Wayne Davis, Deon Lendore each advance to World Championship semifinals

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MOSCOW, Russia – A pair of Aggies competing for Trinidad & Tobago each advanced to the semifinals of their respective events on the second day of action at the IAAF World Championships in Luzhniki Stadium Sunday.

Wayne Davis II placed second in his heat of the 110 hurdles with a time of 13.38 (-0.3 wind) that nearly equaled his A&M school record of 13.37 while Deon Lendore posted a time of 45.17 as runner-up in his heat of the 400 meters.

Both Davis and Lendore will compete in the semifinal round of the World Championships on Monday. Davis will have a second race that same day if he advances to the final. Last summer Davis ran in the semifinals of the London Olympics.

Racing in the second preliminary heat of the 110 hurdles in Sunday’s morning session, Davis challenged 2013 U.S. Champion Ryan Wilson, who claimed the heat in 13.37. Finishing in third place was William Sharman of Great Britain in 13.51.

Aries Merritt, a Texas A&M volunteer assistant, won the third heat of the 110 hurdles in 13.32 (0.5 wind) over a 13.33 from Thomas Martinot-LaGarde of France. Merritt won Olympic gold last summer and also set a world record of 12.80 in his final meet of the 2012 season.

Running in lane eight, Lendore posted a 45.17 in the 400 heat as 2013 U.S. Champion LaShawn Merritt won in 44.92. Lendore, who earned an Olympic bronze medal as part of Trinidad’s 4x400 relay during the 2012 Olympics, posted the fifth best time among the 24 athletes who advanced to the semifinal.

Merritt led the qualifiers from the opening 400m round and was followed by heat winners that included Olympic and defending World champion Kirani James of Grenada (45.00), American Tony McQuay (45.06) and Anderson Henriques of Brazil (45.13).

In Monday’s 110 hurdle semifinal, where the top three finishers and next two fastest times advance to the final, Davis will face Wilson once again. Davis will be in lane five with American David Oliver stationed in lane four and Wilson set in lane six. Aries Merritt runs in the first of the two semifinal heats in lane seven with 2011 World Champion and U.S. teammate Jason Richardson occupying lane five.

The 110 hurdle semifinal begins at 7:05 p.m. (10:05 a.m. local time) with the final set for 9:30 p.m. (12:30 p.m.).

In the 400 semi, set for 8:05 p.m. (11:05 a.m.), the first two finishers and the next two fastest times from the three heats will advance to Tuesday’s final.

Lendore runs from lane four in heat two with LaShawn Merritt starting in lane six. Also in the heat are Chris Brown of the Bahamas and Jonathan Borlee of Belgium.

Saturday’s action at the World Championships included incoming Aggie junior Shavez Hart competing for the Bahamas in the 100 meters. Running in the third heat, won by Justin Gatlin in 9.99, Hart placed sixth with a 10.36 (-0.3 wind). Hart was 36th among the 56 athletes competing in that round of the 100 while NCAA champion Charles Silmon of TCU was 35th after running 10.34 in another heat.

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