India’s Tintu Luka qualified for the semi-finals of the Women’s 800 metres dash at the 2012 London Olympics.
Luka qualified for the semis in third place, 19 milliseconds behind Russia’s Mariya Savinova, who finished as the winner of Heat 2 with a time of 2:01.56.
Luka began the heat strongly and was always near the head of the pack. She was second for large parts of the race, but a surge by Alice Schmidt of the United States – who eventually finished second with a time of 2:01.65 – saw her drop to third.
However, the 23-year-old Keralite almost missed out on a place in the semis, as she was nearly upstaged by Moroccan Malika Akkaoui, who finished just a whisker away from her Indian counterpart. All that separated them was 0.03 seconds.
The Heats at the Olympics consist of six groups with eight athletes in each group. The top three from each Heat qualify for the semis.
In Heat One, Alysia Montano of the USA finished well ahead of her competitors with a time of 2:00.47. South African Caster Semenya, who finshed second was 0.3 seconds behind the American, while third-placed Halima Hachlaf of Morocco was clocked at 2:00.99.
Heat Three has seen Francine Niyonsaba of Burundi qualify for the semis with a time of 2:07.57, along with Jessica Smith of Canada (2:07.75) and Shumi Genzeb of Bahrain (2:07:77).
The semi-finals of the Women’s 800m sprint will be held tomorrow, with the final being held on the tenth of this month at London’s Olympic Stadium.