Grant Holloway wins the 110m hurdles at the IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019 (© Getty Images)
Grant Holloway of the United States marked his first season in the professional ranks with a 110m hurdles gold in 13.10 here at the IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019, putting defending and Olympic champion Omar McLeod under such pressure that he crashed out of contention after hitting the last three hurdles with increasing force.
Silver went to authorised neutral athlete Sergey Shubenkov, the 2015 champion and 2017 silver medallist, who chased the new arrival home, adding a silver to his collection in 13.15 ahead of France’s European champion Pascal Martinot-Lagarde, who took bronze in 13.18.
Following a protest from the Spanish team, the jury of appeal decided that Orlando Ortega - who was obstructed by a fall from defending champion Omar McLeod - would also receive a bronze medal.
Earlier in the evening Dina Asher-Smith had lived up to her billing as overwhelming favourite in the women’s 200m final by winning in a British record of 21.88.
After the injuries that had befallen potential rivals such as Jamaica’s Olympic champion Elaine Thompson, 2013 and 2015 world champion Dafne Schippers of the Netherlands and 2017 world silver medallist Marie-Josee Ta Lee of the Ivory Coast, the 23-year-old Briton had less of a task in her final than there might have been.
All she could do was to make as convincing a job as possible of adding gold to the silver she won in the 100m behind Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce on Sunday night – and this she did as she finished with five metres to spare, trimming a hundredth of a second off the time with which she secured the European title in Berlin last summer.
Brittany Brown of the United States took silver in a personal best of 22.22, with Switzerland’s Mujinga Kambundji adding world to her European bronze in 22.51.
In the first final of the night, Poland’s Pawel Fajdek became the first man to win four world titles in the hammer with a best effort of 80.50m.
France’s Quentin Bigot took silver with 78.19m ahead of Hungary’s Bence Halasz, who had a best of 78.18m. Wojciech Nowicki, who beat his fellow Pole to the European title last summer, finished fourth with a best of 77.69m.
However, the Polish team then lodged a protest, claiming Halasz had touched the ground outside the circle on his first attempt. The jury of appeal concluded that irregularities in the conduct of the competition disadvantaged Nowicki and, in fairness to both athletes, decided to award bronze medals to both Nowicki and Halasz.
Katarina Johnson-Thompson of Britain carries a lead of 96 points over Belgium’s defending champion Nafissatou Thiam into tomorrow’s concluding day of the heptathlon, her first day total of 4138 points being the fourth best ever achieved.
The world, European and Olympic champion is in silver-medal position on 4042, with three United States heptathletes bunched behind – Kendell Williams on 3855, Erica Bougard on 3853 and Annie Kunz on 3840.
Britain’s world indoor champion produced personal bests of 13.09 in the 100m hurdles and 13.86m in the shot put and cleared 1.95m in the high jump to equal the championship heptathlon best.
Thiam also cleared 1.95m, and drew ahead following the fourth event, the shot put, where she managed 15.22m.
Having only managed 12.33m and 12.38m with her first two efforts, Johnson-Thompson, who took European silver behind Thiam after a mighty contest in Berlin last summer, was at risk of losing touch. But she was soon cupping her face in her hands after producing a significant improvement on her previous best of 13.15m.
The Briton concluded the day by recording the fastest time, 23.08, in the fourth event of the 200m, where Thiam ran 24.60.
The 100m hurdles heats had also seen 2014 world U20 100m hurdles champion Kendell Williams of the United States lower her personal best from 12.82 to 12.58, the fastest time ever run in a World Championships heptathlon. Her time is also faster than the winning mark in the 100m hurdles at the 2017 World Championships.
Despite producing a personal best in the opening event of the decathlon, defending champion Kevin Mayer of France stands third overnight on 4483 points behind the Canadians Damian Warner, who has 4513, and Pierce LePage, who has 4486.
Mayer rounded off day one by running 48.99 in the 400m, with LePage making ground with the joint fastest time of 47.35, and Warner, the Olympic bronze medallist, also taking advantage as he clocked 48.12.
Warner and LePage were the fastest 100m finishers as the decathlon got underway, clocking 10.35 and 10.36 respectively, but Mayer wasn’t far behind with a personal best of 10.50.
The Canadian pair carried on at the same level in the long jump, where LePage finished top with 7.79m and Warner second on 7.67m, with authorised neutral athlete Ilya Shkurenyov third best on 7.61m. But again Mayer kept in touch with a season’s best of 7.56m on his final attempt.
Mayer then excelled in the third event of the decathlon, launching the shot out to 16.82m, with Grenada’s Lindon Victor second in the list on 16.24m.
In the rounds…
Sifan Hassan qualified with the minimum of fuss in the first round of the 1500m as she set off in pursuit of the second part of her double, having already won the 10,000m title here. Keeping out of trouble at the back, she moved smartly to the front with 200m remaining and controlled her effort down the finishing straight to win in 4:03.88, the fastest qualifying time.
Kenya’s defending champion Faith Kipyegon was second in 4:03.93. Other contenders Jenny Simpson of the United States, the 2011 champion, and Britain’s European champion Laura Muir also qualified with aplomb.
Friday’s men’s 400m final will lack the 21-year-old United States phenomenon Michael Norman, who was a listless last in the third semi-final, clocking 45.94 – almost exactly two-and-a-half seconds slower than the time with which he leads this year’s world list.
Norman mentioned that he had had a minor injury in the preparations for the US Trials, where he was beaten by Fred Kerley, and ran erratically to qualify from his opening heat yesterday.
Judging by his comments, Norman seemed as baffled as anyone about what had, and had not, just happened: “I had a great warm-up, felt good, but did not balance the things for a while. It was a very rocky season. My body has given me a sign.
“It is kind of devastating to come out here, work for 330 days and make it to this stage. It has been a bit up and down for a while. I am very disappointed.”
Kerley, meanwhile, won his semi-final in 44.25 and progressed as third fastest qualifier behind the first two in the opening semi-final, Steven Gardiner of The Bahamas, who ran 44.13, and Kirani James, Grenada’s 2012 Olympic champion who is now back in the running after recovering from Graves’ disease.
Kenya’s defending 5000m champion Hellen Obiri was fastest qualifier for Saturday’s final in 14:52.13, ahead of Karissa Schweizer of the United States, who clocked a personal best of 14:52.41, Ethiopia’s Hawi Feysa, who clocked 14:53.85, and Britain’s Eilish McColgan, who finished in 14:55.79.
World 400m hurdles record holder Dalilah Muhammad was a runaway winner of her semi-final in 53.91, but she was not the fastest qualifier for Friday’s final as her young compatriot Sydney McLaughlin proved equally dominant in the last semi-final, winning in 53.81, with second place going to European champion Zuzana Hejnova in 54.41.
Britain’s Sophie McKinna did her own version of the Daniel Stahl sprint after improving her shot put personal best of 18.23m to 18.61m – well above automatic qualifying mark of 18.40m for tomorrow’s final. It is the first time Britain will have a woman in a World Championships shot put final since the inaugural edition in 1983.
The Briton was sixth best qualifier as Jamaica’s Danniel Thomas-Dodd topped the list with 19.32m ahead of Maggie Ewen of the United States, who reached 19.21m, China’s defending champion Gong Lijiao who registered 18.96m, and Ewen’s compatriot Michelle Carter, the Olympic champion, who recorded 18.85m.
Yaime Perez of Cuba, the Diamond League champion, topped qualifying for Friday’s women’s discus final with a single effort of 67.78m. Her compatriot Denia Caballero joined her with a best of 65.86m, followed by Croatia’s defending champion Sandra Perkovic, who recorded 65.20m.
Mike Rowbottom for the IAAF