After a solid day of prelim action yesterday, Saturday saw the first medals handed out at the Doha 2019 World Championships. From the crowning of the “World’s Fastest Man” to a historic moment for US Women’s Throws, here are our Four Hot Takes from Day 2 in Doha!
1.) With Amos Out, The 800 is Brazier’s To Lose
Prior to the start of the men’s 800m prelims today, word got out that Nijel Amos of Botswana was a scratch. Amos had the best credentials in the field as the 2012 Olympic Silver medalist, second fastest man in history, and fastest man this year with a 1:41 at Monaco. He pulled up lame at the London Diamond League in August, but was thought to be healthy enough to compete for his first World Title after finishing a close second to American Donavan Brazier in the Zurich Diamond League Final.
With Amos out, Brazier’s already good chances of becoming world champ increased significantly. However, he didn’t let his easier path to gold get to his head in Heat 1 of the prelims today, with a smooth and effortless win to move onto the next round. Joining Brazier in the semi finals will be the strong US contingent of Rio Bronze Medalist Clayton Murphy, 2019 NCAA Champ Bryce Hoppel, and veteran Brannon Kidder, who all made it through with relative ease. America’s neighbors to the north had a good day as well, as both Canadians Marco Arop (2019 Pan Am Gold Medalist) and 1:43 man Brandon McBride qualified easily to the next round. Additionally, defending champ Pierre-Ambroise Bosse of France and 2018 Diamond League Champ and 1:42 man Emmanuel Korir of Kenyan all advanced to tomorrow’s semi finals.
2.) Coleman, Hassan Win Their First Titles In Dominant Fashion
After being the only man in the first round yesterday to break the 10 second barrier, Christian Coleman asserted his dominance in style in today’s semi final with a decisive 9.88, a full .13 ahead of the next competitor. While Coleman left no doubt in his qualification, 37 year old Justin Gatlin had to wait for all of the heats to be done to find out if he made it, as he only placed 3rd in his section and had to wait to see if he made it on time. However, the defending champion barley advanced as his fellow American Mike Rogers and Jamaica’s Tyquendo Tracey missed out on Gatlin’s time in the final heat by just .03.
In the final 3 hours later, after a nifty light show introduction for the finalist that wouldn’t be out of place at a rave, Coleman lit up the field with a 9.76, the #6 time in history, for his first world title. Gatlin put his cardiac qualification from the semis behind him to grab Silver in 9.89, and Rio Bronze Medalist and former NCAA Champ Andre de Grasee brought home Bronze for Canada in 9.90.
Much like the Men’s 100, there was little doubt about who the favorite in the other track final of the night would be, as the Netherland’s Sifan Hassan has been unstoppable in every event from 1500 to the half marathon in the last two years. Like Coleman, Hassan made mince meat of her competitors, running a ridiculous 3:59 last 1500 meters. Let that sink in. After 8500 meters against the best runners from around the planet. Hassan ran a 1500 time that only 7 US women have run for that distance EVER.
While I thought that the Rio 10K final couldn’t be topped as the most ridiculous race in the event’s history (heck make that most ridiculous race of all time), when Almaz Ayana of Ethiopia ran 29:17 to obliterate the World Record, Hassan’s last mile of this year’s final gives that race a run for its money.
3.) USA Puts 3 Women in 800 Final, Chances For Multiple Medals Strengthen
After a strong showing in the first round yesterday, the USA’s chances of multiple medals in the Women’s 800 grew after today’s semi finals. Not only did both Raevyn Rogers and Ajee Wilson taking commanding wins in their sections, but Ce’Aira Brown also punched her ticket for the final as a time qualifier. With top contender’s like Great Britain’s Lindsey Sharp knocked out of the competition, the US contingent is poised to make a big splash in Monday’s final. However, the American trio will face stiff competition for the podium from Jamaica’s 1:56 woman Natoya Goule and Kenya’s 2013 World Champ Eunice Sum in what should be stellar final.
4.) Price Brings Home First Women’s Throws Gold For Team USA
In the Women’s Hammer Throw final, DeAnna Price made history for the US with her Gold Medal on Saturday. Price’s first throw of the night was enough to win. However, her third attempt of 77.54 meters put her more than a meter clear of Poland’s Joanna Fiodorow, who had to settle for second. The US record holder had been a consistent top 10 finisher in world finals the last few years, but Price’s performance in Doha not only put her on the podium for the first time but was the first time a US woman had won a medal in the event. It was also the first ever Gold for an American woman in the throws.
Give us a follow on Twitter @trackster_us to keep up with our “hot takes” on the latest news and race results in the world of running, and download the Trackster app to log your training, create team profiles, and much much more!