Birmingham Commonwealth Games: Sprinter Zoe Hobbs equals NZ, Oceania record to progress into semis

Kiwi sprinter Zoe Hobbs has again risen to the big occasion, equalling her national and Oceania 100m record to reach the Birmingham Commonwealth Games semi-finals.

Running in the first of seven heats at Alexander Stadium, Hobbs, 24, was one of the slowest out of her blocks, perhaps cautioned by the false-start disqualification of Tanzanian Winifrida Makenji, but quickly made up ground to finish second in 11.09s, match the time she set in world championships heats last month.

She trailled Nigerian Grace Nowkocha 10.99s through the finish to progress among the three automatic qualifers.

Maddie Wesche in action at Birmingham
Maddie Wesche in action at Birmingham. Photo credit: Photosport

Hobbs was the fifth-fastest qualifier, with Jamaican Elaine Thompson-Herath (10.99s) joining Nwokocha under 11 seconds.

"I just wanted to blow the cobwebs off and feel relaxed throughout," she said. "It was a little bit upsetting when someone false-starts - you never know if it was you or not."

Meanwhile, shot putter Maddison-Lee Wesche needed just one throw to progress to her final, tossing an opening 18.08m to exceed the automatic qualifying mark of 18 metres.

Her nearest opponents - Jamican defending champion Danniel Thomas-Dodd (18.42m) and Canadian Sarah Mitton (18.24m) - joined the Kiwi as one-and-done qualifiers. Wesche beat Thomas-Dodd at the recent world championships, but finished behind Mitton.

"Definitely happy with that," she said. "One and done was the goal, and we achieved that."

Discus thrower Connor Bell also eased into the men's final, producing a clutch 59.47m toss on his third and final attempt. No-one in the field achieved the 65 metres automatic qualifier and Bell's effort was good enough for sixth across the two groups.