IAAF World Athletics Championships 2019 – Best in history!
Hailed as one of the biggest sporting events in the world, the IAAF World Athletics Championships 2019, which started off on Friday, 27 September, came to an end on Sunday, 6 October. The ten-day competition which has around 2000 participating athletes from over 200 countries competing in 49 events, started off with an action packed first day at the Khalifa International Stadium and a midnight marathon at the Doha Corniche. With several phenomenal performances by world class athletes throughout the ten-day championships, the event closed with Qatar handing over the baton to IAAF 2021 hosts, the United States.
According to an article published in the IAAF website, IAAF President Sebastian Cole speaking after the final session on Sunday, 6 October, pointed out that the Championships in Doha was the best in history in terms of quality and depth of performance. Cole added that 6 championship records, 21 area records and 86 national records had been set with over 40 countries winning medals in the highly competitive event.
From setting new records to displaying acts of exemplary sportsmanship, here’s our take on some of the commendable moments at the Championships.
A heart-warming display of good sportsmanship on the opening day
In a sporting event, athletes that don’t emerge victorious, rarely make it to the news. However, both Braima Suncar of Guinea and Jonathan Busby of Aruba made global headlines after the opening day’s events even though they finished 19th in the first heat of the 5000M race. Suncar, who noticed fellow competitor Busby struggling to complete the race, made a quick decision to stop and help Busby make it to the finish line. Winning the hearts of everyone at the Khalifa Stadium, the dynamic duo received a standing ovation on completing the race making it one of the iconic moments of the IAAF Championships.
Credit: Getty Images
Two medals for Qatar
Making the host nation proud were Qatari champions Mutaz Barshim in the men’s high jump final and Abdulrahman Samba in the men’s 400M hurdles. Barshim defended his title as world champion on clearing a height of 2.37M in his first attempt and securing a gold medal on home turf. Samba became the first athlete to win a medal for Qatar in the highly competitive 400M hurdles event. With three of the four fastest men of all time in the line-up, Samba clocked a timing of 48.03 seconds to grab the bronze medal. Norway’s reigning champion Karsten Warholm won gold with a time of 47.42 seconds while USA’s Rai Benjamin came in second at 47.66 seconds. Both athletes brought the crowds to their feet and gave elated fans a reason to celebrate.
Credit: I Love Qatar
United States 4*400 mixed relay team breaks first world record at IAAF 2019
Credit: Qatar Tribune
Making its debut in the championships this year was the 4x400M mixed relay. The US team set the official record for the event, when they won their heat at a timing of 3 minutes and 12.42 seconds on Saturday, 28 September. The unbeatable team bagged gold at the finals the next day after breaking their own record and setting a new one at 3 minutes and 09.34 seconds. Giving them a strong fight were athletes from both Jamaica and Bahrain. Jamaica came in second place while Bahrain who came in third, broke the Asian record.
Coleman and Fracer-Pryce claim the title for fastest man and woman in the world
Taking first place in the 100M dash is no easy task. In addition to bagging the most coveted gold medal in the IAAF championships, you’re also given the title of the fastest person in the world. Despite having a competitive line up, USA’s Christian Coleman dominated the race in the finals held on Saturday, 28 September, with an impressive timing of 9.76 seconds. The women’s 100M dash on the other hand saw Jamaica’s pocket rocket, Shelly-Ann Fracer-Pryce earn her fourth women’s world title. Taking the lead right from the start, Pryce maintained her pace and crossed the finish line with a timing of 10.71 seconds, a mere 0.01 seconds off her personal best. Pryce was seen celebrating her victory with her son at the end of the race.
Three men, one event, one centimetre apart
The men’s shot put final will be remembered as the greatest showdown in shot put history with an outstanding performance by all its participants. The event started off with New Zealand’s Tom Walsh taking the lead with an impressive throw of 22.90M in his first attempt. Walsh maintained the lead right until the final throw when in a surprising turn of events he was overtaken by US athletes Joe Kovacs and Ryan Crouser. Kovacs secured first place after a magnificent throw of 22.91M beating both Crouser and Walsh by just a centimetre. Crouser came in second place on countback while Walsh came in third. According to the IAAF scoring table, Kovac’s win was ranked the best men’s performance in the IAAF Championships.
Germany’s Malaika Mihambo bags two titles
With 7 finals scheduled on the last day of the IAAF championships, there was no shortage of excitement in the crowds. Grabbing everyone’s attention, was Germany’s Malaika Mihambo in the women’s long jump final. The event started off with a strong first round putting Mihambo in seventh place. Flouting her second, Mihambo took the lead in her third attempt with a magnificent leap of 7.30M bagging the gold medal. Based on the IAAF scoring table, Mihambo’s outstanding leap was also ranked as the best women’s performance in the IAAF Championships.