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IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019

Rapid Wrap

Day 1, Friday 27th September

Catriona Bisset, 800m Round 1.

6th place. 2:05.33

Bisset took comfortable position in second place once the field left their lanes after a scorching start by Winnie Nanyondo. Nanyondo took the race through the bell in 58.34 with Bisset on her shoulder in second place. A flurry of attacks came around her over the next 200m and Catriona ended up 6th in 2:05.33.  The race marks the end of a 10 month campaign of racing, racing 18 times over 800m with 23 races on her palmares.  Bisset will return to Melbourne with the Australian Record and an Olympic Qualifier in her keeping and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics firmly in her sights.

Day 3, Sunday 29th September

Jemima Montag, 20km Walk

Delayed by 30 minutes in a search for optimal conditions, the 20km started at midnight on the Doha Corniche in temperatures above 30 degrees.  Jemima and compatriot Katie Hayward settled into the large pack early on with the pace picking up after 5km. Montag took charge of the chase pack that sat just 15 seconds back at halfway in the stifling conditions, having lost her compatriot to disqualification.  The heat and humidity took it’s toll on many and Jemima was on her own chasing a spot in the top 10 with 5km to go. She held her position over the closing stages to finish tenth in 1:36:54 to claim Australia’s first top 10 of the Championships. Montag’s 10th is the best Australian result in the event for 20 years and the 3rd best all time.

The feeling amongst the world’s best athletes over the last two days has been that just to complete the endurance events (the marathon, plus the 50km and 20km racewalks), which are taking place along the waterfront of Doha’s Corniche, would require a monumental effort of grit and courage.

Indeed, 28 runners withdrew from the women’s marathon on Friday night due to the brutal conditions, followed by 14 men and six women dropping out of the 50km race walk on Saturday evening.

Racewalkers Katie Hayward and Jemima Montag admirably took on the energy sapping humidity and debilitating heat in the Qatari capital late on Sunday.

The race was dominated by the Chinese athletes, who swept the podium.  Despite falling over early, Montag pushed hard to stay with the lead group throughout the entire race and came home in an impressive 10th place, clocking 1:36.54.

Speaking after, the 2018 Commonwealth Games gold medallist said: “Thanks to the expertise around us we were very well prepared for the conditions, so it did ease the pain a little.  It was really different to any race I’ve done before, it was one about patience and holding back, rather than chasing.

“This was my first World Champs, so there were a lot of unknown factors, including that it was at midnight and in this heat and humidity. Looking ahead to Tokyo, which is going to be similarly hot and humid, it does instil some confidence that my body can withstand these conditions.  If we do similar preparation and learn from the last nine-months, Tokyo could be another success.”

Report with Athletics Australia

Day 5, Tuesday, 1st October

Men’s High Jump, qualifying.

It was a tough day for Baden. After a first time clearance of 2.17m, he was out of the competition at 2.22m.  There’s a lot more to come from the mercurial high jumper.

Doha World Championships 2019