The CNMI’s Zarinae Sapong raced in the 100m qualifying run in the 2019 IAAF World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar last Saturday.
The Commonwealth sprinter was on Heat 3 and timed in at 13.14 seconds in the qualifier at the Khalifa International Stadium. Sapong raced against Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson, who won the gold medal in the 100m and 200m events in the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil.
“It was such an amazing opportunity to be able to compete on the world stage! Being with such successful women in the sport and running alongside Olympic champion, Elaine Thompson, has been everything,” said Sapong, who was at the starting block next to the Jamaican, as the former was one Lane 4 and the latter was on Lane 5.
“Witnessing world class athletes showcase their abilities was the most inspiring experience and I look forward to future competitions. Thank you to my NMA (Northern Marianas Athletics) family for their constant support and allowing me to represent our island. Thank you to IT&E CNMI for keeping me connected to those supporting me from home,” the Micronesian Games gold medalist added.
Sapong finished eighth in her qualifying heat, which was ruled by Thompson. The Jamaican submitted 11.14 seconds to lead three other qualifiers in the semifinals. Trinidad and Tobago’s Kelly Ann-Baptiste (11.21 seconds), Moralake Akinosun (11.23 seconds) of the U.S, and China’s Manqi Ge (11.28 seconds) were the other qualifiers on Heat 3. Thompson went on to advance to the gold medal race and placed fifth after checking in at 10.93 seconds. Her compatriot, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, took the gold medal after setting a new world record (10.71 seconds), while Great Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith (10.83 seconds) and Ivory Coast’s Marie-Josee Ta Lou (10.90 seconds) rounded out the Top 3.