ZAMBIAN sprinter, Gerald Phiri has stormed the semi-finals at the ongoing World Indoor Athletics Championship in Poland after clocking an impressive 6.59 seconds in the 60 metres race to win Heat One of the qualifiers.
Placed in Heat One, Phiri proved that he belonged to the top shelf by sprinting to victory in the race and his time of 6.59 was just one millisecond off his personal best time recorded in Huston, Texas in United States of America (USA) last month.
The USA-based Phiri should be excited with his performance that he finished ahead of athletes from countries that have traditionally dominated short distance races like the USA and Jamaica.
He actually won an amazingly tough heat that also had Jamaican Kimmari Roach who also finished on 6.59 seconds while American Marvin Bracy was a fraction of a second away on 6.60 seconds, with all three making the semi-finals.
The IAAF website described Heat One as the tightest on the day.
The only two other Africans in the 60 metres race, Sibusiso Matsenjwa of Swaziland and Zimbabwe’s Gabriel Mvumvure were less impressive as the Swazi completely missed out while Mvumvure may have to compare time with others to make it to semis.
While Phiri is the only one guaranteed a spot in the semi-finals, Mvumvure was the more excited as he beat his personal best time after clocking 6.64 seconds with the Swazi hitting a new national Indoor record of 6.88 seconds.
The British duo Richard Kilty and Dwain Chambers qualified as the fastest runners during yesterday’s race.