Sprint star Zoe Hobbs gets world champs boost from teammate's sensational run

By Kelvin McDonald
Photo / File

Aotearoa's fastest woman, Zoe Hobbs (Ngāti Ruahine), takes to the track at the World Athletics Championships in the United States on Sunday (NZ time) powered on by a sensational run by fellow NZ 100m sprint star Eddie Osei-Nketia.

21-year-old Osei-Nketia reached the 100m semi-finals at the world champs, setting a new NZ record of 10.08 seconds, after finishing second in his heat behind Japan's Abdul Hakim Sani Brown, who clocked 9.98 seconds, Newshub reports.

Osei-Nketia broke the previous NZ record of 10.11 seconds set by his father Gus Nketia, which had stood for 28 years.

The result put him 16th of the 24 sprinters to reach the semi-finals.

Hobbs will line up for her 100m heat on day two of the world champs. Her coach, James Mortimer, is confident the 24-year-old will also put in a good showing.

"Zoe definitely rises to the occasion" at big events such as this, Mortimer told Stuff.  

“She’s in some of the best shape she’s ever been in," after she finished sixth in Paris last month in 11.10 seconds, just .01 off her personal best.

Mortimer says Hobbs, who he credits with being "pretty experienced now" and able to deal with race nerves, can make the semi-finals in Oregon if she runs close to her PB in the heat.

“We're both pretty confident she can reach the semis if she executes everything she can in the heat,” he said.

"I’m pretty confident she can dip under 11 sec if the track’s right and she’s feeling good.”