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100-day countdown for Doha World Athletics Championships begins

Mutaz Essa Barshim

Bengaluru/Doha, June 19: The 100-day countdown for International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Athletics Championships Doha 2019 begins on Wedesday (June 19).

The action is heating up across the global athletics landscape, promising a full slate of thrilling competition when the sporting world's attention turns to the renovated Khalifa Internationl Stadium in Qatari capital from September 27 to 6 October.

With Mutaz Essa Barshim, one of Qatar's biggest sporting stars, at the centre of attention, the men's high jump will be among the most eagerly-awaited disciplines on the programme.

The 2017 world athlete of the year was forced to the sidelines with an ankle injury for much of 2018, and is now rounding into form just in time. History's second highest jumper, at 2.43M, is scheduled to return to action at the London leg of the IAAF Diamond League on July 20 in the same stadium where he jumped to the world title two years ago.

Likewise, a pair of his key competitors, Bogdan Bondarenko of Ukraine, the 2013 world champion who topped 2.42M in 2014, and Italy's Gianmarco Tamberi, the 2016 world indoor champion with a 2.39 lifetime best, also appear to be on a successful rebound from injury.

With Qatar's Abderrahman Samba as its chief driving force, the men's 400M hurdles has become one the most exciting events on the international circuit. The IAAF World Championships final on September 30 promises to feature one of the greatest showdowns in the event's history.

The men's flat 400M is also promising fireworks with the anticipated face-off between rising US star Michael Norman, who blazed to a 43.45 personal best in his season's opener in April, and South Africa's Wayde van Niekerk, the reigning world and Olympic champion and world record holder.

On the women's side, Genzebe Dibaba has illustrated that she is once again nearing her form of 2015, the year when she broke the world 1,500M record and later raced to victory at the World Championships.

In the women's sprints, triple European champion Dina Asher-Smith of Great Britain is off to a solid start, clocking 10.94 and 22.18. But so is Jamaica's 2016 double Olympic champion Elaine Thompson, who sped to a 10.89 victory in Rome.

Other protagonists in compelling stories-in-the-making include living hammer throw legend Anita Wlodarcyzk of Poland and Czech Barbora Spotakova, the reigning world champion in the javelin.

(Source: IAAF Media)

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Story first published: Wednesday, June 19, 2019, 15:09 [IST]
Other articles published on Jun 19, 2019
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