Michelle Jenneke jiggled, smiled, launched out of the blocks and blitzed her heat to cannon into the women’s 100m hurdles final at the Commonwealth Games on Friday.
The 29-year-old Australian favourite didn’t win her heat, instead collecting second in an all-conditions personal best of 12.63 (+2.4), but she was up against the raring-hot favourite for the title.
Unsurprisingly, Jenneke’s heat was won by Nigerian Tobi Amusan, who last month seized the world record and became the world champion.
Jenneke led the race for a brief moment before Amusan, who won in 12.40, streaked away.
“I was actually surprised I was with her early. I don’t know how hard she was pushing it, she can go a lot faster than that, she’s pretty incredible,” Jenneke told Seven.
“Really happy with that … I’m in the shape of my life, clearly. It’s just really exciting, and I still feel like I’ve got a little bit more in the tank. So, we’ll see how we go in a couple of days.”
An energetic pre-race dance at the 2012 World Junior Championships sent Jenneke viral.
She bombed out in the opening round at the 2016 Rio Olympics and has suffered a series of injuries, but she’s back to her best and is still doing the dance.
“Honestly, I feel like I run my best when I’m happy and relaxed and just soaking it all up,” Jenneke said.
“I’m not someone who likes to be super focused on what I’m doing … that’s what works for me and so that’s what I do.”
Jenneke’s personal best is the 12.66 she recorded at last month’s World Athletics Championships in Eugene, which saw her finish fifth in her semi-final.
Jenneke will be joined in the Commonwealth Games final by compatriot Celeste Mucci, who finished third in her heat in 12.96, matching her personal best.
Jenneke and Mucci will contest the decider at 7.25pm on Sunday (AEST).
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