By Neil Leverett
- Nia Ali takes 100m hurdles crown on the final Day of the World Athletics Championships 2019, in Doha, Qatar
- Timothy Cheruiyot gallops to 1500m glory, Britain’s Josh Kerr and Jake Wightman claim top six finishes
- Mihambo wins long jump title, US 4x400m relay quartets take double, as GB women take bronze
DOHA, QATAR – America’s Nia Ali claims 100m hurdles Gold, with the British 4x400m women taking bronze, as the World Athletics Championships 2019 conclude in Doha.
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Ali wins shock 100m hurdle crown
In the final individual track event of the World Athletics Championships 2019, Nia Ali took a stunning victory in the final of the women’s 100m hurdles clocking a personal best of 12.34, as the American rose to the top in a stacked Doha finale completing a US 1-2 with Keni Harrison, as Jamaica’s Danielle Williams was forced to settle for bronze.
With Williams fastest into the final from the evening’s earlier semi-finals, the Jamaican favourite however, was faced with eight seven other women who were all realistic medal contenders – of any colour.
Nigeria’s Tobi Amusan who had an impressive route to the final, suffered a sluggish start to take her out of contention, whilst the Netherlands’ Nadine Visser and Megan Tapper were also left in their blocks.
As Harrison and Williams blasted over the barriers, Ali surged to the head of the field and as Williams clipped a hurdle, the Jamaican lost her rhythm allowing the American twosome to take control, with Ali sealing an unlikely win, whilst World record holder Harrison took her first global medal.
Cheruiyot takes dominant 1500m Gold
In the men’s 1500m final, Kenya’s Timothy Cheruiyot backed up his dominant Diamond League season, taking the world title in a time of 3:29.27, having led from the front, ahead of Taoufik Makhloufi and Marcin Lewandowski of Poland.
Britain’ trio of history makers in all reaching the final failed to medal as perhaps expected, however with Jake Wightman and Josh Kerr both running personal bests to finish fifth and sixth respectively, both men will be elated with their huge leap in progress made in Qatar. Even eleventh placed Neil Gourley will be buoyed by his form, less than 10 months out from Tokyo.
Circled pre-Championships as one of the must-see finals in Doha, Cheruiyot – much like Sifan Hassan on Saturday – the 23-year-old elected to take the race to his opponents, and led from the go once more, running a 55-second opening lap.
Breaking away from the group with compatriot Ronald Kwemoi, Cheruiyot looked the heavyweight of the field and took the bell with a sizeable lead, as Kwemoi was reeled in by the chase group.
With Kerr and Wightman lurking, both Brits entered the home straight with Lewandowski and Makhloufi vying from the remaining medals, only for the British duo to just run out of steam at the crucial moment.
Cheruiyot meanwhile – still not letting up on the pace – surged to the line, moving a step up from his silvers in both London two years ago and on the Gold Coast at the Commonwealth Games last year, as the Kenyan wins his first major title.
US relay double, Brit women bronze
As the curtain came down on Doha 2019, the United States finished the championships with a further gold rush at the Khalifa International Stadium, taking the 4×400 relay titles in both the men’s and women’s races.
With the women’s quartet of Phyllis Francis, Sydney McLaughlin, Wadeline Jonathas and 400m gold medalist and World record holder Dalilah Muhammad cruising to victory, the US men were pushed to the line.
As Poland took a surprise silver ahead of Jamaica’s women, Britain were just nosed out of third place as Zoey Clark, Jodie Williams, Emily Diamond and Laviai Nielsen showed signs of an exhaustive week in the Middle East to come home fourth. Or so it appeared.
As Jamaica were subsequently disqualified for an infringement, GB women add a sixth medal to the British tally – with five of six places on the podium coming by way of female athletes.
The US male quartet of Fred Kerley, Michael Norman, Will London III and Rai Benjamin then added a second gold in a matter of minutes ahead of Jamaica and Belgium, whilst there was disaster for the British men.
Concluding a less than enamouring week for the male individuals of the GB team, the men dropped the baton on the third exchange, as Rabah Yousif went too early to his legs with Toby Harries in possession of the baton, as a youthful foursome suffered from a lack of experience.
Mihambo leaps to long jump title
Elsewhere on the final day of competition, Malaika Mihambo leapt to the long jump world title with a distance of 7.30m, as the German romped home to victory 38cm ahead of Ukrainian Maryna Bekh-Romanchuk and Ese Brume of Nigeria.
Having jumped in excess of seven metres in six competitions this season, the German made it seven in emphatic fashion in the Doha long jump pit, as Mihambo adds the world title to the European crown she won on home soil in Berlin last year.
Jumping an underwhelming 6.52 to open her final account, the German fouled her second attempt before nailing her winning distance, as the rest of the field were blown out of the metaphorical water.
The British duo failed to mount a serious challenge, as silver medalist in Beijing, Shara Proctor was eliminated in the opening three jumps, with Abigail Irozuru failing to improve on her opening leap of 6.64 and finishing seventh.
Round 1 of the 2020 IAAF Diamond League begins in the New Year.
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