Athletes in action in the 110m hurdles at the IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019 (© Getty Images)
As we move into the second half of the IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019, day six brings four gold medals and a whole raft of events with heats, semi-finals or qualifiers.
Combined eventers start their long journey
Fans of the combined events are in for a bonanza with both the men’s decathlon and women’s heptathlon to be decided over the next two days.
The first five events of the decathlon – 100m, long jump, shot put, high jump and 400m – will be contested today with the remaining five tomorrow. In the heptathlon, it’s the 100m hurdles, the high jump, the shot put and the 200m on day one, with the long jump, javelin and 800m to come tomorrow.
It’s a gruelling schedule, but hey, if you want something that’s over quickly, then do the 100m and forget the other nine disciplines.
World record-holder Kevin Mayer and Damian Warner are the stand-outs in the men’s decathlon. Mayer set the world record last year. Watch, too, Commonwealth champion Lindon Victor and rapidly rising youngster Niklas Kaul.
The heptathlon should see an epic battle between Nafissatou Thiam and Katarina Johnson-Thompson. These two have a solid edge over the rest, perhaps headed by Erica Bougard of the US.
But, hey, it’s the combined events where you’re only ever one step away from triumph – or disaster.
Asher-Smith looks the favourite in the 200m
Dina Asher-Smith ran into the unstoppable force that is Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce in the 100m, but the British 23-year-old looks every bit the favourite to win the 200m.
The event has lost some depth, with defending champion Dafne Schippers picking up a minor injury in the 100m, Blessing Okagbare disqualified in the heats, Fraser-Pryce deciding not to double and Elaine Thompson not starting in the semifinals.
But Asher-Smith will still need to be at her best to beat the likes of US trio Anglerne Annelus, Brittany Brown and Dezerea Bryant as well as Switzerland's Mujinga Kambundji.
Polish hammer duel
Pawel Fajdek and Wojciech Nowicki look a solid bet to finish 1-2 in the men’s hammer, but which of the two Poles will be first and which second?
Fajdek will be chasing a fourth world title in succession, Nowicki a first. Fajdek has the long-term edge; Nowicki has been the man this year, leading the world list with 81.74m to Fajdek’s 80.88m. They are the only two to have gone past 80 metres, next best is Spain’s Javier Cienfuegos at 79.38m.
It’s an impressive spectacle when these athletes wind up, spin and unleash the hammer to fly way down to the other end of the infield. Maybe don’t try it down at the local park at home, however.
Many chances as McLeod defends in hurdles
Omar McLeod has been the man to beat in the 110m hurdles over recent times, but several rivals will feel they have a chance in Doha. The semi-finals and final are on day six.
USA's Grant Holloway is the freshest name, leading the world list this year at 12.98. Then there’s a pair of established contenders in Orlando Ortega, fastest in the heats, and Sergey Shubenkov, the 2015 champion.
It all adds up to an exciting race in an event where, literally, you can’t afford to put a foot wrong.
Among the events getting under way or in process, we have the first round/qualifying in the women’s 1500m and 5000m, the shot put and the discus. And there’s semis in the men’s flat 400m and women’s 400m hurdles.
Len Johnson for the IAAF