Athletics: Elaine Thompson and Dafne Schippers ease through to 100m semis

Jamaica's Elaine Thompson (left) ahead of Netherland's Dafne Schippers during the Diamond League Athletics meeting "Weltklasse" at the Letziground stadium in Zurich on Sept 1, 2016.
Jamaica's Elaine Thompson (left) ahead of Netherland's Dafne Schippers during the Diamond League Athletics meeting "Weltklasse" at the Letziground stadium in Zurich on Sept 1, 2016. PHOTO: AFP

London (AFP) - Jamaica's Elaine Thompson danced through the rain to book her place in the 100m semi-finals at the world championships in London on Saturday.

The 25-year-old - who won Olympic 100m and 200m gold last year - made light of the conditions to win her heat while her bitter rival Dutch star Dafne Schippers eased through as well, finishing second in her heat.

Thompson looked serene even in the rain that poured down as they rose from their blocks, leading from the off and coasting over the line in 11.05 seconds.

Canada's Crystal Emmanuel and Ariana Washington of the United States took the other two automatic qualifying spots for Sunday's semi-finals.

American Tori Bowie - who collected a full house of Olympic medals last year - looked impressive in winning her heat, in the same time as Thompson, beating Commonwealth Games champion and perennial world finalist Blessing Okagbare of Nigeria.

Schippers - the 2015 200m world champion - has been working on her start and she got it just right in her heat bursting from the blocks only to be headed by Ivory Coast's Marie-Jose Ta Lou who posted a time of 11.00sec.

Schippers, who has admitted relations with Thompson are "very bad", was just happy to get the cobwebs out of her mind.

"It's the first round so you just want to get it done," said Schippers, who finished fifth in the 100m Olympic final and took silver in the 200m last year.

"I've been working on my starts and that one was okay.

"My body is feeling good at the moment and I am not tired. "I am excited for the semi-finals tomorrow (Sunday). It's a good start for now."