Written by Bob Snow – Oceania Athletics Life Member
This it the 2nd of a 3 part review of the World Championships. Today, we bring you Days 5 through 7.
In the Women’s 200m Heats, Toea Wisil (PNG) was in Heat 4, with Guam’s Regine Tugade in Heat 5. Toea finished in 7th position in the time of 23.93 (-0.1) to finish 42nd overall. Regine was 5th in her heat in the time of 26.22 (-0.4) to finish in 46th position overall. There were a few high profile athletes who did not start, including the 100m gold medal winner Tori Bowie (USA).
There were five sets of medals on offer today.
The winner of the W JT was Barbora Spotakova (CZE) with a throw of 66.76m. Kelsey-Lee Roberts (AUS) was in 10th position with a distance of 60.76m.
The M PV was won with a height of 5.95m by Sam Kendricks (USA). Kurtis Marschall (AUS) came 7th with a height of 5.65m.
The M 3000m Steeplechase was won, not surprisingly, by a Kenyan – Conseslus Kipruto, in the time of 8:14.12 and the M 800m was won surprisingly by Pierre-Ambroise Bosse (FRA) in 1:44.67.
The final event of the night was the M 400m won easily by current Olympic Champion and World Record holder, Wayde Van Niekerk (RSA) in 43.98 seconds. Wayde won easing up and one suspects it was to preserve his energy reserves for the 200m Final on Day Seven.
The last of the Pacific Islanders to compete was PNG’s Rellie Kaputin – in the W LJ. Her best legal jump of the year, 6.39m, persuaded the organisers to add her to the qualifying field in the Long Jump. Rellie finished in 30th position with 5.59m. Australia’s Brooke Stratton qualified in 11th position to go on to the final with a distance of 6.46m (-0.1)
In the W 3000m Steeplechase, Genevieve Lacaze qualified 7th fastest for the final with a time of 9:27.53 – a season’s best performance.
Patrick Tiernan (AUS) was the fourth fastest in the M 5000m heats. The heat will be on come the final, however, with Mo Farah and a host of East Africans vying for a spot on the podium.
In the absence of Dame Valerie Adams (NZL) the W SP was won by Lijiao Gong (CHN) with a distance of 19.89m. The weather looked to be quite bad during this session of the championships.
The spectators watched Isaac Makwala (BOT) run a solo 200m, to see if he was fast enough to join the rest of the field in the 200m Semi Finals. He was, and two hours later he finished second fastest of the qualifiers. See how he can go with a day’s rest. All eyes will be on Isaac, Wayde Van Niekerk and the American Isiah Young. Promises to be a fantastic spectacle with all of the world watching. Makwala is good at backing up. Earlier this year he ran under 44.00 seconds for the 400m (43.92) and under 20.00 seconds for the 200m (19.77) on the same day – 75 minutes apart.
The M 400m H produced a stunning upset, with Norway’s Karsten Warholm winning in 48.35 seconds. An equally stunning result in the next race, the W 400m Final, saw Olympic Champion, Shaunae Miller-Uibo (BAH) leading with only metres to go and then inexplicably stumbling and slowing down to let Phyllis Francis (USA) win in a PB of 49.82 seconds. Shaunae finished in 4th position.
The list of post-Olympic-year surprises and upsets continues.
The Women’s 400m Hurdles was won by Kori Carter (USA) with a time of 53.07 seconds just a little more than 4/10th of a second ahead of the reigning Olympic Champ, Dalilah Muhammed, also of the USA.
One of the most eagerly anticipated races was the final of the Men’s 200m, with the showdown between the new superstar of World Athletics, Wayde Van Niekerk (RSA) and Botswana’s Isaac Makwala, who has the fastest time in the world this year – 19.77 seconds. And the winner was Azerbaijan-born Ramil Guliyev representing Turkey in the time of 20.09 seconds, marginally ahead of Wayde Van Niekerk. Makwala finished in 6th position.
The Olympic form-guide ran true, however, in the Men’s Triple Jump. The gold medal winner from Rio, Christian Taylor (USA) narrowly won the event from compatriot Will Claye (silver in Rio) 17.68m to 17.63m.
In the Men’s 1500m heats, three Oceania athletes qualified for the semi finals – Luke Mathews (AUS), Nick Willis (NZL) and Jordan Williamsz (AUS). With many of the races being slow and tactical, Luke finished as the fastest qualifier – 3:38.19. Olympic Champion, Matt Centrowitz (USA) has the 37th fastest time (3:48.34) but it was still faster than his gold medal time from Rio (3:50.00).
In the Women’s 200m Semi-Finals 1/100th of a second separated the fastest three qualifiers. Dafne Schippers (NED) 22.49 seconds, Shaunae Miller-Uibo (BAH) 22.49, and Marie-Josée Ta-Lou (CIV) 22.50 seconds. Expect a dynamite final tomorrow, as Dafne tries to defend her title from Beijing 2015.