Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce after winning her fourth 100m title (© Getty Images)
It was a night for the legacy builders of the IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019, as Allyson Felix landed a record-breaking 12th World Championships gold medal, Christian Taylor claimed a fourth triple jump crown and Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce completed a quartet of 100m titles.
This very special trio of athletes once again demonstrated their outrageous gifts on another unforgettable night of athletics excellence inside the state-of-the-art Khalifa International Stadium.
In the women’s 100m, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce added title number four, a decade after winning her maiden crown – and coming just 13 months after giving birth to her son, it is surely her finest world title date. [Report]
The double Olympic champion made he characteristic bullet-like start and had already established a clear advantage on the seven-strong field by 30 metres. The 32-year-old Jamaican superstar then simply accelerated from the opposition to stop the clock in 10.71 – exactly the same time she ran to win her second world title in Moscow and within 0.01 of her lifetime best.
Behind, Great Britain earned their first medal in this event in World Championship history as Dina Asher-Smith chipped 0.02 from her national record to claim silver in 10.83. Marie Josee Ta-Lou of Ivory Coast added the bronze in 10.90 to the silver medal she grabbed at the 2017 edition.
Taylor’s fierce competitiveness on full display
Christian Taylor added more gold to his remarkably CV by securing world title number four with yet another supreme competitive display. The 29-year-old American even recovered from back to back fouls in the first two rounds to recover his poise. He delivered his killer-blow in round four surpassing long-time rival and countryman Will Claye with a 17.86m effort. Taylor, the two-time Olympic champion, then cemented his hold on gold with a 17.92m effort in round five and ensured yet another major title was bagged.
Claye once again brought the very best out of Taylor and added a second World Championship silver to his two bronze medals after twice leaping a high-class 17.74m.
Burkina Faso toasted its maiden World Championship medal as Hugues Fabrice Zango bounded out to 17.66m in the final round to eclipse Pedro Pablo Pichardo (17.62m) of Portugal and claim an historic bronze.
Another mixed 4x400m relay world record for USA, gold No 12 for Felix
The US team smashed the world mixed 4x400m relay record* for a second successive night to strike gold as second leg runner Allyson Felix plundered her 12th World Championship title to move one ahead of Usain Bolt as the outright leader in gold medals won in the 36-year history of the now biennial event. [Report]
Opting to change their entire line-up from the night before – the quartet of Wilbert London, Felix, Courtney Okolo and Michael Cherry – were a class apart – stopping the clock in 3:09.34.
In this slightly anarchic event, Poland added an extra layer of intrigue by bucking the conventional order of man, women, women, man by leading with a woman then selecting two men followed by the anchorwoman.
The East European nation predictably held a sizeable lead after leg three but their anchor leg runner Justyna Sweity-Ersetic was quickly caught and passed by Cherry as the US cantered to victory.
Jamaican edged a tight battle for silver – posting a national record 3:11.78 some 0.04 ahead of Bahrain in bronze.
Sidorova defeats Morris to first global gold
Ice cool Anzhelika Sidorova was the last to flinch in a captivating final of the women’s pole vault as the authorised neutral athlete earned gold with a third time clearance at 4.95m in the women’s pole vault. [Report]
Sidorova had been locked in a battle of perfect symmetry with the American Sandi Morris as the duo held a flawless record up to the 4.90m height. Both vaulters had two failures at the world leading height of 4.95m but after Morris earned her third failure, Sidorova, 28, maintained her composure to wriggle over and claim her maiden global title. The 2017 world champion Katerina Stefanidi had to settle for bronze on this occasion after the Greek cleared 4.85m.
Bosse out, Brazier strong in 800m semis
Two big fish were eliminated from the semi-finals of the men’s 800m as world champion Pierre-Ambroise Bosse and 2018 Diamond League winner Emmanuel Korir fell by the wayside.
Korir had to settle for third in a high-class second semi-final banked by pre-event favourite Donavan Brazier of the US. Looking every inch a potential champion, the American kicked ahead of the long-time leader Marco Arop of Canada down the home stretch to win in 1:44.87. Arop was rewarded by grabbing the second automatic position in 1:45.07 with Korir, the all-time number six, exiting the competition some 0.12 further back.
Bosse was outclassed in the third semi. Entering the bend in third spot he dramatically faded in the final 50 metres – tangling with Great Britain’s Kyle Langford and winding up eighth. At the business end of the race, Amel Tuka, the 2015 world bronze medallist of Bosnia and Herzgovina dominated to clinch top spot in 1:45.63 ahead of Bryce Hoppel (1.45.95) one of three Americans to advance to the final.
In the first semi-final, a blood and guts run by Puerto Rican Wesley Vazquez earned top spot in a blistering 1:43.96. Abubaker Haydar Abdalla of Qatar set up the race beautifully by blasting through 400m in 49.72 with Vazquez in his slipstream. Once the Qatari faded, the Puerto Rican took control to win as the fast-finishing Ferguson Rotich nabbed second spot for Kenya (1:44.20) to advance automatically. Unsurprisingly, given the slick first lap, the Olympic bronze medallist Clayton Murphy of the USA (1:44.49) and Adrian Ben of Spain with a PB (1:44.97) both advanced on time from this semi.
After the fireworks of yesterday’s men’s 100m final, it was the turn of the 200m exponents to take to the blocks in the first round heats.
In recent times, the charismatic Diamond League Trophy winner Noah Lyles has been the only show in town and he comfortably advanced to Monday’s semi-finals. The American eased down in the latter stages to take second spot in 20.26 in heat seven – 0.03 behind 2017 World bronze medallist Jereem Richards of Trinidad & Tobago.
There was no great surprises across the seven heats with Adam Gemili the fastest athlete to advance. Doubtlessly running with a hint of frustration after missing yesterday’s 100m final by 0.01 – the British athlete registered a super-slick 20.06 to take victory in heat one ahead of the defending champion Ramil Guilyev, who recorded a leisurely-looking 20.27 to also progress.
Other noteworthy heat winners included Pan American champion Alex Quinonez of Ecuador in 20.08 and Kyle Greaux of Trinidad & Tobago – who recorded an eye-catching 20.19 in heat four.
World number three Divine Oduduru of Nigeria, who did not start in the 100m opting to keep his powder dry for the 200m, advanced but only on time after placing fourth in heat one in 20.40.
A reminder too that newly-minted world 100m champion Christian Coleman had earlier withdrawn from the 200m heats. The American will still be available for the relay.
Steve Landells for the IAAF