Blake out of sight as Coleman blitzes men's sprint


Sunday, September 29, 2019

Doha, Qatar — Jamaica's Yohan Blake finished fifth in the men's 100m final in 9.97 seconds (0.6 mps) as American Christian Coleman confirmed that he is undoubtedly the fastest man on the planet with a scintillating 9.76 seconds inside Khalifa International Stadium here yesterday.

Blake, who at the halfway point seemed to be in a medal position, faded badly and was relegated to fifth. Coleman dominated from gun to tape with his world-leading performance and fastest time since 2015.

It was a reversal of the placings from the London World Championships where Coleman was second behind Justin Gatlin. The 37-year-old Gatlin stopped the clock at 9.89 seconds and snatched silver ahead of Canadian Andre De Grasse, who won the bronze with 9.90 seconds. South Africa's Akani Simbine was fourth in 9.93 seconds.

Earlier Blake was second in his semi-final in 10.09 seconds, while compatriot Tyquendo Tracey ran well for fourth in 10.11 seconds and just missed the final by the narrowest of margins — 0.102 of a second.

But there is another medal hope for Jamaica as Natoya Goule qualified for the women's 800m final after finishing fourth in 2:00.33 minutes in what turned out to be the fastest of the three semi-finals. Halimah Nakaayi of Uganda won in an impressive 1:59.35 minutes.

American Ajee Wilson won her semi-final in 2:00.31, while her teammate Raevyn Rogers dipped below the two-minute barrier, clocking 1:59.57 minutes to win semi-final one. Winnie Nanyondo of Uganda was second in 1:59.75 minutes. The final is set for tomorrow at 2:10 pm (Jamaican time).

Jamaica's mixed relay team of Nathon Allen, Janieve Russell, Roniesha McGregor and Javon Francis advanced to the final after finishing second in 3:12.73 minutes. The USA won in a new world record of 3:12.42 minutes. The Jamaicans were also below the previous record of 3:13.20 minutes.

Meanwhile Kemar Mowatt finished seventh in 49.32 seconds in the 400m hurdles and was eliminated at the semi-final stage. The race was won by Brazilian Alison Dos Santos in 48.35 seconds.

Mowatt, the only Jamaican who made the World Championships standard, was clearly disappointed.

“I felt like I executed better in the heats, but I kind of tightened up and the other guys got away. But all in all I gave it my best effort so I am still proud of what I did, so I just have to gear up and come back next year for the Olympics,” said Mowatt.

Yohan Blake is scheduled to run in the men's 200 which gets underway at 12.05 pm Jamaican time. Rasheed Dwyer and Andre Ewers are the other two Jamaicans.

Then there will also be the women's semi-final at 1:20 pm and the final at 3:20 pm with the mixed relay final set for 2:35 pm.

— Howard Walker