By David Woods, USA TODAY
LONDON - DeeDee Trotter was one of three Americans to reach semifinals of the women's 400 meters as track and field opened today at the Olympic Games.
Trotter, 29, a former University of Tennessee sprinter competing in her third Olympics, won the third of seven heats in 50.87 seconds. She was fifth overall.
Also advancing as heat winners were Francene McCorory, third overall, 50.78, and Sanya Richards-Ross, 12th, 51.78.
Richards-Ross, also in her third Olympics and seeking a first gold medal in the 400, began coasting with as many as 60 meters left in her race.
Botswana's Amantle Montsho had the fastest time, 50.40. Even more impressive was Russia's Antonina Krovoshapka, second overall in 50.75 after slowing near the finish.
Krovoshapka clocked 49.11 on July 5 for the fastest time in the world since a 48.83 by Richards-Ross in 2009.
David Woods writes for The Indianapolis Star.