Thu | Aug 13, 2020

The Lawrence List |Top 5 Performances in Doha

Published:Sunday | October 13, 2019 | 5:54 AM
Mutaz Essa Barshim
Mutaz Essa Barshim

In a meet that produced 11 world-leading performances in individual events, there was plenty to fascinate fans at the 17th World Championships in Doha. Atop the list was a world record in the women’s 400 metre hurdles by America’s Dalilah Muhammad. The top five performances were spread across both track and field.

1. Majestic Muhammad

Even after she set a world record – 52.20 seconds – to win the US Nationals, Dahliah Muhammad had to suffer through talk that her young, gifted and fast compatriot Sydney McLaughlin would beat her in Doha. Muhammad, the Olympic champion in 2016, banished that talk to the backroom in the final. McLaughlin sizzled home in 52.23 seconds but that wasn’t good enough to win. In a contest that saw Jamaica’s Rushell Clayton get third place, Muhammad ran a perfect race to cut her record to 52.16!

2. Good King Muta!

This performance didn’t ask the record keepers to reach for their pens, but Qatar’s Mutaz Essa Barshim flew over a year of ankle injuries and the field to defend home court in the high jump. He was almost out with one do-or-die attempt left at 2.33 metres, but the hometown hero boomed over and kept going until he was the last man standing. For good measure, the winning jump of 2.37m was the best jump of the year.

3. High Speed Upset by Naser

If Salwa Eid Naser had upset 400 metre favourite Bahamian Shaunae Miller-Uibo with a moderate time, one could conclude that illness or injury had interfered. That wasn’t the case in Doha as Naser stepped smartly to the third fastest 400m of all time – 48.14 seconds. Miller-Uibo didn’t go meekly as her long legs gobbled up ground fast enough to make her the sixth fastest woman of all time at 48.37 seconds.

4. Shots of Mighty

New Zealand’s Tom Walsh set his stall out early in the men’s shot put final. Not long after Olympic champion Ryan Crouser zapped his first throw out to 22.36 metres, the 2017 winner produced the fifth longest putt in history, 22.90 metres. In a mind boggling last round, Crouser matched Walsh with a 22.90m of his own. Did any of them win? No! 2015 champion Joe Kovacs shot past them to joint number 4 on the all time list with a massive winner of 22.91 metres. It was spellbinding!

Lost in the cannonball fire was Pan-Am champion Darlan Romani of Brazil. He placed fourth but at every other World Championship, his distance of 22.53 metres would have been more than enough to win.

5. Double Dutch Sifan

Sifan Hassan would have done enough for Holland if she had gone home after winning the 10,000 metres in Doha. Instead, she stayed in Doha long enough to complete a unique double. She divested the sensational Kenyan Faith Kipyegon of her world title in the 1500 metres in a sizzling time of 3 minutes 51.95 seconds. That’s number 6 on the all-time list.