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Edward cruises into semifinals in 200m
Edward advances to semifinals. - photo by AP Photo

It was an easy day at the track for former Barton Community College track star Alonso Edward in Beijing.

Running for his home country Panama, Edward cruised to an easy win in his heat of the 200m preliminaries of the 15th IAAF World Track and Field Championships.

Edward advanced to the semifinal to be run today at the Bird’s Nest. Finals are set for Thursday.

Edward ran in the second heat Tuesday and recorded the second fastest time of the day in the event. He ran a 20.11 to easily win his heat. The only faster time turned in on the opening day was that of Ramil Guliyev of Turkey in the first heat at 20.01.

Usain Bolt, the 200m favorite, won the third heat in 20.28, and Justin Gatlin won the fourth heat in 20.19. There were seven first round heats. Edward will run in the second of three semifinals today. That heat will include Gatlin.

In addition to Edward running the 200m semifinals, three more former Cougars will be in action today.

Veronica Campbell-Brown, a fourth place finisher in the women’s 100m on Monday, will get start in the 200m with the preliminary rounds. The 2-time Olympic gold medal winner in the seven will run in the fifth heat where she will be a favorite to win her heat. There will be seven opening round heats.

The women’s 200m semifinal will be Thursday and the finals on Friday.

Also on the track will be Barton graduate Aleec Harris. He will get his 110m hurdle event started. Harris will run in the fourth heat and be challenged by Hansle Parchment of Jamaica. Semifinal races will be run Thursday with the finals on Friday.

In the field Leevan Sands will continue his comeback in the triple jump. Sands is competing in his fifth World Championships but missed the last due to a patella tendon injury.

Sands recently earned a silver medal at the Pan Am Games. He will jump in the second group. The finals are slated for Thursday.