World Athletics Championships: Great Britain finish with five medals
Britain ended their World Athletics Championships campaign with five medals – their worst total since the three they won at Helsinki 2005.
It appeared as if they would match their tally from 2017 when the women’s 4x400m team were upgraded to bronze after Jamaica’s disqualification.
But it was overturned on appeal as the final day ended in GB disappointment.
Their men’s 4x400m team had earlier failed to finish their race after a changeover error.
The USA won the race as they finished top of the medal table with 14 golds.
Golds for Dina-Asher Smith in the 200m and Katarina Johnson-Thompson in the heptathlon, plus a silver for Asher-Smith in the 100m and two 4x100m silvers meant Britain finished sixth in the table.
The 10-day event, where the spotlight has fallen on some low attendances and the ban for coach Alberto Salazar as much as on the sporting action, ended by being hailed as the “best we have ever had” in terms of athletic performance by IAAF chief Lord Coe.
Great Britain have traditionally won medals in the 4x400m relays at World Championships, but that run came to an end on Sunday.
The British women, medal winners in this event in the past seven editions, struggled in the final.
Laviai Nielsen was fourth when she took the baton on the final leg and could not close the gap on Poland, Jamaica and runaway leaders USA, who took gold.
Britain were temporarily moved into bronze position when Jamaica were disqualified for an issue regarding their changeover position, before that decision was reversed.
“We ran our socks off today, every single one of us. We wanted that medal so, so badly,” said third leg runner Emily Diamond.
“That’s the fastest we’ve run in many years, it surpasses the Olympics, and I think we can be proud of ourselves.”
As for the British men, their final was over when Toby Harries slipped over as he tried to hand over to Rabah Yousif on the third leg. Jamaica took silver and Belgium won bronze.
“It’s a hard pill to swallow having medalled in the past,” said Yousif.
“It was the right time to try something new, it’s a hard lesson to learn but we move on from here.”
Cheruiyot on fire in 1500m final
Elsewhere at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Germany’s European long jump champion Malaika Mihambo added the world title with a magnificent third-round effort of 7.30m – the 12th longest distance of all time.
Ukraine’s European silver medallist Maryna Bekh-Romanchuk came second with 6.92m and Nigeria’s Ese Brume, fifth at Rio 2016, leapt to 6.91m to claim bronze.
Briton Abigail Irozuru, who returned to the sport last season having retired three years ago, finished seventh with 6.64m. Team-mate and Beijing 2015 silver medallist Shara Proctor came 11th.
Timothy Cheruiyot, 23, claimed 1500m gold with one of the best performances of these championships.
The Kenyan, who has won 11 of his last 12 Diamond League races, moved to the front in the opening lap and held that lead to win in three minutes 29.26 seconds.
Algeria’s Taoufik Makhloufi took silver and Poland’s Marcin Lewandowski set a national record of 3:31.46 as he finished in bronze position. Norway’s European champion Jakob Ingebrigtsen was fourth.
There were personal bests for fifth-placed Briton Jake Wightman (3:31.87) and his sixth-placed compatriot Josh Kerr (3:32.52). Wightman’s position was the highest a Briton has finished in this event since Steve Cram and Steve Ovett in 1983. Neil Gourley was 11th.
“I feel I should be celebrating and not disappointed, but I think it was a lot closer than I thought it was going to be for the medals,” said Wightman.
“It would have taken literally a tiny little bit more than I had, but that is the best I could give today and I’m proud of finishing fifth still in that kind of field.
“If you run a PB you can’t complain because I’ve delivered my best performance at the most important time, so I’ll happily take that and work into the winter into next season.”
Grenada’s Peters wins gold as Kirt retires
USA’s Nia Ali, silver medallist at Rio 2016, claimed 100m hurdles gold with a personal best of 12.34 seconds. World record holder and compatriot Kendra Harrison clinched silver ahead of Jamaica’s Danielle Williams.
Grenadian 21-year-old Anderson Peters took javelin gold with 86.89m. Pre-event favourite Magnus Kirt, who has twice thrown further than 90m this year, took silver. The Estonian retired hurt before his sixth throw.
German Johannes Vetter, fourth at the Rio Olympics, won bronze.
Joshua Cheptegei, second to Briton Mo Farah at London 2017, won 10,000m gold in 26 minutes 48.36 seconds.
The Ugandan got the better of Ethiopia’s Yomif Kejelcha in a sprint finish. Kenya’s Rhonex Kipruto clinched bronze.
USA dominate the medal table – and the sprints
With just nine months to go until the Tokyo Olympics, the USA finish these championships with four more gold medals than they won at London 2017.
Their 14 golds were nine more than second-placed Kenya and their total of 29 was almost three times more than any other country managed.
Among the highlights was Dalilah Muhammad improving her own world record in the 400m hurdles – which BBC pundit and former Olympic champion Michael Johnson said was his favourite moment of the championships – and sprinter Allyson Felix breaking Usain Bolt’s record for most World Championship gold medals.
Felix won her 12th in the 4x400m mixed relay and her 13th in the women’s event – although she did not actually race in Sunday’s final – all 11 months after giving birth.
After picking up just one one gold medal in the men’s sprinting events in London two years ago, the Americans head home with five out of a possible seven golds.
It was the largest tally since the six sprinting golds won by the US at the 2007 championships in Osaka, a year before the start of Jamaican Bolt’s decade of dominance at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Christian Coleman, who won the men’s 100m, and 200m winner Noah Lyles put in performances in Doha that suggest they could be the ones to beat for some time to come in a sport that is still searching for the athlete who will take over from the charismatic Bolt as its leading light.
‘Save judgement until after Tokyo’ – analysis
BBC Sport’s Saj Chowdhury in Doha:
Yes, this is the worst performance at a World Championships in 14 years, but it was arguably worse two years ago when Mo Farah was the only individual medallist as Britain finished with six medals.
Dina Asher-Smith and Katarina Johnson-Thompson were touted as medallists – they delivered and more. Had Laura Muir avoided injury during the season then who knows what she might have achieved in the 1500m.
Then there was the unsuccessful appeal to overturn Nick Miller’s potential medal-winning ‘no throw’ in the hammer, Holly Bradshaw’s fourth place in the pole vault and Adam Gemili’s near miss in the 200m.
For British Athletics it is all about the Olympic cycle, so save judgement until after Tokyo. – ” bbc.com