Bishop fastest in 800m qualifying

RIO DE JANEIRO — Canada’s Melissa Bishop made it through to the semifinals of the women’s 800 metres with what was the fastest qualifying time of a strong field — and on a very fast track.

Bishop, 27, from Eganville, Ont., was in the middle of the pack after a lap but moved into an inside position, stride-for-stride with Marina Arzamasova of Belarus, who edged Bishop for the gold medal at the world championships in Beijing last summer. The pair outraced the rest of their heat in the closing lap, with Bishop finishing just in front in a time of 1:58:38.

“I think we’ll be good,” said Bishop of the preparation between today and the semifinal races on Thursday morning. The final goes Saturday night. “We have a really good team with Athletics Canada so, yeah, I think we’ll be good.”

Sixteen of the 24 qualifiers for the 800-metre semis ran below two minutes on a hot, sunny morning at Olympic Stadium.

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