Lopes-Schliep fastest qualifier in hurdles

There will be a new world champion in the women's 100-metre hurdles, with Canadians Priscilla Lopes-Schliep and Perdita Felicien advancing Tuesday in hopes of grabbing that vacant title.

There will be a new world champion in the women's 100-metre hurdles, with Canadians Priscilla Lopes-Schliep and Perdita Felicien advancing Tuesday in hopes of grabbing that vacant title.

Lopes-Schliep ran 12.56 seconds to win her opening heat, the fastest time in the first round at the world track and field championships in Berlin. The Whitby, Ont., native is looking to follow up on her bronze medal performance at the Beijing Olympics last year.

"I got out really strong and in between I hit the second or third hurdle," said the 26-year-old. "I could have been stronger. I will carry on tomorrow for the semifinal and the final. We will see what is in store for tomorrow.

"It is getting better as the races go on. That was very smooth and felt very easy. For a heat, it was probably one of the smoothest races I have ever had. There's more in me, so I am excited to go"

Felicien crossed the line in 12.77, second in her heat to Brigitte Foster-Hylton. The Jamaican finished in 12.67.

The Pickering, Ont., native is looking to win her third world championship medal after previously capturing gold and silver. She did not participate in the Beijing Games because of injury.

"It was easy, yes, but I am not really happy with the race," said the eight-time Canadian champion. "I was all over the place. When I have had a long layoff, a couple of weeks, it sometimes happens like that. It just takes one race to get back. Yes absolutely it's encouraging. I would have liked a cleaner race, but I have qualified.

"I am not coming here to be last. I am looking for a podium finish. I definitely have the experience. I ran 12.54 a couple of weeks ago. It's definitely promising and I am looking forward to tomorrow."

Michelle Perry of the United States will not win a third consecutive world championship. Perry got off to a poor start in the third heat and struggled to catch up. By the end of the race, Perry was coasting to the line, and she later limped off the track.

She finished seventh in a time 1.25 seconds off her personal best. Olympic silver medallist Sally McLellan of Australia took the heat in 12.82 seconds.

Ahead of the pack

Canadian Angela Whyte failed to qualify after getting a good jump out of the blocks. The Edmonton native ran 13.27, just fifth in her heat after hitting the eighth hurdle.

"I don't know, it's happened a couple of times this season," said Whyte of her mistake.

Whyte was trying to get back to a final, a stage she reached at the 2004 Olympics and 2007 world championships.

"Had I not hit that hurdle, this is the best I have felt all year," she said. "Next year I am going to be back."

Her heat was won by American Damu Cherry, running 12.71 as she looks to improve on a fourth-place showing at the Beijing Games.

Beijing Olympics gold medallist Dawn Harper of the United States and Delloreen Ennis-London of Jamaica were well ahead of the pack in their heat. Harper came ahead in 12.70 seconds, followed by the 2007 world championship silver medallist Ennis-London.

Top hurdlers Susanna Kallur of Sweden and Lolo Jones of the U.S. are not at the event. Kallur is nursing a stress facture, while Jones crashed out at the national championships earlier this summer.

The semifinals and final will take place Wednesday at Olympic Stadium.