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Aug. 10, 2013

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MOSCOW – On the opening day of the 2013 IAAF World Championships, former Gamecock and reigning USA outdoor champion Natasha Hastings advanced to the 400-meter dash semifinals at Luzhniki Stadium.

Running in the second heat of the women’s 400-meter dash first round, Hastings got a solid start in a fast heat, quickly making up the stagger. Comfortably leading for the first 300-meters of the race, Hastings slowed her pace and crossed the line in second place with a time of 50.64.

Hastings’ time was the third fastest overall in the field. All three Americans at the event advanced to the next round. The semifinals are set for tomorrow at 12:05 p.m. ET.

South Carolina head coach Curtis Frye’s Team USA sprint and hurdle group started their week in the 100-meter dash on Saturday as well. Mike Rodgers and Justin Gatlin, the two Americans to advance to the semifinals, posted times of 9.98 and 9.99, respectively. The times are the first sub-10 second times recorded on Russian soil.

South Carolina assistant head coach Delethea Quarles is in Moscow to oversee Team USA’s women in the jumps and multi-events. In the long jump, her first event of the championships, three of four athletes advanced to the finals including Tori Polk who recorded a personal best of 22′ 1 ¾” (6.75m). The mark was the third-best of the day.

In addition to Hastings tomorrow, fellow former Gamecock Jason Richardson takes the track for the first time in the first round of the 110-meter hurdles. The defending World Champion and 2012 Olympic Silver medalist is slated to race at 1:40 a.m. ET with live coverage on Universal Sports Network.

Full schedule and preview of the championships here