Liang wins first gold for China, Coleman wins 100m world title at Doha worlds

DOHA   -   Liang Rui led a one-two finish for China in the women’s 50km race walk event that concluded here on Sunday, while American sprinter Christian Coleman stormed to a personal best and world leading time to win the men’s 100m title at the 2019 athletics world championships.

Wearing a towel with ice wrapped in around her neck, the 25-year-old Liang enjoyed a comfortable lead after 25km of the race and clinched the victory in four hours, 23 minutes, 26 seconds. “The weather conditions of the race were very, very tough because of the temperature and humidity. Before the race I was worried that I might collapse halfway. So my goal was to finish the race first and then try to win a medal,” Liang said. Her teammate Li Maocuo took the silver medal in 4:26:40 and Eleonora Anna Giorgi of Italy finished third with a clocking of 4:29:13. Team USA turned out to be the biggest winners on the second competition day of the biyearly track and field gala as they not only grabbed two gold medals but also set a world record in 4X400 mixed relay heats.

Coleman clocked a world leading time of 9.76 seconds in the blue ribbon event, trimming 0.03 seconds off his personal best achieved 13 months ago. His American compatriot and defending champion Justin Gatlin took silver in 9.89. Andre De Grasse of Canada was third in 9.90. “I’ve been blessed with incredible talent and tonight I was able to show it. I have been working incredibly hard and this just makes it all worthwhile,” the 23-year-old Coleman said. Coleman paid tribute to his teammate Gatlin, 37, who first won the world championships in 2005 and claimed the Olympic title in 2004. “Justin Gatlin is a great guy and great competitor. I remember watching him back in 2004 when I was eight years old and to think all these years later I could come and win gold too is a great feeling,” he said.

American DeAnna Price hurled a winning mark of 77.54 meters from her third round effort to take the hammer title. Joanna Fiodorow of Poland took the silver at 76.35, while China’s Wang Zheng, silver medalist at the London worlds two years ago, finished third at 74.76. The United States set the 4X400 meters mixed relay world record in 3:12.42, beating the previous world best time of 3:13.20 registered three years ago in an American local event in Eugene. The mixed relay was included for the first time into the athletics world championships. “It was fun. The first time I saw it on TV, it looked funny. You feel much closer to your teammates and we are working together,” said fourth leg runner Obi Igbokwe of the United States.

Tajay Gayle created history by taking Jamaica’s first men’s long jump gold medal at the world championships as he stunned a deep field to win in 8.69m. The 23-year-old twice improved his personal best by a total of 37 centimeters, starting the competition with a big jump of 8.46m which was good enough to secure his victory. Olympic champion Jeff Henderson of the United States bagged a silver at 8.39 and the highly favored Juan Miguel Echevarria of Cuba finished third at 8.34. “I just focus on one thing. I did not let anything to disturb or distract me,” Gayle said.

Sifan Hassan, 5,000m bronze medalist at London worlds, overtook Ethiopia’s Letesenbet Gidey in the final lap to win the women’s 10,000m title in a world leading time of 30:17.62. Gidey came second in 30:21.23 while Kenya’s Agnes Jebet Tirop was third with 7.58 seconds off the pace. Suzuki Yusuke led from gun to finish to deliver Japan’s first gold medal in men’s 50km race walk in 4:04:20. Portugal’s 43-year-old veteran Joao Vieira lagged 39 seconds behind to take the silver while the bronze medal went to Canadian Evan Dunfee in 4:05:02. Spanish veteran Jesus Angel Garcia, the eldest athlete at the Doha worlds who will turn 50 next month, finished eighth in 4:11:28.





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