Six gold medals will be decided on the second day of the IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019, including those in the shortest and longest distances on the overall programme.
Traditionally, the 100m is a highlight, and the men’s title will be the final event at Khalifa International Stadium. Following that, the men’s and women’s 50km race walks will be decided on the Corniche. There will also be heats of the first-ever mixed relay on a World Championships programme – the 4x400m – leading to the final on day three (29 September).
No ‘Lightning Bolt’, but plenty of thunder in 100m
In case you missed it, the 2017 edition was the last World Championships for Usain Bolt. 2019 will be the first one since 2003 without the great man.
Not that there will be any lack of excitement in the men’s 100m. World silver medallist Christian Coleman, the year’s fastest, will be hoping to move up a step this time around. Andre De Grasse, Akani Simbine, Hakim Sani Brown and Yohan Blake will be among many fancying their chances in a wide-open field, but first they must get through to semi-finals earlier in the evening.
Inexperienced Hassan takes on inexperienced Obiri in 10,000m
It seems silly to say that two of the most inexperienced competitors at the distance should fight out the gold medal in the women’s 10,000m, but Sifan Hassan and Hellen Obiri are no ordinary athletes.
Hassan will be looking to solve one problem for herself and create another for her rivals. She has entered the 10,000m, the 5000m and the 1500m, and, in current form, could win any of them. She will choose between the shorter two events after tonight’s race. Hasan has only ever run one track 10,000m, Obiri just two. Lack of experience does not faze her; Obiri had never run the senior cross-country until she ran and won the world title in Aarhus this year. If hubris brings down either, or both, of this formidable pair, Agnes Tirop, who finished a stride or two ahead of Obiri in the Kenyan trial, or Ethiopia’s Letesenbet Gidey could be the ones to benefit.
Echevarria should end year as he started
Juan Miguel Echevarria started 2019 with a wind-assisted jump of 8.92m (the fourth-longest ever under any conditions; world record-holder and event legend Mike Powell has the three longer jumps), and he should end it as world champion in the men’s long jump.
The 21-year-old prodigy from Cuba has the year’s longest jump of 8.65m, giving him a 25-centimetre cushion over any other rival (Japan’s Shontaro Shiroyama the nearest). He also comfortably topped the qualifying round with 8.40m. Defending champion Luvo Manyonga is a mercurial talent, capable of a big jump on the day, but they will all be keeping an eye on Echevarria.
USA’s world leader DeAnna Price topped the qualifying round in the women’s hammer with 73.77m and will be keen to come out on top once again in the final.
50km race walk takes us into day three
The 50km race walks continue the Doha trend of starting one day, finishing the next. The race walks start at 11:30pm on the Corniche and finish some four hours later.
Yohann Diniz, Matej Toth and Wang Qin head the men’s field. Li Maocuo – fastest this year on the entry list – former world record-holder Liang Rui and defending champion Ines Henriques stand out in the women’s event. But it will really be about who handles the heat best.