LONDON - University at Albany alumna Grace Claxton placed 16th overall in Tuesday’s semifinals of the women’s 400m hurdles at the IAAF World Championships. Claxton will not advance to Thursday’s final.
Final qualifiers needed to place in the top two of their semifinal heats, or run one of the next two fastest times. Claxton placed fifth in her heat, the last of three semifinals, in 56.40. The second at-large qualifier, Great Britain’s Eilidh Doyle, finished in 55.33 for third in Claxton's heat.
Claxton tied on time with the Czech Republic’s Rhonda Whyte, who ran directly to Claxton’s inside in lane seven. Claxton displaced Whyte by two one-thousandths of a second at the line.
In Claxton’s heat was top overall seed Dalilah Muhammad, whose 52.64 is the fastest time in the world this season. Muhammed ran the fastest time in the field in the preliminary round in 54.59, and won the third semifinal heat in 55.00. The fastest qualifier for finals was Zuzana Hejnová from the Czech Republic, who won the first semifinal in 54.59
Claxton’s preliminary time was slightly faster yesterday than it was in the preliminary round of the Olympics last year, when she ran 56.40. In the Olympic semifinal, Claxton set a personal-best mark of 55.85 to place 14th.
Three Americans, Muhammed, Kori Carter, and Cassandra Tate, advanced to the final.
With 2018 devoid of either World Championships or Olympics, Claxton will turn her attention to more regional championship meets as she trains for the 2019 World Championships in Doha, Qatar, and the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.