The third day of action at the 2019 IAAF World Championships in Doha saw medals awarded in five events including the women’s 100 m and the first ever mixed 4 x 400 metres relay. The highlight of the evening was the fourth win by Shelly-Anne Fraser-Pryce in the shortest of all the sprint events.
Fraser-Pryce has every reason to remember the last World Championships in 2017 in London even though she was unable to compete in Britain’s capital city. The women’s 100 metres final that year was held on the day the Jamaican went into labour. On Sunday, with son Zion watching from the stands, Fraser-Pryce was clearly the best in the race and stopped the clock at 10.71 seconds to win gold ahead of Dina Asher-Smith who broke the British national record as won silver. Ta Lou of the Ivory Coast win bronze. Daphne Schippers of the Netherlands qualified for the final but withdrew after suffering an injury.
There were no flags waved by Anna Sidorova after winning the women’s pole vault. Russian national banners are not allowed in the stadium after the suspension of their national athletics federation and Sidorova will have to listen to the IAAF anthem when she receives her medal. Only three vaulters, Sidorova, Morris of the USA and Stefanidi of Greece cleared 4m 85cm, so the medals were effectively decided. The Russian and American both succeeded at 4m 90cm and it looked like a jump-off would be needed until Sidorova cleared 4m 95cm at her third and final attempt.
The popular American Christian Taylor had some nervous moments at the start of the triple jump competition. He fouled his first two jumps but, after getting on the scoreboard at his third attempt, he regained his composure and jumped out to an unbeatable 17m 94cm. Taylor’s long time American rival Will Claye led at the halfway stage but had to settle for silver. The other notable was the emergence of a new sporting hero for the West African nation of Burkina Faso. Unsurprisingly Hugues Zango’s bronze was the first for his country in championship history.
The inaugural mixed 4 x 400 relay provided a little interest when Poland broke ranks and a male runner to run the third leg instead of the now usual final leg. Justyna Święty-Ersetic ran the final leg for Poland but was unable to hold off the male runners and the Poles eventually finished fifth. The American team set a world record with Jamaican and Bahrain filling the other places on the podium. The US quartet included Alyson Felix whose 12th world championships gold medal saw her go past fellow icon Usain Bolt on the medal tally.
The late-night action on the roads involved the women’s 20km walk. The domination of the Chinese in this event was evident as the only reason the nation did not take the first four places was the late disqualification of reigning champion Yang Jiayu. 32-year-old Hong Liu took gold, Tibetan born Qieyang Shenjie the silver medal and Yang Liujing the bronze,
The only heats today came in the men’s 200 metres. Adam Gemili of Great Britain was the fastest qualifier for the semi-finals although the medal favourites all qualified easily. The only disappointment was the poor performance of the US second and third string athletes who placed lowly in the races,