A rousing US gold medal treble ignited a pumping Khalifa Stadium on day five of the IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019 today.
On an unforgettable night for the world’s heavyweight track and field nation, Noah Lyles stormed to 200m success, Donavan Brazier blitzed to a record-breaking 800m victory and Sam Kendricks edged a rip-roaring pole vault competition to retain his title.
Lyles was short of his absolute best in the mouth-watering final of the men’s 200m but still found enough in his locker to strike his maiden senior gold medal.
Lyles has vowed to beat the times of sprint legend Usain Bolt, but on the night was unconvincing in claiming gold far less challenging the great Jamaican’s time in the 200m.
Great Britain’s Adam Gemili held a slight advantage leading into the home straight but Lyles did not panic and, finishing with his trademark late burst of speed, powered home to stop the clock in 19.83 – 0.12 clear of Canada’s Andre de Grasse, who matched the silver medal he won at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Bronze went to the swift-finishing Alex Quinonez in 19.98, who became only the second Ecuadorian in history to win a World Championships medal.
Donavan Brazier laid waste to the field with a sensational display to become the first US athlete – man or woman – to win a world 800m title – by pulverising both the championship record and North American records, which had each stood for more than 30 years.
The 21-year-old two-lap sensation turned the race into a procession after kicking past Wesley Vazquez, who had set a searing first lap split of 48.96, to open up a huge margin on the field.
Attacking the final 100m with relish, he destroyed the opposition to clock 1:42.34 and triumph by the biggest winning margin in the history of the event at a World Championships. Amel Tuka of Bosnia and Herzegovina upgraded on the bronze medal he won at the 2015 World Championships to take a splendid silver in 1:43.47 ahead of the quick-finishing Ferguson Rotich of Kenya, who snared the bronze in 1:43.82.
The US enjoyed more success in the men’s pole vault as Sam Kendricks edged a belting pole vault competition from Sweden’s Armand Duplantis to become the first man since athletics icon Sergey Bubka to mount a successful defence of this title.
Kendricks twice teetered on the edge of defeat but, demonstrating trademark mental resolve, he cleared both 5.87m and 5.97m at the third time of asking. Duplantis also wriggled over at 5.97m with his final effort but ultimately Kendricks’ first-time clearance at 5.92m earned him gold on countback.
Duplantis had to settle for the silver with Piotr Lisek of Poland taking the bronze with 5.87m, adding to silver and bronze medals he has earned at the two previous World Championships.
With one mighty boom of the right arm, Kelsey-Lee Roberts cracked the code to deliver Australia’s first world javelin title with a thrilling sixth-round effort.
Twice before Australia has claimed silver in this event (Joanna Stone in 1997 and Kim Mickle in 2013) but Roberts’ perfectly timed 66.56m effort elevated her from fourth to gold.
China, who held first and second until Roberts’ effort, had to settle for the two bottom steps of the podium with Liu Shiying in silver (65.88m) and world leader Lyu Huihui (65.49m) winning her third World Championships medal (one silver and two bronze).
Dina Asher-Smith looked a class apart as she topped the qualifiers from the women’s 200m semi-finals. The British athlete eased to victory in the third semi-final in 22.16 from US champion Dezerea Bryant (22.56). Gina Bass made history as the first athlete from The Gambia to qualify for a World Championships final, placing third in her semi-final with 22.60 and advancing on time.
A competitive first semi-final was awarded to NCAA champion Anglerne Annelus from Switzerland’s Mujinga Kambundji after both were awarded the same time of 22.49.
Olympic champion Elaine Thompson withdrew from the second semi-final, leaving the path clear from US sprinter Brittany Brown to take top spot in 22.46 and push forward her medal claims. Thompson suffered a flare-up of a longstanding Achilles tendon issue.
Tynia Gaither of The Bahamas (22.57) grabbed second to advance to her second successive World Championships 200m final, 0.01 ahead of Bulgaria’s 35-year-old Ivet Lalova-Collio, who progresses on time to the medal race.