|Athletes Dazzle in Persian Gulf|
By Harry Cummins
On the seventh day in Doha, the gods of track and field did not rest!
Running her fifth 400m race this week, 21 year old Salwa Eid Naser of Bahrain upset 2016 Olympic Champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo of the Bahamas and raced to the third fastest time in world history today in capturing the gold medal final at the 2019 World Track and Field Championships in Doha.
Naser's time (48.14) was nearly a full second better than the PR she entered the meet with and was the fastest women's 400 meters since Marita Koch's world record (47.60) set 34 years ago. "This is crazy," the diminutive Naser told reporters after the race at Khalifa International Stadium. Only East Germany's Koch and Jarmilia Kratochvilova of the former Czechoslavakia Republic have run faster than Naser, and both of those performances came when they were over 30 years old and tainted by persistent drug rumors.
Miller-Uibo, 25, finished second in a PR of her own (48.37), and now lays claim to the sixth fastest women's 400m ever run. The top 5 finishers in the race all registered personal bests, including Wadeline Jonathas and Phyllis Francis of the United States, who finished fourth and fifth respectively. Francis was the defending 2017 world champion.
In a meet that has been rocked by the news of Alberto Salazar's 4-year doping ban, the United States has turned in their best World Championship showing ever. Christian Coleman (WL 9.76) and Noah Lyles (19.83) each captured the gold medal in the 100 and 200 meter sprints. Donovan Brazier became the first U.S 800 meter runner, man or woman, to win a global gold since 1972. He did it in style, clocking a new American record of 1:42.34.
Sam Kendricks of the United States became only the second man to ever repeat as world pole vault champion when he soared to a height of 19 feet, 9 inches to win a stirring duel with Mondo Duplantis. Grant Holloway of Florida won his first ever World 110m hurdle title this week in a year he also broke the NCAA record, while Christian Taylor captured his fourth world title in the triple jump.
Finals in the men's and women's 1500 meters and the men's shot put will highlight the closing 3 days of these championships. The top Americans in all 3 events remain in the hunt for medals.
To track purists, this week cannot be spoiled by scandals, sparse attendance, and searing heat in the Middle East. This is one of the great sporting events in the world and now heads to America and Eugene, Oregon, where a glittering new stadium awaits in 2021.
Single day tickets are on sale now.