MIRFIELD sprinter Emily Freeman eased into the second round of the 200m in Beijing with an excellent performance in her heat.
The 27-year-old Wakefield Harrier finished second while clocking 22.95 seconds, running in lane four and knowing that four qualified automatically for tonight’s second stage.
“I’m pleased to get the first one over with,” said Freeman, who was disqualified from the heats in the World Championships in Osaka, Japan, last year.
“It was nerve racking because of what happened last year and the fact I’ve not run for a while, but I’m happy enough.
“It was quite quick, I didn’t want to slow down too much and get people coming past at the last minute.
“My goal is to get a personal best and see how far that takes me. I might need a PB just to get through to the semi-finals.”
Freeman was comfortably through as eight fastest losers also qualify and she was well ahead of them on the clock.
Freeman, Britain’s only representative in the event, wore No1805 and impressed the TV commentators.
The BBC’s Paul Dickenson said: “It’s Emily’s first taste of this magnificent Bird’s Nest Stadium and she got off to a cracking start.
“She then ran a tidy bend and got safely through, which should give her a bit of confidence.”
Steve Cram added: “That was a very good run, close to her personal best, and it should do her confidence a lot of good.”
Elsewhere Britain’s Jade Johnson was furious with herself despite qualifying for the Olympic long jump final by just two centimetres with her last attempt.
Johnson was way down the standings with jumps of 6.33m and 6.15m but produced a best of 6.61m with the penultimate leap of the entire competition to claim 11th place overall of the 12 qualifiers.
“Maybe tomorrow I might be happy. I’m in the final but right now I’m still a bit mad with myself,” said the 28-year-old, who saw former Olympic heptathlon champion Carolina Kluft qualify with 6.70m but world No1 Naide Gomes of Portugal fail to advance.
“I always make hard work of it, when have I ever had an easy ride? Never. Once I just accept that I’m never going to have an easy ride I’ll be fine.
“But I think I’ve done the work, I’ve trained really well, I’m in great shape, it’ll be easy this time and it never is. As long as I get that into my head I’m sure I’ll be all right.”