Kirani James, Isaac Makwala and Wayde Van Niekerk led the way into the men’s 400m final on Wednesday night after winning Monday night’s three semi-finals.
Defending champion La Shawn Merritt is also through, finishing just behind Van Niekerk in the third and final semi in an easy-looking season’s best.
After the high noon shoot-out on a hot track in Sunday morning’s heats, it was hard to know what to expect. The draw had already thrown up one surprise, with the two sub-44-second men from the heats, Yousef Masrahi and Rusheen McDonald, both drawn in the second of the three semis.
With only two to go through automatically from each of the three semis, if heat form held up, that would leave the rest – including African record-holder (at 43.72 this year) Isaac Makwala – running for the fastest non-automatic spots in the final. At least one man who had run a recent sub-44 was not guaranteed a place in the final. (Len Johnson for the IAAF/ http://www.iaaf.org/competitions/iaaf-world-championships)