Germany leads the event with three finalists.
The US had two advance, Gia Lewis-Smallwood and Whitney Ashley. In an interview with trackerati, Lewis-Smallwood said, “It was nice and easy. My coach and I knew what the distance would be - what would most likely be in the top 12. Throw it nice and easy, get it in, get it done, go home, conserve energy for tomorrow.”
Lewis-Smallwood said she felt comfortable in the ring this morning. “Honestly, my goal was to be smooth and let the technique work just to get to the next day, don’t worry about the distance. You can style out tomorrow with your whole soul, and then you let what happens happen.”
Speaking of letting what happens happen, a few minutes after our interview, I ran into Lewis-Smallwood as I was on my way out of the Bird’s Nest and she was seeking her way back to the athletes’ warmup area. Fortunately, I knew the way, and we walked together for several minutes.
It’s clear Lewis-Smallwood's many years of experience have made a meet like Worlds more comfortable for her to navigate in spite of the time change, food change, and distance from home.
The US champion is a very thoughtful, engaging, and energetic individual,
With the event's best gathered, an exciting and possibly dramatic competition is expected.
Here is a link to the startlist: http://www.iaaf.org/competitions/iaaf-world-championships/15th-iaaf-world-championships-4875/results/women/discus-throw/final/startlist#resultheader