Cuba's Yoandys Lescay, South Africa's Wayde Van Niekerk and France's Teddy Atine - Venel, from left, compete in a men's 400-meter heat during the World Athletics Championships in London. Picture: Martin Meissner/AP Photo

LONDON - Providing the only highlights of the morning session, sprinters Wayde van Niekerk and Carina Horn advanced to the next rounds of their respective events on the second day of the IAAF World Championships in London. 

The British weather offered four seasons during the morning but this did little to deter a passionate and packed Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park crowd.

The stadium erupted when defending world champion Van Niekerk was introduced ahead the first round of the one-lap sprint. 

Van Niekerk took the race out relatively easy and once he had reeled an overeager Nery Brenes of Costa Rica in the final straight he eased off again to finish first in a time of 45.27 seconds. 

In the opening race of the heats American Fred Kerley threw down the gauntlet racing to victory 44.92 as he waved the trailing competitors on to push him over the line. 

Posing a threat to Van Niekerk’s bid for a 200-400m double gold, Motswana sprinter Isaac Makwala posted the fastest time of the heats clocking an impressive 44.55.

Makwala made defending former world champion LaShawn Merritt look rather ordinary with the American crossing second in 45 seconds.

"Everything is okay, I know I am ready,  but at the same time I take everything step by step,” Makwala said.

If I qualify for the final, then that is my focus but until then it is step by step, always.

"Wayde van Niekerk is my brother. We want to conquer the world together and make the final for Africa. He is so friendly and a lovely guy.”

An exhausted Pieter Conradie was still floating on air after making his debut a the world championships in the one-lap sprint.

Conradie raced in a competitive heat finishing in seventh place falling well short of his personal best with a time of 46.62.

While the sun shone on Van Niekerk in his first appearance at the championships, Horn was not as lucky as her compatriot during the 100m heats. 

Drawn in the ninth lane, Horn had some sort of reprieve from the rain that sporadically changed in intensity. 

The South African record-holder raced against friend and defending world 200m Dafne Schippers of the Netherlands.

Starting out strong, Horn ran one of her best races of the season finishing in close third to book her place for tonight’s semi-final with a time of 11.28. 

“It was quite cold and I am just happy to get a qualification for the semi-finals,” Horn said.

“My start was very good, so I am happy about that now I just need to focus to keep the stride lengths.

“Now that the race is out of the way the nerves have calmed and I will definitely go faster in the semi-finals.”

In the first event of the morning session South Africa’s two shot-putters Orazio Cremona and Jaco Engelbrecht missed out on a finals berth with best attempts of 19.81m and 19.59m respectively.

IOL Sport

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