ATHLETICS: Warholm defends title in men’s 400 hurdles; Benjamin, Coburn and Rogers wins silvers

Norway's Karsten Warholm can hardly believe he's won a second world title in the 400 m hurdles (Photo: IAAF)

The U.S. had another big day at the 2019 IAAF World Championships, winning five medals, but none of the events. But it was a thrilling day nonetheless, starting with the final event of the program.

The build-up for the men’s 400 m hurdles final started in 2018 when Rai Benjamin ran 47.02 at the NCAA Championships and Qatar’s Abderrahmane Samba ran 46.98 during the summer.

In 2019, defending World Champion Karsten Warholm and Benjamin ran the fastest race in history at 46.92-46.98 at Zurich and the anticipation was on for the Worlds final and a possible world record after 27

Warholm went out as usual, but had only a small lead over Benjamin coming off the fifth hurdle. But Warholm was better on the turn and had a small lead after the eighth hurdle and was maintaining his speed beautifully. Benjamin lost his form a little over the 10th hurdle and with Warholm keeping it together, the Norwegian extended the lead a little on the run-in and won in 47.42.

Benjamin won silver in his first Worlds in 47.66, and home favorite Abderrahmane Samba of Qatar sprinted hard on the run-in to grab third in 48.03 ahead of Kyron McMaster (IVB: 48.10) and T.J. Holmes (USA: 48.20, a lifetime best).

Benjamin told NBC’s Lewis Johnson afterwards that he almost didn’t compete in Doha after suffering a fall in practice about a week prior to leaving. He said he was actually on crutches for a few days and decided to come and try it. “I took it round by round,” he said, adding that “my [left] heel is still pretty bruised.” It explains his inability to push hard on the run-in; as he said, “I wanted gold, but the circumstances weren’t in my favor.” Under the circumstances, his silver was quite impressive.

The women’s 3,000 m Steeple was a question for silver and bronze, as Kenya’s world-record holder Beatrice Chepkoech was a prohibitive favorite. And Chepkoech ran away from the start, creating a 50-meter lead within the first kilometer and the race was on for second. American Emma Coburn waited patiently, then began kicking with 600 m left and moved to second with a lap to go, ahead of Bahrain’s Winfred Yavi and Kenyan Hyvin Kiyeng.

There was no let-up from Coburn, who nursed a small lead over the final water jump and then extended it as Kiyeng faded and German Gesa Krause came on in the final 100 m to pass Yavi for the bronze medal.

Chepkoech finished in 8:57.84, the no. 6 performance in history and Coburn set a lifetime best at 9:02.35, the no. 2 performance in U.S. history. American Courtney Frerichs was sixth in 9:11.27.

The women’s 800 m came next and was expected to be a showcase for American Ajee Wilson, but it didn’t turn out that way. Wilson led for most of the race and maintained it right through the 700 m mark, but was challenged by Uganda’s Halimah Nakaayi, who passed her with 50 m left and won in 1:58.04.

Wilson lost heart after Nakaayi passed her; meanwhile, training partner Raevyn Rogers was sprinting down the home straight, passed Wilson and was closing on Nakaayi at the line, finishing in 1:58.18 for silver, with Wilson at 1:58.84 for bronze. American Ce’Aira Brown was eighth in 2:02.97.

In the men’s 5,000 m, the Ethiopians ran at the front early, but a group of six were in contention for medals with a lap to go, including the Ethiopians, Jakob Ingebrigtsen of Norway, Paul Chelimo of the U.S. and Mo Ahmed (CAN). Ingebrigtsen charged to the front with 300 m to go, but that didn’t last long, as Ethiopia’s Selemon Barega and defending champ Muktar Edris charged past him on the final turn. Ingebrigtsen ran out of gas on the final and faded to fifth; Ahmed moved into third and Edris sprinted down the straight, finishing a 55-second last lap to win over Barega, 12:58.86 to 12:59.70. Ahmed was third in 13:01.11 and Chelimo faded to seventh in 13:04.60.

It was an amazing race for Edris, who hadn’t run faster than 13:25.00 this season. But as defending champ, he had a confirmed entry into the Worlds and he was ready when it counted.

On the infield, Russian Mariya Lasitskene and American Vashti Cunningham both cleared six straight heights, right through 2.00 m (6-6 3/4). But two Ukrainians were also there: Yuliya Levchenko and Yaroslava Manuchikh. At 2.02 m (6-7 1/2), Levchenko and Cunningham went out and on fewer misses, Cunningham won the bronze. Lasitskene and Mahuchikh both cleared, and the bar went to 2.04 m.

Lasitskene made her ninth straight clearance, but Mahuchikh got over on her third try for the silver and retired; still just 18, she also claimed the world junior record. Lasitskene won her third world title, but missed at 2.08 m (6-9 3/4).

Sweden’s Daniel Stahl was the favorite in the discus and made sure to get out in front early and make everyone chase him

He was second after the first round, then took the lead at 67.18 m (220-5) in the second and got out to 67.59 m (221-9) in the third round and that was enough. Jamaica’s Fedrick Dacres reached 66.94 m (219-7) in the second round, but could do no more. Austria’s Lukas Weisshaidiger finished third (66.82 m/219-3)

In the qualifying:

Men/200 meters: No problem for Noah Lyles of the U.S., who won the second semifinal in 19.86, just ahead of Ecuador’s Alex Quinonez. Britain’s Adam Gemili (20.03) and Andre De Grasse (CAN: 20.08) won the other semis.

Men/110 m hurdles: Jamaica’s Omar MacLeod won heat one (13.17), Sergey Shubenkov (RUS) won heat two (13.27) and Orlando Ortega (ESP) won heat five, with the fastest time of the day. Americans Devon Allen qualified in fourth in heat one (13.46) and Grant Holloway looked good in winning heat four (13.22). U.S. champ Daniel Roberts was second in heat three, but smashed through two hurdles, one of which touched an adjacent lane and was disqualified.

Women/400 m: This hasn’t been a vintage year for the U.S., but you wouldn’t know it from the heats as Phyllis Francis (50.77), Wadeline Jonathas (50.57) and Shakima Wimbley (51.17) won the first three heats! Kendall Ellis was only fifth in the fourth heat (51.82), but qualified on time. Favorite Shaunae Miller-Uibo (BAH) won the fifth heat in 51.30 and Salwa Eid Naser (BRN) won the sixth heat in 50.74.

Women/Javelin: World leader Huihui Lyu (CHN) led everyone at 67.27 m (220-8), ahead of German Christin Hussong (65.29 m/214-2). American Kara Winger qualified in seventh at 62.13 m (203-10).

The attendance was once again sparse, but the stadium remained loud, which is a very important aspect for the competitors, to make the place seem fuller than it is. Summaries so far:

IAAF World Championships
Doha (QAT) ~ 27 September-6 October 2019
(Full results here)

Men

100 m (wind +0.6 m/s): 1. Christian Coleman (USA), 9.76; 2. Justin Gatlin (USA), 9.89; 3. Andre De Grasse (CAN), 9.90; 4. Akani Simbine (RSA), 9.93; 5. Yohan Blake (JAM), 9.97; 6. Zharnel Hughes (GBR), 10.03; 7. Flilppo Tortu (ITA), 10.07; 8. Aaron Brown (CAN), 10.08.

5,000 m: 1. Muktar Edris (ETH), 12:58.85; 2. Selemon Barega (ETH), 12:59.70; 3. Mo Ahmed (CAN), 13:01.11; 4. Telahun Haile Bekele (ETH), 13:02.29; 5. Jakob Ingebrigtsen (NOR), 13:02.93; 6. Jacob Krop (KEN), 13:03.08; 7. Paul Chelimo (USA), 13:04.60; 8. Nicholas Kimeli (KEN), 13:05.27. Also: 11. Hassan Mead (USA), 13:27.05.

400 m hurdles: 1. Karsten Warholm (NOR), 47.42; 2. Rai Benjamin (USA), 47.66; 3. Abderrahmane Samba (QAT), 48.03; 4. Kyron McMaster (IVB), 48.10; 5. T.J. Holmes (USA), 48.20; 6. Yasmani Copello (TUR), 48.25; 7. Alison Dos Santos (BRA), 48.28; 8. Abdelmalik Lahoulou (ALG), 49.46.

50 km Walk: 1. Yusuke Suzuki (JPN), 4:04:20; 2. Joao Vieira (POR), 4:04:59; 3. Evan Dunfee (CAN), 4:05:02; 4. Wenbin Niu (CHN), 4:05:36; 5. Yadong Luo (CHN), 4:06:49; 6. Brendan Boyce (IRL), 4:07:06; 7. Carl Dohmann (GER), 4:10:22; 8. Jesus Angel Garcia (ESP), 4:11:28.

Long Jump: 1. Tajay Gayle (JAM), 8.69 m (28-6 1/4); 2. Jeff Henderson (USA), 8.39 m (27-6 1/2); 3. Juan Miguel Echevarria (CUB), 8.34 m (27-4 1/2); 4. Luvo Manyonga (RSA), 8.28 m (27-2); 5. Ruswahl Samaai (RSA), 8.23 m (27-0); 6. Jianan Wang (CHN), 8.20 m (26-11); 7. Eusebio Caceres (ESP), 8.01 m (26-3 1/2); 8. Yuki Hashioka (JPN), 7.97 m (26-1 3/4).

Triple Jump: 1. Christian Taylor (USA), 17.92 m (58-9 1/2); 2. Will Claye (USA), 17.74 m (58-2 1/2); 3. Hugues Zango (BUR), 17.66 m (57-11 1/4); 4. Pedro Pablo Pichardo (POR), 17.62 m (57-9 3/4); 5. Cristian Napoles (CUB),17.38 m (57-0 1/4); 6. Donald Scott (USA), 17.17 m (56-4); 7. Alexis Copello (AZE), 17.10 m (57-1 1/4); 8. Jordan Diaz Fortun (CUB), 17.06 m (55-11 3/4).

Discus: 1. Daniel Stahl (SWE), 67.59 m (221-9); 2. Fedrick Dacres (JAM), 66.94 m (219-7); 3. Lukas Weisshaidinger (AUT), 66.82 m (219-3); 4. Alin Firfirica (ROU), 66.46 m (218-0); 5. Apostolos Parellis (CYP), 66.32 m (217-7); 6. Matthew Denny (AUS), 65.43 m (214-8); 7. Ehsan Hadadi (IRI), 65.16 m (213-9); 8. Martin Wierig (GER), 64.98 m (213-2). Also: 11. Sam Mattis (USA), 63.42 m (208-1).

Women

100 m (+0.1): 1. Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (JAM), 10.71; 2. Dina Asher-Smith (GBR), 10.83; 3. Marie-Josee Ta Lou (CIV), 10.90; 4. Elaine Thompson (JAM), 10.93; 5. Murielle Ahoure (CIV), 11.02; 6. Jonielle Smith (JAM), 11.06; 7. Teahna Daniels (USA), 11.19; did not start – Dafne Schippers (NED).

3,000 m Steeple: 1. Beatrice Chepkoech (KEN), 8:57.84; 2. Emma Coburn (USA), 9:02.35; 3. Gesa Krause (GER), 9:03.30; 4. Winfred Yavi (BRN), 9:05.68; 5. Peruth Chemutai (UGA), 9:11.08; 6. Courtney Frerichs (USA), 9:11.27; 7. Anna Moller (DEN), 9:13.46; 8. Hyvin Kiyeng (KEN), 9:13.53.

10,000 m: 1. Sifan Hassan (NED), 30.17.62; 2. Letesenbet Gidey (ETH), 30:21.23; 3. Agnes Tirop (KEN), 30:25.20; 4. Rosemary Wanjiru (KEN), 30:35.75; 5. Hellen Obiri (KEN), 30:35.82; 6. Senbere Teferi (ETH), 30:44.23; 7. Susan Krumins (NED), 31:05.40; 8. Marielle Hall (USA), 31:05.71. Also: 9. Molly Huddle (USA), 31:07.24; 10. Emily Sisson (USA), 31:12.56.

Marathon: 1. Ruth Chepngetich (KEN), 2:32:43; 2. Rose Chelimo (BRN), 2:33:46; 3. Helelia Johannes (NAM), 2:34:15; 4. Edna Kiplagat (KEN), 2:35:36; 5. Volha Mazuronak (BLR), 2:36:21; 6. Roberta Groner (USA), 2:38:44; 7. Mizuki Tanimoto (JPN), 2:39:09; 8. Ji Hyang Kim (PRK), 2:41:24. Also: 13. Carrie Dimoff (USA), 2:44:35.

50 km Walk: 1. Rui Liang (CHN), 4:23:26; 2. Maocuo Li (CHN), 4:26:40; 3. Elenorora Giorgi (ITA), 4:29:13; 4. Olena Sobchuk (UKR), 4:33:38; 5. Faying Ma (CHN), 4:34:56; 6. Khrystyna Yudkina (UKR), 4:36:00; 7. Magaly Bonilla (ECU), 4:37:03; 8. Julia Takacs (ESP), 4:38:20. Also: 17. Katie Burnett (USA), 5:23:05.

High Jump: 1. Mariya Lasitskene (RUS), 2.04 m (6-8 1/4); 2. Yaroslava Mahuchikh (UKR), 2.04 m (6-8 1/4); 3. Vashti Cunningham (USA), 2.00 m (6-6 3/4); 4. Yuliya Levchenko (UKR), 2./00 m (6-6 3/4); 5. Kamila Licwinko (POL), 1.98 m (6-6); 6. Karyna Demidik (BLR), 1.96 m (6-5); 7. Ana Simic (CRO), 1.93 m (6-4); 8. Ty Butts (USA), 1.93 m (6-4).

Pole Vault: 1. Anzhelika Sidorova (RUS), 4.95 m (16-2 3/4); 2. Sandi Morris (USA), 4.90 m (16-0 3/4); 3. Katerina Stefanidi (GRE), 4.85 m (15-11); 4. Holly Bradshaw (GBR), 4.80 m (15-9); 5. Alysha Newman (CAN), 4.80 m (15-9); 6. Angelica Bengtsson (SWE), 4.80 m (15-9); 7. tie, Iryna Zhuk (BLR), Jenn Suhr (USA) and Katie Nagetotte (USA), 4.70 m (15-5).

Hammer: 1. DeAnna Price (USA), 77.54 m (251-1); 2. Joanna Fiodorow (POL), 76.35 m (250-6); 3. Zheng Wang (CHN), 74.76 m (245-3); 4. Zalina Petrivskaya (MDA), 74.33 m (243-10); 5. Iryna Klymets (UKR), 73.56 m (241-4); 6. Alexandra Tavernier (FRA), 73.33 m (240-7); 7. Hanna Skydan (AZE), 72.83 m (238-11); 8. Na Luo (CHN), 72.04 m (236-4).

Mixed

4×400 m: 1. United States (Wil London, Allyson Felix, Courtney Okolo, Michael Cherry), 3:09.34 (World Record; old, 3:12.42, U.S. in semis); 2. Jamaica, (Allen, McGregor, James, Francis), 3:11.78; 3. Bahrain (Isah, Jamal, Naser, Abbas), 3:11.82; 4. Great Britain, 3:12.27; 5. Poland, 3:12.33; 6. Belgium, 3:14.22; 7. India, 3:15.77; 8. Brazil, 3:16.22.

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