DOHA, Qatar – Sprint hurdler Nia Ali led a final day gold rush for the United States as the curtain came down on the World Championships on Sunday, October 6.
Ali powered to victory in the 100-meter hurdles to upset world record holder Keni Harrison with a time of 12.34 at the Khalifa Stadium.
“I’ve been training really hard, especially coming back from having my kids,” said 30-year-old mother-of-two Ali, who was accompanied by both of her children on her lap of honor.
“These ladies have been raising the bar all year so I knew what I had to do.”
Her win was one of 3 final day gold medals for the USA, which finished on top of the medal table with 14 gold, 11 silver, and 4 bronze medals.
Kenya, meanwhile, followed with 5 gold, 2 silver, and 4 bronze medals.
The final day of action drew a line under 10 days of competition at the championships, held in the Middle East for the first time.
Despite problems at the start of the championships with sweltering heat and humidity and swathes of empty seats, Sunday played out to a packed house.
“It is pretty clear to us that on athlete performance, this is the best world championships that we’ve ever had,” International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) President Sebastian Coe told reporters.
USA’s other gold medals came in the 4x400m relay events, with comfortable victories for their men’s and women’s quartets.
The women’s relay victory meant a second gold medal for Dalilah Muhammad, who swept to victory with a world record-breaking display in the 400m hurdles on Friday.
Muhammad ran a blistering third leg for the USA to help set up a win in 3:18.92.
More gold for Felix
The USA win also saw Allyson Felix extend her record tally of world championship gold medals.
Felix, who did not run in the final but featured in the heats, now has 13 golds.
The US men, meanwhile, were similarly convincing winners in the 4×400, with hurdler Rai Benjamin anchoring their team to gold in a world-leading time of 2:56.69.
Elsewhere Sunday, Kenya’s Timothy Cheruiyot produced one of the performances of the games with a superb win in the 1,500m.
The 23-year-old conjured a lung-busting display of front running to win gold, hitting the front in the opening lap at a ferocious pace and not letting up.
Cheruiyot won in 3:29.26, banishing the memory of a string of silver medal performances which included a second-place finish in London two years ago.
Algeria’s 2012 Olympic champion Taoufik Makhloufi took silver in 3:31.38 while Poland’s Marcin Lewandowski took the bronze in a time of 3:31.46.
Joshua Cheptegei of Uganda was another silver to gold convert in the 10,000 meters.
Cheptegei raced home in 26:48.36 after a thrilling final lap battle with Yomif Kejelcha of Ethiopia. The win came two years after Cheptegei won silver in London.
In the field events, Anderson Peters won only the second ever gold medal for Grenada with victory in the javelin.
The 21-year-old US college student stunned the field with a winning throw of 86.89 meters, bettering his personal best by more than two meters.
Former Olympic and world 400m champion Kirani James is the only other athlete to win a gold medal for Grenada.
“Coming in here, I knew I wanted a medal but I didn’t know what color it was going to be,” said Peters. “After the first round I decided it was going to be be gold.”
Malaika Mihambo of Germany won the gold medal in the women’s long jump with a leap of 7.30 meters.
It was a first global medal for Mihambo, the European champion in 2018, who narrowly missed out on bronze at the Rio Olympics in 2016.
Maryna Bekh-Romanchuk took silver with a jump of 6.92 meters while Nigeria’s Ese Brume claimed bronze with a best of 6.91 meters. – Rappler.com