American Noah Lyles clinched his first world 200m title in Doha with a clinical 19.83s.
Despite winning the Diamond League 100m title, Lyles had opted put of the 100m to concentrate on wining the longer sprint.
His time in the final was not as good as his personal best of 19.50 but it cemented his position as the best runner over the distance.
The 22-year-old is already fourth on the all-time list behind world record holder Usain Bolt, on 19.19, Bolt’s Jamaican compatriot Yohan Blake, on 19.26, and fellow countryman Michael Johnson, on 19.32.
It was silver once again for Rio 2016 silver medalist Andre De Grasse. The Canadian confirmed his return from longstanding hamstring injury problems by taking silver in 19.95, ahead of the hugely consistent Alex Quinonez of Equador.
“So many times this year I’ve thought of being world champion, you wouldn’t believe it. I have on my phone, I say it to myself in my car, I think it all the time – and finally to have done it feels unbelievable.”
“I don’t know how many people come to their first World Championships and get the gold, but I’ve done it. I just knew that no matter what position I found myself in I can always find a way to come through. And when I crossed the line I just felt relief.
“Don’t say I’m the new Bolt. I’m me. If you like me I’ll happily entertain you. It’s my time,” said Lyles.
It was a huge disappointment for Briton Adam Gemili, who only finished fourth having headed the field into the finishing straight.
Brazier’s gold in record run
It was another American youngster, who ran away with the gold in the 800m. Twenty-two year old Donavan Brazier took home his first major 800m medal in a a time of 1:42.34.
In taking the gold, he also broke the 32-year-old Championship and 34-year-old United States records. He also became the first US 800m runner – male or female – to win the world title.
His time bettered his previous best of 1:42.70, set in winning the Diamond League title in Zurich on 29 August, and also eclipsed the Championship mark of 1.43.06 set by Kenya’s Billy Konchellah at the 1987 version of this event in Rome, and Johnny Gray’s US record of 1:42.60 set at Koblenz in 1985.
After the field had reached the bell in 48.96, led through by Puerto Rico’s Wesley Vazquez, Brazier moved decisively to the front halfway down the back straight and maintained the lead to the line. Vazquez slipped back to fifth place in a time of 1:44.48.
Amel Tuka of Bosnia and Hercegovina accelerated through to claim silver in a season’s best of 1:43.47. Bronze went to Kenya’s Ferguson Rotich, who clocked 1:43.82.
“Wesley’s racing style made for a perfect world championship 800m race. The plan was always to take it on with 300m to go and go from there, no matter what the pace was. I have been listening to my coach (Pete Julian) this entire season. He’s been a great coach to me and I didn’t want to let him down in this last race of the season.
“I’ve said all season that my goal was to get the gold here and break this record, and that’s what I did. It means the world to me. To be world champion at 22-years-old – I can’t believe it.
“To be the first from the US to win a world championship 800m title feels wonderful. I hope I get some love for it back home,” said the jubilant Brazier.
Kendrick defends his title
In men’s pole vault Sam Kendricks became just the second man to successfully defend a world title in the event after a captivating battle with teenage sensation Armand Duplantis.
The pair cleared 5.97m before topping out at 6.02m after a riveting jump-for-jump battle, with Kendricks winning on count-back.
“I am elated, stunned and excited, all at the same time. It’s almost hard to take it in,” said Kendricks, who illustrated yet again how well he competes when the pressure is on. “To have three men over six metres all going for it –the Titans of the event this year– made it such a memorable night. We weren’t dueling as enemies but as rivals and friends,’’ said the American gold medalist.
Indeed, three men who had topped six metres or better this season –Kendricks 6.06m, Piotr Lisek 6.02m and Duplantis 6.00m– were all in the field, promising and evening ripe for drama.
After each missed on their first attempts at 5.87m, Duplantis was the first to sail over with a massive clearance. Lisek quickly followed suit. After two modest attempts, Kendricks finally cleared on his third but found himself trailing in bronze medal position.
But as he’s often done, the defending champion bounced back with a solid first attempt clearance at 5.92m after misses by Duplantis and Lisek, to retake the lead. Duplantis fell shy again on his second attempt, descending too close to the bar. Lisek chose to pass to the next height but Duplantis tried again, this time sailing well clear to move into second.
Duplantis’s first go at 5.97m produced the height, but he hit the bar on his descent. Lisek, with just two attempts left, was even closer, but he too pounded the bar on his way back to earth. Meanwhile, Kendricks’ maiden attempt was the farthest off the mark as he knocked it off the pegs on his ascent.
Duplantis, who let his frustration show after his first miss, showed even more of it after his second. Lisek followed but he too was out of steam, again knocking the bar off on his way down, forced to finish with bronze.
Next up, Kendricks with his second attempt, one that wasn’t especially close, directing the spotlight back on Duplantis who once again put his youthful cool on display with his best jump of the night, nudging the bar on his way down but watching it stay on as he landed.
But Kendricks immediately responded in kind, producing his best vault of the championships with a clean clearance to hold on to the lead and as it turned out, seal the win. He let out a roar as he landed, with the vociferous crowd roaring their approval in return.
6.02m proved a bar too high, thus ending the young Swede’s quest to become just the second teenager after the legendary Sergei Bubka to win the world title.
In the heats
Dina Asher-Smith topped the qualifiers from the women’s 200m semi-finals when she eased to victory in the third semi-final in 22.16s, ahead of US champion Dezerea Bryant (22.56). Gina Bass made history as the first athlete from The Gambia to qualify for a World Championships final, placing third in her semi-final with 22.60 and advancing on time.
The first semi-final saw American Anglerne Annelus taking the win over Switzerland’s Mujinga Kambundji although both runners recorded the same time of 22.49.
Olympic champion Elaine Thompson withdrew from the second semi-final, leaving the path clear from US sprinter Brittany Brown to take top spot in 22.46 and push forward her medal claims.
Tynia Gaither of The Bahamas (22.57) grabbed second to advance to her second successive World Championships 200m final, 0.01 ahead of Bulgaria’s 35-year-old Ivet Lalova-Collio, who progressed on time to the medal race.
The two prime contenders in the women’s 400m – Salwa Eid Naser and Shaunae Miller-Uibo are also through to the finals.
Naser, the Diamond trophy winner stormed to win the first semi-final in 49.79. Defending champion Phyllis Francis registered a season’s best of 50.22 to progress in second as she seeks to become the first athlete to win back-to-back women’s world 400m titles since Cathy Freeman 20 years ago.
Olympic champion Miller-Uibo also looked ridiculously easy on her way to winning semi-final number two. The Bahamian trailed Olympic bronze medalist Shericka Jackson through 250m before gently easing on the power to record 49.66.
A late charge by Wadeline Jonathas enabled the US sprinter to overhaul Jackson to secure the second automatic qualification spot in a personal best of 50.07. Jackson was 0.03 further back but advanced as one of the two fastest times.
Stephenie Ann McPherson won a much slower third semi-final in 50.70. The Jamaican finishing 0.26 clear of European champion Justyna Swiety-Ersetic of Poland who also earns safe passage into the final.
The gold medal prospects the men’s 400m all made relatively light work of the first-round heats.
US champion Fred Kerley conceded defeat to Italy’s Davide Re in heat three but qualified in second place with ease. Kerley put in the hard work around the first 300m before coasting down the home stretch to stop the clock in 45.19 – 0.11 behind Re.
Diamond trophy winner Michael Norman won in 45.00 by 0.02 from Jamaica’s Demish Gaye.
World silver medalist Steven Gardiner of The Bahamas could not have looked any easier in heat five, cruising to victory in 45.68 – 0.21 clear of Canada’s Philip Osei.
The wildcard in the field could be 2011 world and 2012 Olympic champion Kirani James. The Grenadian, competing in only his second race of the year following a succession of injury problems, hinted at his medal potential, easing to victory in heat two in 44.94.
The main casualty of the first round heats was world bronze medalist Abdalelah Haroun. Running in his first 400m of the season, the Qatari wound up a distant sixth in 47.76.
Billed as one of the head-to-head battles of the World Championships, world record-holder Dalilah Muhammad and Diamond trophy winner Sydney McLaughlin both advanced without drama to Wednesday’s semi-finals in the 400m hurdles.
McLaughlin cantered to the heat one win in 54.45 to top the qualifiers ahead of European champion Lea Sprunger (54.98). Muhammad grabbed the No.1 position in heat three in a slightly slower 54.87 but was no less impressive.
World University Games bronze medalist Amalie Iuel impressed as he won heat four in 54.72 and destroying her Norwegian record by 0.43.
Heat two witnessed the end of the road for world champion Kori Carter as the US hurdler quit just beyond halfway when trailing the field.
Mutaz Barshim offered genuine optimism he is in the mood to retain his world high jump title with a flawless performance during qualification. The home hero has been unconvincing in his handful of competitions this year but made four first-time clearances up to and including a season’s best mark of 2.29m.
Two other athletes matched Barshim’s performance as authorised neutral athletes Ilya Ivanyuk and Mikhail Akimenko also boasted a perfect card.
An incident-packed qualification witnessed the end of the road for former world champions Donald Thomas and Bogdan Bondrenko. Other athletes who failed to make the cut included European champion Mateusz Przybylko (2.17m) of Germany, Syria’s world bronze medallist Majd Eddin Ghazal (2.17m) and Diamond trophy winner Andriy Protsenko of Ukraine (2.26m).
Malaysia’s sole representative at the World Athletic Championships is also in the final with a personal best of 2.29. Hup Wei only made it to Doha as a wild card.
In the first round of the men’s 3000m steeplechase defending champion Conseslus Kipruto swaggered to win in 8:19.20 from his fellow Kenyan Benjamin Kigen. He cheekily gave the fans a wave with 200m remaining before chatting and gesticulating to his team mate much of the way down the home straight.
In a high-class heat one, Diamond League winner Getnet Wale, chasing Ethiopia’s maiden World Championship steeplechase medal, edged a tight battle in 8:12.96 – 0.06 clear of Djilali Bedrani of France.
Ethiopian teenager Lemecha Girwa clinched victory in heat two, crossing the line in 8:16.64 comfortably clear of the world leader and world silver medalist Soufiane El Bakkali of Morocco (8.17.96) who banked second.
Seven men exceeded the automatic qualification distance of 76.50m in the men’s hammer with the pick of the bunch Pawel Fajdek, who pummeled the hammer out to 79.24m – making a clear statement he is in the mood to claim a fourth successive world title.
Compatriot and European champion Wojciech Nowicki led the qualifiers from pool A with a first-round effort of 77.89m. Ukrainian teenager Mykhaylo Kokhan (76.56m) also progressed to become the youngest man in history to compete in a World Championship men’s hammer final.