Japan will be opening a brand new National Stadium for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo on December 21 and former sprinter, the world’s fastest ever man, Jamaica’s Usain Bolt will be headlining its launch.

While the details are still sketchy, Bolt is expected to be running again in “a new type of race that has never existed before.”

Bolt, the world record holder over 100 and 200 metres, made the Olympics his stage when he won both events in Beijing in 2008, in London in 2012, and in Rio in 2016.

Bolt will be joined by Japanese performing arts group Kodo.

Also part of the inauguration will be the Tohoku Kizuna festival.

The New National Stadium will host the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2020 Olympics, as well as athletics and football tournaments at throughout. It will also host the Paralympics.

The first official sports event at the stadium will be the Japanese emperor’s cup on January 1, 2020.

Lawyers representing the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) are proceeding to initiate legal action against noted attorney Dr Emir Crowne after the latter refused to apologize for alleged defamatory comments he made about the commission in  August this year.

IAAF President Sebastian Coe has described the IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019 as the best in history in terms of the quality and depth of performances produced by the athletes of more than 200 nations.

Speaking after the final evening session last Sunday, Coe noted that six championship records had been set, 43 countries had won medals, and athletes from 68 different nations had achieved at least one top-eight placing. There have been 21 area records – double the number from 2017 – and 86 national records have been broken, underlining the global reach of the sport.

“For those who follow our sport closely, you will know that we rank our championships on the performances of the athletes,” Coe said. “It is how we, the athletes and the coaches measure our success.

“The world’s athletes have put on the best show in the history of the IAAF World Athletics Championships, according to the competition performance rankings which are used as an objective measure of the quality of international competition.

“These performances are incredible but credit must also go to the facilities and conditions provided by the host country. Doha has created conditions on the field of play and in the warm up that are unsurpassed.

“We are proud of the fact we reach more countries than any other sport,” added Coe. “Just look at the breadth and depth – 43 countries on the medals table and 86 national records set. We want our athletes to experience different cultures and different conditions. It’s what makes our sport so accessible.”

Dahlan Al Hamad, Vice President of the local organising committee, was delighted to see Qatar’s dreams become reality.

“Our dream started in 1997 when we organised the first meeting in this stadium,” he said. “After that, we kept hosting many meets until 2000 when we organised the Grand Prix Final. We continued our journey in 2010 when we organised the World Indoor Championships in the nearby Aspire Dome. We also organised the Diamond League meeting here and it was really good.

“We are thrilled we have been able to expand. There are generations here who are hungry to have this kind of sporting event here. Qatar is a nation of more than 100 communities. They have been able to celebrate their athletes from all around the world.”

 

Top ranked World Championships

Based on the IAAF competition performance rankings, used to rank the quality of competitions, the IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019 tops the list of all World Championships to date.

 

Taking the best five results and athletes from the best 24 events, the top five editions are:

 

  1. 2019, Doha – 195,869
  2. 2015, Beijing – 194,547
  3. 2017, London – 193,426
  4. 2013, Moscow – 192,664
  5. 2009, Berlin – 191,168

 

Based on the average scores of all track and field results, the top five editions are:

 

  1. 2019, Doha – 1024.75
  2. 2017, London – 1012.84
  3. 1999, Seville – 1007.98
  4. 2015, Beijing – 1004.78
  5. 2009, Berlin – 1004.55

 

There have been many outstanding performances over the 10 days of competition with unprecedented depth in many of the finals. Based on the IAAF scoring tables, the top five men’s and women’s performances are:

 

MEN

22.91m Joe Kovacs (USA) shot put – 1295pts

22.90m Tom Walsh (NZL) shot put – 1294pts

22.90m Ryan Crouser (USA) shot put – 1294pts

9.76 Christian Coleman (USA) 100m – 1291pts

43.48 Steven Gardiner (BAH) 400m – 1289pts

 

WOMEN

7.30m Malaika Mihambo (GER) long jump – 1288pts

48.14 Salwa Eid Naser (BRN) 400m – 1281pts

48.37 Shaunae Miller-Uibo (BAH) 400m – 1272pts

3:51.95 Sifan Hassan (NED) 1500m – 1271pts

6981 Katarina Johnson-Thompson (GBR) heptathlon – 1269pts

 

The championships have not just been about record-breaking performances, though. This edition will also be remembered for its close finishes, surprise winners, moments of fair play, and the arrival of the next generation of athletics stars.

USA’s 200m winner Noah Lyles and Germany’s decathlon victor Niklas Kaul became the youngest ever world champions in their respective events. Ukraine’s Yaroslava Mahuchikh twice broke the world U20 record on her way to the silver medal in the high jump. She was one of several athletes born in or after the year 2000 who earned medals, along with Ethiopian duo Selemon Barega and Lemecha Girma and Bahrain’s Musa Isah.

The innovations – including light shows, new camera angles and increased engagement with athletes – have helped the sport reach a younger audience around the world.

Nike has decided to close down the Oregon Project less than a fortnight after coach Alberto Salazar was banned from athletics for four years.

The United States Anti-Doping Agency sanctioned Salazar, former coach of long-distance great Mo Farah, at the start of this month after he was found guilty of multiple anti-doping violations.

Nike on Friday confirmed it will continue to back Salazar with his appeal, but the Oregon Project will be brought to an end.

A company spokesperson said: "Nike has always tried to put the athlete and their needs at the front of all of our decisions.

"While the panel found there was no orchestrated doping, no finding that performance enhancing drugs have ever been used on Oregon Project athletes and went out of its way to note Alberto's desire to follow all rules, ultimately Alberto can no longer coach while the appeal is pending.

"This situation including uninformed innuendo and unsubstantiated assertions has become an unfair burden for current OP athletes. That is exactly counter to the purpose of the team.

"We have therefore made the decision to wind down the Oregon Project to allow the athletes to focus on their training and competition needs.

"We will help all of our athletes in this transition as they choose the coaching set-up that is right for them. We will continue to support Alberto in his appeal."

Japanese athlete Suguru Osako, who joined the Oregon Project four years ago, expressed his disappointment over the decision.

He tweeted: "I am sad that the dear team that made me stronger will be gone. But I will keep exploring myself and I will continue being myself.

"As Nike has expressed their commitment to continuing support as they have, my activities will not be disrupted at all."

In looking back at what they describe as an amazing IAAF World Championships of Athletics, The Commentators have come up on a question. Is Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, after adding two gold medals to her World Championships tally, the greatest female track athlete of all time?

Nia Ali was crowned 100 metres hurdles champion, while Joshua Cheptegei and Timothy Cheruiyot struck gold on the track on the final day of the World Athletics Championships in Doha.

Ali ran a personal best 12.34 seconds to take the title ahead of fellow American Kendra Harrison, with Daniella Williams claiming silver for Jamaica on Sunday.

Uganda's world cross country champion Cheptegei stayed ahead of a strong field to win the 10,000m on the last evening of action in Qatar, while Kenyan Cheruiyot became the new 1500m champion.

There was long jump gold for German favourite Malaika Mihambo, who leaped a world-leading 7.30m, and Anderson Peters of Grenada became the first man from the Americas to be crowned world javelin champion.

The USA ended the competition with back-to-back 4x400m relay triumphs and finished top of the medal table with 29 – 14 of those being gold – ahead of Kenya, with 11 medals and five titles.

 

ALI INSPIRED BY OTHER MOTHERS

Olympic silver medallist Ali emulated Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Allyson Felix and Liu Hong in winning gold within a couple of years of giving birth.

Ali, who has a four-year-old son and a one-year-old daughter, took inspiration from seeing other athletes be successful at the highest level after becoming a mother.

The two-time world indoor champion said: "This is super special. I have never won an outdoor world title, I am ecstatic.

"Shelly-Ann, Allyson, all the ladies who have come back from child birth are an inspiration for me and I am so excited to be able to pull of the world title."

 

CHEPTEGEI AND CHERUIYOT GO ONE BETTER

Cheptegei and Cheruiyot had to settle for silver in London two years ago, but went one better on this occasion.

There was always going to be a new 10,000m champion after Mo Farah ended his track career and it was Cheptegei who came away from Yomif Kejelcha on the final lap to cross the line in 26:46.37 - the second-fastest time in World Championship history.

Cheruiyot was in front from the gun to take in the 1500m and burst away to finish two seconds clear of 2012 Olympic champion Taoufik Makhloufi.

 

MIHAMBO LEAPS INTO NEW GROUND

The strongly fancied Mihambo was down in seventh after the second round of the long jump final, but leapt into the lead with a third jump of 7.30m.

Only the great Jackie Joyner-Kersee has been beyond that distance at a World Championships and that jump put the 25-year-old German just a centimetre short of the all-time top 10 leaps.

Maryna Bekh-Romanchuk of Ukraine and Nigerian Ese Brume won silver and gold respectively. 

 

RELAY DOUBLE FOR USA

The USA ended another superb Championships on a high note with a relay double – the women coming home well clear of Poland and Jamaica taking bronze.

Jamaica had to settle for silver behind the USA's men's quartet, while the Belgium also got on the podium.

Anderson Peters became only the second athlete in history to claim a gold medal for Grenada at the IAAF World Championships after claiming gold in the men’s Javelin on Sunday.

Jamaica Diamond League champion Danielle Williams held on for bronze behind the United States duo of Kendra Harrison and Nia Ali in the women’s 100m hurdles final on Sunday.

Williams, who had one of the best seasons of her career, entered the final as the favourite but finished third in 12.47.  Ali, who finished behind Williams with a personal best of 12.44 in the first semifinal, went on to smash that mark after claiming the gold medal in 12.34.

Kendra Harrison, the world record holder, was third after finishing behind Ali in 12.46.  Williams got away from the blocks well but never managed to pull away from a fast field and seemed to really feel the pressure with a slight wobble at the 6th hurdle.  Ali in the meantime put on a superb display of speed and near flawless hurdling.

The other Jamaicans in the race Janeek Brown and Megan Tapper ended at the back of the field.  Brown finished seventh in a time of 12.88 while Tapper did not finish, having failed to recover after crashing into the third hurdle.

Jamaica’s Shanieka Ricketts, who fulfilled the promise of an excellent season by mining silver at the IAAF World Championships of Athletics points out that her rise to the podium was a long time in coming and therefore satisfying.

“I am very pleased, this is my third World Championships and the first time I am standing on a podium so I am pleased,” she told Trackalerts TV in an interview after her historic feat.

Ricketts became the first Jamaican woman to mine a silver medal at in the triple jump at the World Championships after a leap of 14.92 metres put her second to Venezuela’s Yulimar Rojas, whose 15.37 could not be challenged.

The Jamaican also finished ahead of a legend of the triple jump in Colombia’s Caterine Ibarguen, 14.73, and the personal best of her fourth-placed teammate, the veteran Kimberly Williams, 14.64.

“There’ve been so many disappointments in years gone by and to finally deliver on the world stage makes me very happy,” said Ricketts.

Despite the long time in coming, Ricketts is not resting on her laurels and believes there is more she can do still.

“In some of the jumps I was having a little trouble with my third phase,” she said, thinking back to what she could have done better and what she needs to improve going forward.

“Despite that, there is not much really to complain about tonight,” she said.

Ricketts is also very aware that she has not achieved her lofty heights alone and that her successes have everything to do with those who have supported her.

“I have an amazing team. It’s been my husband [Kerry Lee Ricketts], Mr Peart, Brad yap, My chiropractor, they’ve all done a fantastic job of making sure I peak at the right times and that showed in my performances this year,” she said.

Ricketts produced a high-level series during her silver-medal run.

She had distances of 14.81, 14.76, 14.92, 14.72, 14.82, and a no jump and explained what led to the consistency in the distances and even the no jump after sher silver medal had already been sewn up.

“I wanted to give it my all. I was still trying to jump 15 metres,” she said.

Jamaica’s men, like their women in the 4x400-metre final in Doha, Qatar on Sunday look for all intents set to come off second best after heats on Saturday, the penultimate day of the IAAF World Championships of Athletics painted a very clear picture.

Running in heat two of the event, the Jamaican team of Akeem Bloomfield, Nathon Allen, Terry Ricardo Thomas, and Javon Francis, clocked 3:00.76 seconds to win ahead of Belgium, 3:00.87, and Trinidad and Tobago, 3:01.35.

The makeup of the Jamaican team may improve that time with 400-metre fourth-place finisher Demish Gaye still to come in, however, heat one with a United States team, including Tyrell Richard, Vernon Norwood, Wilbert London, and Nathan Strother, was much faster, clocking 2:59.89 seconds to win by a city block.

The next team, Colombia, finished in 3:01.06 a new national record, while Italy’s 3:01.60 was good enough for third and a spot in the final.

There was one non-automatic qualifier in each of the heats, with Great Britain and Northern Ireland holding onto one with a time of 3:01.96 seconds and France, 3:01.40, the other.

The US team still has the luxury of using Fred Kerley and Michael Norman, two of the fastest men over 400 metres in the world.

The other Caribbean interest is the T&T team of Asa Guevera, Jereem Richards, Darren Alfred,  and Deon Lendore. While the time of 3:01.35 was not impressive, the addition of Machel Cedenio in the final may mean that team gets in the mix for a medal. Cedenio looked impressive in qualifying for the final of the individual 400, but faded badly under a blistering pace set by the Bahamas Steven Gardiner, but his quality in a relay is notorious.

The final of the men’s 4x400 takes place on Sunday at 1:30pm.

Lelisa Desisa became the first Ethiopian since 2001 to win the men's marathon at the World Athletics Championships with a tight victory in Doha.

Desisa, the 2013 silver medallist in Moscow, held off compatriot Mosinet Geremew by four seconds to claim the biggest gold of his career.

The 29-year-old, a winner of numerous World Marathon Majors, won in two hours, 10 minutes and 40 seconds, beating Geremew and Kenya's Amos Kipruto.

Desisa is the first Ethiopian man to win the marathon at the world championships since Gezahegne Abera in Edmonton 18 years ago.

"It was hot, but I prepared perfectly for this race," Lelisa said, via the IAAF, after the event, which started just before midnight local time.

"I am very tired, but after I took silver in Moscow, this time I kept my power better."

Brit Callum Hawkins again fell short of a medal, finishing fourth, just as he did in London two years ago.

The United States will go into tomorrow’s IAAF World Championships of Athletics Women’s 4x400-metre finals as understandable favourites after bettering the qualification of Jamaica’s team by more than half a second.

During Saturday’s penultimate day, the Jamaican team of Roneisha McGregor, Anastasia Le-Roy, Tiffany James, and Stephenie-Ann McPherson clocked a world lead, 3:23.67 seconds to win heat one of the 4x400s.

The Jamaicans beat back the challenge of Poland, 3:25.78, and Canada, 3:25.86. Fourth in the heat were the Netherlands, who qualified in a non-automatic spot with a time of 3:27.48 seconds.

While that team may strengthen for Sunday’s final, the race was tight until the final leg where McPherson showed her class in pulling away from her rivals and the second heat put things in perspective.

Jamaica’s World Lead would only last five minutes, as the United States won the second in 3:22.96, the team of Jessica Beard, Allyson Felix, Kendal Ellis, and Courtney Okolo stamping their authority on an event they have rarely lost.

That team, which will also strengthen, was far better than a chasing pack with no close encounters anywhere. Great Britain and Northern Ireland led that chasing pack to clock 3:24.99 seconds, while the Ukraine were third in 3:26.57 seconds. There was one non-automatic qualifier in the heat, as Belgium ran 3:26.58 seconds for fourth.

The finals take place on Sunday at 1:15 pm Jamaica time.

Former Olympic Champion Trinidad & Tobago’s Keshorn Walcott and Grenada’s Anderson Peters are set for a showdown for medal placings after the heats of the Javelin at the IAAF World Championships of Athletics in Doha, Qatar.

Peters, solidly on the rise in the javelin, took two attempts to get past the automatic qualification mark throwing the javelin out to 85.34 metres after an 82.06 loosener.

Walcott threw less, his automatic qualification throw reaching out to 84.44 metres, but he never bothered with a loosener, taking one effort before heading back for an early shower.

Seven men threw the automatic qualification mark of 84 metres with only Germany’s Johannes Vetter with 89.35 and Estonia’s Magnus Kirt, 88.36, doing any better than Peters.

Walcott is fifth on the list of automatic qualifiers with Sweden’s Im Amb, 84.85, splitting the Caribbean men.

There was also quite a bit of drama after Walcott and Peters had made their exits with a number of would-be medal contenders failing to get through qualifying.

Among the carnage were the German pair of Andreas Hofmann, 80.06, and Olympic champion, Thomas Röhler, 79.23.

The rivalry between Walcott and Peters began in August when the former, now a permanent name among the best throwers in the world, was surprised at the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru where he earned a silver after throwing 83.55 metres to the latter’s 87.31.

The throw put Peters among the medal hopefuls for the World Championships and his performance in the heats suggests he is in good shap, despite never throwing over 90 metres like his more seasoned opponents.

The javelin final takes place on tomorrow morning's final day.

Jamaica’s female sprinters lived up to the billing of favourites in the 4x100 relay at the IAAF World Championships of Athletics in Doha, Qatar on Saturday despite missing double Olympic champion Elaine Thompson among their ranks.

Sifan Hassan completed an unprecedented double after winning 1500 metres gold, while Joe Kovacs was crowned shot put champion in a dramatic World Athletics Championships final in Doha on Saturday.

Hassan made history by becoming the first woman to win the 1500m and 10,000m titles in the same World Championships.

The Dutchwoman set a new championship record time of three minutes, 51.95 seconds on the penultimate day of competition in Qatar.

Kovacs won the shot put title by the barest of margins for the United States, while Hellen Obiri successfully defended her 5,000m crown in a championship record time of 14:26.72.

Venezuela's Yulimar Rojas also remained champion of the world in the triple jump on another thrilling night of action at Khalifa International Stadium.

 

DOUBLE DUTCH - HASSAN KICKS AWAY TO MAKE HISTORY

Hassan was not far off shattering the world record after surging away from her rivals in a rapid final a week after her 10,000m triumph.

The 26-year-old, whose coach Alberto Salazar was banned for four years after being found guilty of doping violations this week, attacked at the bell and there was no catching her as she kicked away for more glory.

Kenya's Olympic champion Faith Kipyegon took silver in a national record 3:54.22, two years after winning gold in London, with Gudaf Tsegay filling the podium for Ethiopia.

 

KOVACS WINS SHOT BY A CENTIMETRE

There was huge tension in the shot put final as American Kovacs produced the third longest throw of all time to edge out Ryan Crouser and Tomas Walsh to strike gold.

New Zealander Walsh threw a personal best 22.90m - a championship record for a short time - with his first throw to give himself a strong chance of retaining his title.

It was not to be for Walsh, though, as Kovacs recorded a mammoth 22.91 before Crouser fell agonising short with a personal best of his own of 22.90.

A series of no-throws from Walsh meant the USA took gold and silver in a hugely tense final.

 

OBIRI AND ROJAS STAY ON TOP OF THE WORLD

Kenya claimed gold and silver in the women's 5,000m final as Obiri shattered the championship record to retain her crown in 14:26.72.

Margaret Chelimo Kipkemboi ran a personal best 14:27.49 to take silver ahead of Germany's Konstanze Klosterhalfen

It was another day to remember for triple jump star Rojas, who remains the world champion following a leap of 15.37m. Jamaican Shanieka Ricketts and Caterine Ibarguen of Colombia secured silver and bronze respectively. 

 

JAMAICA AND USA TAKE RELAY GOLD

There was gold for Jamaica ahead of Great Britain and the USA in the women's 4x100m relay.

USA then struck gold in the men's 4x100m final, with Great Britain sealing another silver and Japan bronze.

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