Fraser-Pryce & Felix Seal Record Gold; Liu Leads Chi­nese Sweep In 20km Race Walk Late starts blamed for empty sta­dium

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times Sport - 20Km Race Walk: 4x400m Re­lay: 1. USA (3:09.34s WR), 2. Ja­maica (3:11.78), 3. Bahrain (3:11.82)....7. In­dia (3:15.77s)

Doha: Ja­maican sprint queen Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce surged to an un­prece­dented fourth 100m crown and US leg­end Allyson Felix broke Usain Bolt’s gold medal record tally as the re­turn­ing new moth­ers lit up the World Cham­pi­onships here. Fraser-Pryce and Felix, both rac­ing in their first ma­jor cham­pi­onships since tak­ing time off from the sport to have chil­dren, lit up a pul­sat­ing day three of com­pe­ti­tion even if the ac­tion was played out in­side a nearempty Khal­ifa Sta­dium on Sun­day.

The 32-year-old Fraser-Pryce, who skipped the 2017 cham­pi­onships to give birth to her first child, de­liv­ered a barn­storm­ing run to take the 100m in 10.71sec.

Bri­tain’s Dina Asher-Smith took sil­ver with a time of 10.83sec while Ivory Coast’s Marie-Josee Ta Lou claimed bronze in 10.90sec.

Fraser-Pryce was in con­trol from the gun, rock­et­ing out of the blocks and tak­ing the lead in the open­ing 20 me­tres. From that point there was only go­ing to be one win­ner, and the vet­eran Ja­maican swept over the line ma­jes­ti­cally to add to the world ti­tles won in 2009, 2013 and 2015 be­fore set­ting off on a vic­tory lap car­ry­ing her two-year-old son Zyon.

The two-time Olympic cham­pion’s dom­i­nant dis­play was the high­light of Day Three which also saw US track queen Felix win a record 12th World Cham­pi­onship gold medal. Felix only re­turned to the sport in July af­ter a 13-month lay­off which saw her give birth to her daugh­ter Cam­ryn by emer­gency C-sec­tion last Novem­ber.

The 33-year-old, who failed to qual­ify for the in­di­vid­ual 400m event in Doha, took gold in the 4x400m mixed re­lay as the United States mo­tored to vic­tory in a world record time of 3min 09.34sec.

Felix’s 12th gold medal broke Ja­maican leg­end Bolt’s record tally of 11 World Cham­pi­onship gold medals. Over­all, Felix now has an in­cred­i­ble 26 medals, a daz­zling haul that also in­cludes six Olympic gold.

Felix, com­pet­ing in her ninth straight Worlds, has ac­cu­mu­lated more World Cham­pi­onship and Olympic hon­ours than any other track and field ath­lete in his­tory.

“So spe­cial, to have my daugh­ter here watch­ing means the world to me,” Felix said af­ter­wards.

There was an­other vic­tory for a re­turn­ing mother in the fi­nal event of the day, the women’s 20km race walk, where China’s 2016 Olympic cham­pion Liu Hong won gold.

Liu, 32, who took a ma­ter­nity break from 2017-2018, shrugged off steamy heat and hu­mid­ity to lead a Chi­nese sweep of the medals in 1hr 32min 53sec and se­cure her third world ti­tle. Qieyang Shen­jie took sil­ver in 1:33:10 while com­pa­triot Yang Li­u­jing won bronze in 1:33:17.

Triple jump king Chris­tian Tay­lor com­pleted a su­perb hat-trick of World Cham­pi­onship ti­tles af­ter


MEN: Triple jump: 1. Chris­tian Tay­lor (USA, 17.92m), 2. Will Claye (USA, 17.74), 3. Hugues Fabrice Zango (Bur, 17.66). WOMEN: 100m: 1. Shelly-Ann FraserPryc­e (Jam, 10,71s), 2. Dina Ash­erSmith (Gbr, 10.83), 3. Marie-Josee Ta Lou (Civ, 10.9).

Pole vault: 1. Anzhe­lika Si­dorova

sur­viv­ing near elim­i­na­tion in a nerve-jan­gling fi­nal.

The two-time Olympic cham­pion clinched gold with a leap of 17.92m. His com­pa­triot Will Claye took sil­ver while Burk­ina Faso’s Hugues Fabrice Zango claimed bronze. In women’s pole vault, Anzhe­lika Si­dorova — com­pet­ing un­der the Au­tho­rised Neu­tral Ath­lete ban­ner — won with a vault of 4.95 me­tres.

(Ana, 4.95m), 2. Sandi Mor­ris (USA, 4.90), 3. Ka­te­rina Ste­fanidi (Gre, 4.85).

1. Hong Liu (Chn, 1:32.53s), 2. Shen­jie Qieyang (Chn, 1:33.10), 3. Liu Jing Yang (Chn, 1:33.17).

MIXED: Doha: The em­bar­rass­ingly low at­ten­dance at the world ath­let­ics cham­pi­onships was blamed on late start times and a block­ade of the coun­try by other na­tions in the re­gion by the event’s or­gan­is­ers on Mon­day.

Ath­letes, pun­dits and global TV au­di­ences have widely crit­i­cised the poor turnout at the Khal­ifa Sta­dium over the first three days of com­pe­ti­tion.

‘Ath­letes could have died’

Ad­dis Ababa: Dis­tance-run­ning great Haile Ge­brse­lassie says it was a mis­take to hold the world cham­pi­onships in Qatar and that marathon run­ners could have died from the heat. “It was a mis­take to con­duct the cham­pi­onship i n such hot weather in Doha, es­pe­cially the marathon race. As some­one who has been in the sport for many years, I’ve found it un­ac­cept­able,” for­mer marathon worl­drecord holder said. Doha: Top In­dian wo­man javelin thrower Annu Rani qual­i­fied for the fi­nal round of the World Ath­let­ics Cham­pi­onships by smash­ing her own na­tional record here on Mon­day. The 27- year- old Annu sent the iron spear to a dis­tance of 62.43m in her sec­ond round throw, bet­ter­ing her ear­lier na­tional record of 62.34m, which she achieved in March, to book a place for Tues­day’s fi­nals.

In the process, Annu be­came the first In­dian to reach the fi­nals of the women’s javelin throw in the World Cham­pi­onships. The ath­lete from Meerut fin­ished third in Group A and qual­i­fied for the fi­nals as the fifth best per­former of the qual­i­fi­ca­tion round.

Only two javelin throw­ers, Asian cham­pion Lyu Hui­hui (67.27m) of China a nd Christin Hus­song (65.29m) of Ger­many, could cross the au­to­matic qual­i­fi­ca­tion mark of 63.50m while an­other 10, in­clud­ing Annu, made up the 12, who will com­pete in the fi­nals. Annu opened with a 57.05m be­fore com­ing up with her ca­reerbest throw in the sec­ond at­tempt. She had a 60.50m in her third and fi­nal throw.

World leader and Asian Games cham­pion Liu Shiy­ing (63.48m) of China and Ratej Martina (62.87m) of Slove­nia fin­ished ahead of Annu in Group A, while reign­ing Olympic cham­pion Sara Ko­lak of Croa­tia was sixth with a best throw of 60.99m.

The other two Indians who com­peted on Mon­day, Ar­chana Susheen­dran and An­jali Devi, failed to go past the first round in the women’s 200m and 400m, re­spec­tively.

In­dia fin­ish 7th in mixed re­lay

Doha: The In­dian 4x400m mixed re­lay team fin­ished sev­enth in the fi­nal with a sea­son best ef­fort here. The team of Muhammed Anas, VK Vis­maya, Jisna Mathew and Tom Nir mal Noah clocked three min­utes, 15.77 sec­onds to fin­ish sev­enth in the field of eight coun­tries on Sun­day, just ahead of Brazil.

US took the gold in a world record time of 3:09.34. Ja­maica ( 3: 11.78) and Bahrain (3:11.82) se­cured the sil­ver and bronze re­spec­tively.

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (right) wins the women’s 100m fi­nal


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