Former Mississippi State athlete Marta Pen Freitas narrowly misses automatic qualification at IAAF World Championships

EUGENE, Ore. – Mississippi State’s Marta Pen Freitas narrowly missed climbing the women’s 1,500 meters at Friday night’s IAAF World Championships.

Pen Freitas finished seventh in her run, just 0.15 seconds off the automatic qualifying position. The top six runners in each of the three heats, along with the next six fastest, advanced to Saturday’s semifinals.

The Portuguese native, who won the NCAA Championship at the same event in 2015, ran 4:08.58, one second slower than her best time of the season.

The former Bulldog was hampered by a slow pace in the opening run. While Pen Freitas won the run in 4:07.05, he was 19th overall among the competitors at the time. Pen Freitas’ time left her in 30th overall.

Six Bulldogs remain at the championships in Eugene, Oregon, the site of this year’s NCAA championships. The state’s athletes resume competition on Wednesday with qualifying heats in the men’s 800m. This event will feature former MSU All-Americans and Canadian teammates Marco Arop and Brandon McBride alongside current Bulldog Navasky Anderson of Jamaica.

The men’s javelin throw begins Thursday with former teammates Anderson Peters (GRN) and Curtis Thompson (USA) throwing side-by-side for the first time since the Tokyo Olympics. Peters is the reigning world champion in this event.

America’s Tiffany Flynn will round out the competition in the women’s long jump, a competition in which she placed fourth at the World Indoor Championships earlier this year. The preliminary rounds begin on Saturday.

Theo DeRosa covers Mississippi State sports for The Dispatch. Follow him on Twitter at @Theo_DeRosa.

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