Francis shocks Felix for 400m gold
10 Aug 2017 - 0:50
London: American Phyllis Francis won the World Championships 400 metres final yesterday as Olympic champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo stumbled when seemingly certain of victory and dropped to fifth place.
Francis looked out of it with 80 metres to go but maintained her form amid the carnage to post a personal best time of 49.92 seconds and take a shock gold medal.
Bahrain’s Salwa Eid Naser, 19, claimed a brilliant silver in 50.06 as defending champion Allyson Felix of the United States faded to get bronze in 50.08.
Bahamanian Miller-Uibo, who famously dived over the line to pip Felix to Olympic gold last year, was clear with 20 metres left but as she tired and tied up she tripped on her own foot, stumbling almost to a standstill as her rivals stormed past her.
Felix’s bronze took her world championship medal haul to 14, matching the record of Jamaican sprinters Usain Bolt and Merlene Ottey. The American’s tally includes nine golds.
Karsten Warholm of Norway won the men’s 400 metres hurdles world title yesterday to give his country their first gold in the event.
The 21-year-old produced a stunning performance to lead from start to finish to win in 48.35 seconds with Turkey’s Yasmani Copello taking second.
“I don’t know how I feel man, I can’t believe it,” gasped Warholm.
America’s Olympic champion and race favourite Kerron Clement took the bronze.
Warholm, a former decathlete, deployed similar tactics to his semi-final bursting from the blocks and tearing away with Clement content to run at the pace that has brought him two world titles as well as the Olympic gold.
The Norwegian, who was also Scandinavia’s first world champion in the event, had tied up in the semi-final but this time he showed no signs of fatigue.
He came to the final hurdle with Clement having eased himself to within striking distance of him and looking dangerous.
However, it was the 31-year-old American who faltered when it mattered, stumbling over the final obstacle being passed by the fast-finishing European champion Copello and was fortunate to have just enough left in his legs to take third.
Warholm celebrated by donning a ‘Viking helmet’ on his lap of honour.
One of Qatar’s top medal prospects, Abderrahaman Samba lost his balance after clearing the final hurdle, and was placed seventh, clocking 49.74 seconds.
China’s Gong Lijiao made the most of the absence of reigning champion Christina Schwanitz and four-time champion Valerie Adams to win gold in the women’s shot put.
After claiming six major silver or bronze medals since the 2008 Olympic Games, the 28-year-old Chinese athlete managed a best of 19.94 metres for her country’s first gold medal of the champs.
In difficult conditions under pouring rain at the London Stadium, Hungary’s Anita Marton claimed silver with 19.49, while American Olympic champion Michelle Carter took bronze (19.14).
Olympic silver medalist Paul Chelimo took a tumble with four laps to go in a tangle with Cyrus Rutto of Kenya, but both recovered and qualified for tomorrow’s final in the 5,000 meters at the world championships.
With four laps to go, Chelimo hit the rain-drenched track and somehow dragged Rutto down with him. Both got up quickly and caught the lead pack.
Rutto finished third and was among the five automatic qualifiers. Chelimo advanced by being among the top five non-automatic qualifiers from the two heats.
Today, Qatar’s Ahmed Badir willtake part in the men’s javelin throw qualification round. With 22 champions divided into two groups (A, B), the best 12 Javelin champions will qualify for tomorrow’s final.