Mitchell-Blake Qualifies for First World Final

by Will Stafford (@WillStaffordLSU)
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Mitchell-Blake Qualifies for First World Final

LONDON – Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake‘s 2017 season will continue into the men’s 200-meter final at the IAAF World Championships in Athletics on Thursday after turning in a qualifying performance in Wednesday’s semifinal round as he clocked the fifth-fastest time of the day at 20.19 seconds in the first heat.

In a tightly-contested race, Mitchell-Blake was third in the section with a windy 20.19 (+2.1) as he followed American Isaiah Young (20.12w) and Botswana’s Isaac Makwala (20.14w) across the finish line.

That performance was good for fifth overall among the eight qualifiers as Mitchell-Blake advanced to the 200-meter final at the World Championships for the first time in his athletics career. He will enjoy the backing of his home country in the final as the reigning NCAA Outdoor Silver Medalist returns to the track in Lane 3 on Thursday at 3:52 p.m. CT.

Rounding out the field is Trinidad & Tobago’s Jereem Richards (20.14), Turkey’s Ramil Guliyev (20.17), USA’s Ameer Webb (20.22), South Africa’s Wayde Van Niekerk (20.28) and Japan’s Abdul Hakim Sani Brown (20.43).

Mitchell-Blake is now the fourth LSU athlete to qualify for a final at this year’s IAAF World Championships in Athletics after Damar Forbes of Jamaica finished 12th in the men’s long jump last Saturday, Kelly-Ann Baptiste of Trinidad & Tobago placed eighth in the women’s 100-meter dash on Sunday and Cassandra Tate of the United States earned a spot in Thursday’s final in the women’s 400-meter hurdles.

Tate, the reigning World Bronze Medalist in her event from Beijing in 2015, will line up in Lane 3 in the final on Thursday at 3:35 p.m. CT. Also competing Thursday will be former NCAA Champion runner Natoya Goule of Jamaica in the heats of the women’s 800 meters beginning at 1:25 p.m. CT and U.S. Outdoor Silver Medalist Kimberlyn Duncan in the women’s 200-meter semifinals beginning at 3:05 p.m. CT.