Martinez advances to 800 final

Former UC Riverside standout Brenda Martinez advanced to the finals of the 800 meters with a second place showing in her semifinal heat at the 2013 World Track and Field Championships in Moscow.

She ran in the fastest of two heats and registered a time of 1:59.03 that was .11 seconds behind fellow American and five-time U.S. champion Alysia Johnson Montano’s (1:58.92).

Martinez, who is having the best year of her young professional career, was in sixth heading into the final lap with Montano staying with her usual strategy of going out hard from the start. She raced hard over the last 200 meters but came up just short.

Martinez, 25, recorded a 1:58.38 in Wednesday’s prelim, the fastest time in the entire field for the first round. She came into the event with the third fastest time in the world.

She only needed to finish third to advance to the final which is slated for 6:50 a.m. on Sunday. The track and field event has been broadcast live all week on Universal, Channel 625 on Direct TV.