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IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019: Coleman sends early 100M message

Christian Coleman

Bengaluru/Doha, September 28: Christian Coleman showed ominous form in the men's 100 metres heats on the opening day of the World Athletics Championships in Doha.

The American was the only man to run under 10 seconds on Friday and could have gone even quicker having jogged over the line in the closing metres.

Coleman, a silver medallist in London two years ago, is the overwhelming favourite to win gold in Saturday's final and will take some stopping on the early evidence.

Karsten Warholm and Rai Benjamin's began their battle in the men's 400m hurdles, while there was a moment of sportsmanship to remember in the men's 5,000m and a dramatic disqualification.

COLEMAN SETS THE MARK

Coleman, the fastest man over 100m this year, headed to Doha after a turbulent few months in which the US Anti-Doping Agency charged him over failing to "properly file his whereabouts information" after allegedly missing three random tests in 12 months, before withdrawing the case.

But the American, who insisted this month that he will never fail a drugs test, was clearly not distracted and ran 9.98sec in his heat.

Compatriot Justin Gatlin, the defending world champion who has gone under 10 seconds four times at the age of 37 this year, defeated Olympic 100m bronze medallist Andre De Grasse in his heat with a time of 10.06secs, while South Africa's Akani Simbine and Jamaican Yohan Blake were among the other winners.

WARHOLM-BENJAMIN SHOWDOWN ON COURSE

Last month Warholm ran the second-fastest 400m hurdles time in history in a thrilling race against Benjamin, with two men going under 47 seconds in the same contest for the first time.

The Norwegian will have designs on the world record, but Benjamin is ready to push his rival all the way. Both men cruised through their respective heats on Friday.

GOULE CRUISES THROUGH

Jamaica's Natoya Goule has designs on women's 800m gold in the absence of Caster Semenya, but Winnie Nanyondo set the fastest time in the heats. Ajee Wilson is also a Doha contender but will need to improve, having qualified 11th fastest.

As many as 17 athletes progressed from women's qualifying to reach Sunday's pole vault final, while eight women produced clearances of 1.94m in the high jump as 12 advanced to Monday's final.

In men's triple jump qualifying, Portugal's Pedro Pichardo produced an impressive 17.38m with his first attempt, setting a standard that went unsurpassed.

HIGHLIGHT: DABO LENDS BUSBY A HAND

Braima Suncar Dabo and Jonathan Busby were two names heading into Doha that were not recognised around the world.

But the sign of Guinea-Bissau athlete Dabo helping his struggling rival from Aruba over the line in the closing stages of their 5,000m heat is one that will last long in the memory.

In the other heat, Paul Chelimo was the fastest man overall and the Olympic silver medallist was in confident mood as his race concluded.

Even more impressive was the fact the Kenya-born American athlete finished the race with just one shoe!

But it was not a good day for teenage European champion Jakob Ingebrigtsen, who was disqualified from the 5,000m for stepping inside the rail.

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Story first published: Saturday, September 28, 2019, 0:50 [IST]
Other articles published on Sep 28, 2019
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