Athletics: Hamblin through in 1500m heats

Nikki Hamblin. Photo / APN
Nikki Hamblin. Photo / APN

New Zealand middle distance runner Nikki Hamblin is into the final of the women's 1500m at the Delhi Commonwealth Games, after finding herself in a hectic heat today.

Hamblin, 22, was third in her heat won by Kenyan Viola Kibiwott, qualifying among the top four with ease.

A hard-run race meant Hamblin ran four minutes, 9.80sec, less than four seconds outside her best - the nine fastest qualifiers were all in her heat, with only one runner from it missing the final.

Kibiwott clocked 4min 8.76sec, when the Games record is 4min 5.27sec, set 12 years ago by countrywoman Jackline Maranga.

Hamblin, who lives in Cambridge, settled on the pole line midfield early, then latched on when Helen Clitheroe of England, Scot Stephanie Twell and Kibiwott speared away with 400m to run.

Fourth turning for home the 2009 world championship semifinalist gathered in Twell then eased up when she saw the job was done.

Her final is tomorrow night (early Saturday morning, NZT).

Meanwhile, decathlete Brent Newdick made a solid start in the opening event, dashing through the 100m in 11.07 seconds.

That earned him 845 points, placing him third behind Jamie Adjetey-Nelson of Canada (890) and Indian Bharat Inder Singh (854).

- NZPA

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