World Champs XVII — Day 2 In Review

Christian Coleman & Justin Gatlin reversed the order of their 1–2 Worlds finish in ’17. (VICTOR SAILER/PHOTO RUN)

Coleman Delivers Dash Gold!

DOHA, QATAR, September 28—Christian Coleman vanquished any idea that his brush with near-suspension might have thrown off his game, moving strongly through the early phases of the race to destroy the 100 field in 9.76. The world-leading dash made him the No. 6 human ever (3 U.S.), equaling the No. 15 performance in history. The wind was 0.6. Behind him, Justin Gatlin, who only slipped into the final as a time qualifier, delivered a clutch 9.89 for silver, barely ahead of the PR 9.90 by Canada’s Andre DeGrasse. South African Akani Simbine (9.93) and Jamaica’s Yohan Blake (9.97) also broke 10.
Said the victor, “I have been working incredibly hard and this just makes it all worthwhile. I usually have a good start but I don’t follow it up with execution, so I’ve been working on my drive phase and being patient. Tonight it all paid off.”

Price Wins Hammer Gold!

DeAnna Price made history by winning not only the first U.S. hammer gold ever, but also the first U.S. women’s throws gold. She took care of things early as the second thrower in the order. She took the lead on her first attempt, her 252-2 (76.87) rating just outside the all-time U.S. top 10. The next thrower up was Poland’s Joanna Fiodorow, throwing with a heavily tatted left arm. She surprised by PRing at 250-6 (76.35). The favored Price, as it turned out, already had the win in the bag with her opener, but she unleashed another biggie in round 3, her 254-5 (77.54) rating as the No. 5 U.S. performance ever. Fiodorow’s mark held up as well, with China’s Zheng Wang claiming bronze at 245-3 (74.76). The other American finalist, Gwen Berry, fouled 3 times.
Price credited her coach/husband, “He told me to get in there and attack, not leave any single chance. He is absolutely amazing and that last throw, I broke down. It’s never me, it’s we. We all in this together. We are world champions.”

Henderson Shocks With Silver Behind Gayle’s World Leader

Coming in with a PR of 27-3¾ (8.32), Tajay Gayle surprised with his opening-round 27-9¼ (8.46). That would be good enough to win, but it paled in comparison with what the 23-year-old Jamaican did in round 4. That world-leading 28-6¼ (8.69) moved him to No. 11 on the all-time world list. He passed his last two attempts. The other two medalists were surprising as well. Jeff Henderson is the reigning Olympic champion, but his pre-Doha season wasn’t enough to get him into our Top 10 chart. He raised his U.S.-leading mark to 27-6½ (8.39) in the third stanza and that was good enough for silver. Juan Miguel Echevarría was surprising only in that he ended up with only bronze, as the young Cuban had been viewed as a prohibitive favorite coming in. He appeared to press too hard in the wake of Gayle’s big mark. Defending champ Luvo Manyonga had a disappointing day as well, ending up 4th at 27-2 (8.28).

Hassan Blisters Women’s 10K Finish

Despite having a PR that didn’t put her in the top 10 in the field, Sifan Hassan was an overwhelming favorite, mostly because of the unbeatable power of her kick this season. The mile World Record holder was in no hurry to move to the front, hanging near the back during the early stages, as usual. She moved into the top 7 after a pedestrian 3K when the vanguard of Africans moved to the front. Agnes Tirop led through 5K in 15:32.70. With 1600 left, Letesenbet Gidey made a bold move to try to run away from the field. She hit laps of 64.90 and 65.32. At the end of the penultimate lap (66.16), Hassan tagged her and took off, her powerful 61.50 final circuit giving her a 30:17.63 in the second 25-lapper of her life. Her last 5000 was 14:43.80, her last 1600 was 4:17.2, her last 1500 was 3:59.1. Gidey chased hard on the last lap, earning silver in 30:21.23. Agnes Tirop took bronze in 30:25.20, leading her teammates across. The Americans finished in 8-9-10: Marielle Hall 31:05.71 PR, Molly Huddle 31:07.24, Emily Sisson 31:12.56.

Qualifying Action

MEN’S 800: Donavan Brazier’s road to the podium got a little easier with the news that world leader Nijel Amos, bothered by his left Achilles, has scratched. Brazier was all business in heat 1, punching the clock first in 1:46.04. The fastest time went to Emmanuel Korir at 1:45.16. An unprecedented four Americans made the semis, as all of the top 10 on the T&FN formchart advanced, excepting Amos.
MEN’S 400H: With Abderrahmane Samba and Rai Benjamin in the same heat, was the all-time semis record of 47.58 (Edwin Moses ’84) in danger? Not quite. Benjamin controlled the race, 48.52-48.72. Karsten Warholm handily won his in 48.28. TJ Holmes (48.67) earned one of the time qualifiers. The casualties from the formchart: 4. Ludvy Vaillant (France), 9. Kemar Mowatt (Jamaica), 10. Thomas Barr (Ireland). Kyron McMaster (BVI) was originally disqualified for crashing through the first hurdle, breaking it in two; he was reinstated on appeal.

MEN’s POLE VAULT: The men’s vault qualifying went pretty much according to form, although there were two significant non-advancers, No. 4 seed Paweł Wojciechowski (Poland) and No. 7. Renaud Lavillenie (France), the WR holder. Of the 12 finalists, 8 cleared 18-10¼ (5.75) equaling the highest Q-round mark ever. The other 4 cleared 18-8¼ (5.70). Those who cleared 18-8¼ and didn’t advance became the highest non-Qs ever. Half the Americans (favored Sam Kendricks & Cole Walsh) advanced, the other half (Zach Bradford & KC Lightfoot) did not. The only vaulters with perfect records were Kendricks and Pole Piotr Lisek.

MEN’S DISCUS: Favored Daniel Ståhl of Sweden had a very long throw (close to 230) in the first round but fouled. In the second he popped a 222-8 (67.88). That would stand up as the only auto-Q of the day, nobody else reaching the required 214-11 (65.50). There were 2 formchart losses: 6. Piotr Małachowski (Poland) and 9. Traves Smikle (Jamaica). This will be the first major final since ’05 without the Pole. Sam Mattis was the only American to advance, Mason Finley just missing in 13th.

WOMEN’S 100: The fireworks started early when Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce blasted a 10.80 in the first heat; it is the No. 7 time in meet history. Marie-Josée Ta Lou popped a PR 10.85 in the next. The four Americans got through: English Gardner (11.20), Teahna Daniels (11.20), Morolake Akinosun (11.20) and Tori Bowie (11.30). All 10 on the T&FN formchart advanced, with the exception of Nigeria Blessing Okagbare, who withdrew from the event at the last minute without explanation.

WOMEN’S 800: Halimah Nakaayi is looking like a solid medal contender. She’s also looking like a DQ waiting to happen. In the final semi, the Ugandan got out of a box by putting both her hands on Natoya Goule and forcibly repositioning her. The judges let that slide , and in the final she will face Raevyn Rogers and Ajee’ Wilson, both of whom won their races from the front. The only major casualty was Ukraine’s Olha Lyakhova, originally picked for 7th.

MIXED 4×4: WORLD RECORD! Given the event’s short tenure, the historical significance of the mark is perhaps lacking. The U.S. squad dominated the first heat, winning in a record 3:12.42. Tyrell Richard led off at 45.1, followed by Jessica Beard (50.6), Jasmine Blocker (51.27) and an easing-up Obi Igbokwe (45.44). Poland won heat 2 in 3:15.47, a mark that would have been good for only 5th in the previous heat (where the top 4 broke the WR). Curiously, all of the teams followed a M-W-W-M order except the Japanese, who went M-W-M-W. That gave them a brief lead but fans had to watch as the Japanese anchor was gobbled up by the entire field. ◻︎