RIO DE JANEIRO – National sprinter Zaidatul Husniah Zulkifli was freezing in the chilly climate at the Olympic Stadium after finishing last in the first round women’s 100m heats at the Rio Olympic Games here, Friday.
The wildcard entrant clocked 12.62s in the last heat for the night as American English Gardner coasted to a 11.09s, the fifth fastest time clocked among 64 sprinters in the eight first round heats.
Zaidatul Husniah, who holds a seasonal best of 11.67s at the Kosanov Memorial Athletics Championship in Almaty, Kazakhstan, in June, clocked 12.12s in the three preliminary heats held for wildcard sprinters in the afternoon.
“It is cold here and I can’t adjust…I didn’t expect nor prepared under such weather condition. Anyway, I am happy to run along with big names here,” said the 23-year-old sprinter after the race.
The temperature in Rio dropped to 16 degrees Celsius tonight.
In the eight-heats first round, 24 athletes qualified for the semifinal stage with two-time gold medalist Shelly-Ann Fraser-Prye clocking the fastest time of 10.96s.
The 29-year-old Jamaican won a back-to-back gold medal in the 100m sprint in the 2008 Beijing Games with a time of 10.78s and defended her gold in the 2012 London Games with 10.75s.
She is the only sprinter who clocked below 11 seconds in the heats here and most likely would be challenging the Olympic record of 10.62s held by American, Florence Griffith Joyner in the 1988 Seoul Olympics.
However, Zaidatul who holds a personal best of 11.62s two years ago, ended at the bottom, failing to come anywhere near that achievement nor the national record of 11.50s held by G, Shanti in 1993. – BERNAMA