By Nick Mulvenney
BEIJING (Reuters) - In-form Dutch sprinter Dafne Schippers eased into the final of the 200 meters at the world championships on Thursday, further bolstering her position as favorite to take a first world title in the event on Friday.
The 23-year-old former heptathlete, who won silver in the 100 meters behind Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce on Monday, was well clear of her rivals after the bend and eased up to win her semi-final in 22.36.
British teenager Dina Asher-Smith, however, produced the fastest time of the round in the third semi-final, powering across the line in 22.12 seconds to improve her personal best for the second time in two days.
The 200 meters is wide open this year in the absence of reigning champion Fraser-Pryce, who decided against doubling up, and Olympic champion Allyson Felix, who preferred the challenge of the 400m when the schedule prevented her from running both.
Elaine Thompson of Jamaica ran close to her personal best to win the opening semi-final in 22.13 seconds ahead of Candyce McGrone of the United States (22.26).
Another American, Jeneba Tarmoh, finished second behind Asher-Smith in 23.38 to qualify for the final along with Jamaica's Sherone Simpson, who was runner-up to Schippers in 22.53.
Ivat Lalova-Collio of Bulgaria ran a personal best of 22.32 to qualify as one of the two fastest finishers outside the top two in each race along with Veronica Campbell-Brown.
Twice Olympic champion Campbell-Brown, who ran much of her qualifying heat on Wednesday in the wrong lane, stuck firmly to lane four as she posted her best time of the season in 22.47.
(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, editing by Alan Baldwin)