Owaab Barrow accepts Gail Devers' speedsuit from the 1993 World Championships (© IAAF)
At a reception at the IAAF Heritage World Athletics Championships Exhibition in Doha this evening, Qatar’s Youth Olympic 110m hurdles champion Owaab Barrow symbolically accepted loans to the exhibition of competition kit from two world and Olympic champion hurdlers.
Devers’ uniform and Johnson’s spikes
USA’s Gail Devers sent the USA team uniform which she wore when winning the 1993 world 100m hurdles title in Stuttgart, her first of three world titles at that discipline. Devers also won the 100m in Stuttgart for a memorable sprint/hurdles double.
Fellow US sprint hurdler Allen Johnson sent his spikes from his 1997 world 110m hurdles title, the second of his quartet of world titles, on loan to the exhibition.
Accompanied by his coach Lee Christopher, the Aspire-based Barrow first watched clips of Devers and Johnson in action before receiving their kit. Devers and Johnson’s items will now be added to more than 140 other competition artefacts from famous champions which will be in the exhibition for six months. The display will close on 7 October, a day after the end of the IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019 (27 September to 6 October).
“These athletes were before my time but it’s quite clear that they’re legends and have had careers I aspire to have," said Barrow.
Four Olympic titles
Devers and Johnson each won Olympic titles in their careers. Devers was a two-time 100m sprint champion, winning in Barcelona in 1992 and Atlanta in 1996. She also took a relay gold in 1996. Johnson claimed his Olympic 110m hurdles title at those same Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games.
The reception in the exhibition, which is located in the City Center Doha shopping mall, was held to celebrate the staging of this week’s Doha Diamond League meeting (3 May). It was therefore extremely fitting that as a finale to tonight’s formalities that an IAAF Diamond League Trophy was permanently added to the IAAF Heritage Collection. Petr Stastny, the CFO of the IAAF Diamond League, made the handover of the trophy.
The IAAF Heritage World Athletics Championships Exhibition is kindly supported by the International Athletics Foundation, ASICS and SEIKO.