World Athletics Championships 2019 | Day 1 as it happened

A day that will be remembered for the friendship of Braima Suncar Dabo of Guinea-Bissau in the 2019 IAAF World Athletics Championships in Doha.

By Ken Browne ·

Day 1 brought plenty of drama on the track as Christian Coleman ran the only sub-10s 100m, Justin Gatlin proved he's injury-free, Ajee Wilson and Natoya Goule laid down the gauntlet in the women's 800m, and the men's 400m hurdles big three of Karsten Warholm, Rai Benjamin and Abderrahman Samba all topped their heats.

Rio 2016 silver medallist Paul Kipkemoi Chelimo topped his too in the 5000m - despite losing a shoe - and in the 5000m Jakob Ingebrigtsen qualified, was then disqualified, and later reinstated follwoing an appeal, after he stepped off the track.

Ruth Chepngetich won the women's marathon with USA's Roberta Groner finishing an astonishing sixth place.

There was also a heartwarming moment of sportsmanship in the 5000m, where one runner carried another to the finishing line.

Faith in humanity: restored.

Catch up with day one - in full - below...


27 Sep - 6 Oct 2019

2019 IAAF World Championships - Doha


World Championships 2019 Day 1 Highlights

Day 1: As it happened

All times below are local time in Doha, Qatar (UTC+3).

03:20am Ruth Chepngetich on victory in women's marathon

"I have never run in such conditions. But you know what i have come here and won gold," said winner Ruth Chepngetich of Kenya.

"I now want to be an Olympic medalist. This has opened my doors. I have always wished that one day, I would fly the Kenyan flag high like (Eliud) Kipchoge. I have done it!"

Sixth-placed Roberta Groner of USA surprised the field a gutsy performance.

What keeps her going?

"My children, they are my everything. I am just showing them that you can do anything if you put your mind to it."

Namibia's Helalia Johannes came in third place.

"This is a huge achievement in my sports career and am very much happy for the victory.

"The worst part of this was just the weather. It is very humid. The hotness is fine but the humidity was too much. We could not skip any water station."

02:39am - Ruth Chepngetich wins the women's marathon at the 2019 IAAF World Championships

In only her fifth marathon, Ruth Chepngetich has dominated the field to become world champion.

It's been a majestic performance by the world's top ranked runner who won with an unofficial time of 2:32:43.

Rose Chelimo of Bahrain came in second with Namibia's Helalia Johannes finishing in third.

It was heartbreaking fourth-placed finish for the experienced two-time world champion Edna Kiplagat of Kenya.

Winner Ruth Chepngetich of Kenya celebrates victory in women's marathon in Doha

02:14am - We found a cat!

Is anything as cool as a cat? Probably not on this course. Long-time leader Ruth Chepngetich and world number one has made a big move with 5km to go.

A cat at the women's marathon for the IAAF World Championships

01:40am - Edna Kiplagat makes a move at women's marathon in Doha

The 2011 and 2013 world champion, Edna Kiplagat, is in touch with the leading group.

Don't write off the 40-year-old Kenyan as old news.

She won the Boston Marathon aged 37

As our video says - the mother of five just keeps on running...

Kenya's Edna Kiplagat just keeps on running

The 40-year-old mother of five is bidding for her third world marathon titl...

It's either a big lens or a very small photographer at the women's marathon in Doha

01:20am - Not the best day for the Ethiopians at the women's marathon in Doha

Dr Ayalew Tilahun, a doctor on the Ethiopian medical team, has told our reporter on the ground that three athletes from their squad have withdrawn from the race.

Ruti Aga, Shure Demise, and Roza Dereje have pulled out.

"They are finished," Dr Tilahun said.

01:02am - Who is Ruth Chepngetich?

The Kenyan hasn't faded since making her early move but some other runners have caught up with her and formed a group.

She trains in Ngong at the high altitude area in Eldoret.

Coach Julius Kirwa has spoke to Olympic Channel reporter Evelyn Watta at roadside.

"She is a runner with a full character. Always smiling and a great team player."

00:41am - Women's marathon tempo is heating up

We've had a surge in terms of pace at the women's marathon. Kenya's Ruth Chepngetich has decided to pull away from the leading group.

The world number one ranked marathon runner has made a very early move.

Will the chasing pack catch up with the 25-year-old?

Runners in women's marathon in Doha for the World Championships

00:16am - Women's marathon starts as Ingebritsen wins appeal

And we are off! The night marathon is off. The leading group remains relatively large.

The official air temperature is pretty high at 32.7 °C and a humidity of 73.3%.

In other news, Norwegian athlete Jakob Ingebritsen has won his appeal

He was disqualified in the 5,000m for stepping inside the kerb.

The jury decided that he had been pushed so he's back to race against his two brothers in the final.

11:34pm - Opening Ceremony

The opening ceremony is drawing to a close before the beginning of the women's marathon.

Thomas Bach, IOC President, greets Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, The Amir of the State of Qatar, during the opening ceremony at Khalifa International Stadium on September 27, 2019 in Doha, Qatar. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images for IAAF)

11:09pm - Midnight Marathon preview

Our first gold medal of these Worlds is going to come in the women's marathon and with the race confirmed, it's time to run.

Lit up under the Qatari capital's nightscape, around 70 runners will loop a course that travels along the waterfront connecting Doha Bay and Doha City Centre, the runners circling the course seven times.

This will be a race for the tactically astute, composure and energy conservation is key.

Don't expect a big time tonight and it's highly unlikely we'll see a world record fall.

African and Asian competitors will have a distinct advantage in the heat, Bahrain’s Rose Chelimo is the defending champion, her time of 2:27:11 took her to the top of the podium in London two years ago, and she's among the favourites tonight.

But she'll have to hold off the challenge of her own teammates if she's to triumph again.

Desi Mokonin , Shitaye Eshete and Eunice Chumba could all mount a challenge, Eshete the fastest of the three having run 2:22:39 this year.

The African challenge centres on the Kenyans and the Ethiopians

Kenya’s Ruth Chepngetich won this year’s Dubai Marathon in a blistering 2:17:08 – not far off Paula Radcliffe’s world record of 2:15:25.

She's only 25 years old.

Two-time marathon world champion Edna Kiplagat is back for more at 39 and 8 years her junior Visiline Jepkesho has run 2:21:37.

Ethiopia has a fair shout too, Ruti Aga has run 2:20:40 this year, her personal best is 2:18:34, and Roza Dereje has clocked 2:20:51 already in 2019, and she has a best of 2:19:17.

How do you prepare for a midnight marathon?

Tonight's conditions are unique - the heat, the time, the dark.

So what do you differently?

We asked Rio 2016 marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge's coach, Edna Kiplagat, Paul Tergat, Patrick Sang:

Here's what they said.

10:52pm - Edna Kiplagat: Contender

The 2011 and 2013 world champion Edna Kiplagat is an experienced runner who could complete a world champs hat-trick at the age of 40.

It's never too late.

Kenya's Edna Kiplagat just keeps on running

The 40-year-old mother of five is bidding for her third world marathon titl...

10:40pm - We heard from the hero of the night

10:15pm - Midnight marathon to go ahead

The women's midnight marathon will go ahead as planned, as confirmed by the IAAF in this statement:

The IAAF has today sent a letter to the entrants in the women’s marathon at the IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019 confirming that the race will go ahead as planned this evening.

The latest weather information confirms that the Wet Bulb Globe Temperature* for tonight’s race will be at or below 30 degrees. This is within the range (28 to 30.9 degrees WBGT) that has been predicted and planned for in the past six months.

Team leaders and team doctors were briefed about the conditions for the endurance events at the Technical Meeting yesterday. As of noon today, all 69 women who were on the start list two days ago remained scheduled to start the race (the final entry list of 71 athletes included two reserves). 

The IAAF and the Local Organising Committee have done everything possible to minimise the heat-related risks. These include:

- Running the endurance events at midnight

- Disseminating information to all Member Federations over the last 6 months

- Increasing the number of refreshment points along the course

- Over scaling the medical plan for these endurance events

- Recruiting leading medical experts to be part of the medical team

- Maintaining communication between IAAF medical doctors and team doctors

9:19pm - Track events finish, marathon coming up

That's the end of the track events for today, but stay with us as we bring all the reaction to a thriller of a first day at the Worlds, and the build up to the first ever IAAF World Championships midnight marathon.

Get ready for the first Midnight Marathon

The marathons at the IAAF World Championships have been scheduled to start ...

9:16pm - Jakob Ingebrigtsen disqualified!

He stepped off the track after he lost his balance a bit in his heat and it's been confirmed that the Norwegian teen star has been disqualified.

He'll be devastated by that, as will his growing legion of fans and admirers worldwide.

9:01pm - Rai Benjamin takes it home

Benjamin follows Warholm and Samba by winning his heat at a canter.

49.62 is his time, Tunisia's Mohamed Touati is second and Poland's Patryk Dobek third.

Great Britain's Chris McAlistair grabs that final automatic qualification place for tomorrow's semi-finals.

His mum is dancing in the stands, they put it up on the stadium screen!

Dad a little more reserved, but no doubt equally proud.

The final heat of the men's 400m hurdles is won by Rasmus Magi in 49.94, a season's best for the Estonian.

8:54pm - Samba shows he's back

Kyron McMaster from the British Virgin Islands wins the second heat in 49.60 with Brazilian Alison Dos Santos second and Chinese Taipei's Chieh Chen third.

The volume went up in Heat 3 as home hero Abderrahman Samba shows that he's moving really well on his return from injury.

Samba's a contender, no doubt about it, his 49.08 looked absolutely effortless.

Japan's Takatoshi Abe and USA's TJ Holmes qualify in second and third.

8:46pm - Men'sTriple jump qualification

Only two men have gone over the automatic qualifying mark so far, Portugal's Pedro Pablo Pichardo, who jumped a huge 17.38m, and Burkina Faso's Hugues Fabrice Zango who cleared 17.17m.

An emotional moment for Donald Scott, his 16.99 will send him through too, along with USA teammates Christian Taylor and Will Claye.

8:35pm - Warholm takes first 400m hurdles heat

Karsten Warholm, Rai Benjamin, Abderrahman Samba will all be in action here.

Warholm sets off in the first of five heats.

The Norwegian 23-year-old is 100% in 2019 and he went 46.92s time in the Brussels Diamond League final.

And wins this one with ease.

He practically jogged the last 40 metres.

8:20pm - 5000m Heat 2

Rio 2016 silver medallist Paul Kipkemoi Chelimo tops the second heat despite losing his shoe!

Telahun Haile Bekele is second and Filip Ingebrigtsen makes the final in third.

Stewart McSweyn of Australia and Kimeli of Kenya are through too.

And there's another great moment as the Ingebrigtsen brothers pose together for a photo, they've made the final.

Or have they?

Jakob stepped off the track during the first heat, but it looked like he was bumped.

There may be a query.

8:03pm - Lovely moment

The biggest cheer of the night comes in a great moment of sportsmanship.

Aruba's Jonathan Busby can hardly stand, he's helped a long way to the line by Braima Suncar Kabo from Guinea-Bisseau.

Busby crashes to the ground at the finish line but still manages to stop his watch!

It's a personal best for both too!

Braima Suncar Dabo of Guinea-Bissau helps Jonathan Busby of Aruba across the finish line in the Men's 5000 metres heats during day one of 17th IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019 at Khalifa International Stadium on September 27, 2019 in Doha, Qatar. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

7:53pm - Men's 5000m goes to Barega

Barega Crop, Balew, Edris leading in a race with a lot of movement, Jakob Ingebrigtsen is trying to get in position in 5th/6th.

There are two heats, with five going through automatically from each heat, plus five fastest losers.

Ingebrigsten is trying to stay with the front-runners.

Barega wins a tight finish in 13:24.69s.

Krop is second, so close, 13:24.94

7:44pm - Mariya Lasitskene knocks bar!

Mariya Lasitskene gives us a collector's item by knocking the bar off at 1.89m.

The 2015 and 2017 world champ is trying to make it three-in-a-row here in Doha, and she easily clears that height the second time round.

1.92m is the automatic mark, so clearing that qualifies you, Morgan Lake fails with her first attempt at the same height.

Oh, and again.

Morgan Lake is out!

A third failed jump at 1.89m means she will not be in the final, fuming, she tears her number off in disgust.

7:32pm - Beatrice Chepkoech makes a bold statement

In Heat 2 the woman many tip for gold ran a very quick 9:18.01 to qualify in first place.

Chepkoech has won 15 of her 17 races in 2018 and 2019 including heats, and her battle with Coburn and fellow Kenyan Hyvin Kiyeng should be a fascinating one in Doha.

Kiyeng has led at 1000m, 2000m, and she finishes first at the finish line too, despite Winfred Yavi's late burst, Yavi settles for second.

Slovenia's Marusa Mismas in third. 

Kiyeng's 9:29.15 is significantly slower than Chepkoech's mark, but qualifies her as a race winner.

The crowd really enjoyed the steeplechase!

7:23pm - 3000m Steeplechase

There's no room for mistakes here, there are three heats, and only the top three in each sure of a place in the final, along with six fastest losers.

We've seen 2 of three heats, Peruth Chemutai took the first in 9:21.28.

The Ugandan held off world champion Emma Coburn, who thought about challenging Chemutai for first then thought better of it.

Celliphine Chespol ran a remarkably calm race to finish in third.

7:13pm - Christian Coleman speaks

Christian Coleman kept it as simple in the mixed zone as he did on the track:

"It felt great."

That's all he said.

7:02pm - Justin Gatlin: "It felt easy"

Justin Gatlin, sauntered through to the 100m semi-finals earlier, here's what he said in the mixed zone:

"Good. It felt easy. It felt controlled. I just went out there and went through my phases. I went down there strong and dominated in the middle and then kind of ease up at the end and then have something left for tomorrow."

There were question marks over his fitness after he pulled up with hamstring problems just three weeks ago in Croatia.

How's the injury?

"I had to take a week to do nothing and just heal my muscles and get ready."

Was it a hamstring injury?


How doess it feel?

"It feels good. I didn’t feel anything going out there. Seemed like little nik naks here and there. But it’s been a long season and I’m staying strong."

What about he conditions here in Qatar?

"It’s cooler inside the stadium than out. It feels good. The stadium feels perfect. Warming up is the challenge."

6:59pm - Athletics fans settling in!

6:54pm - Stadium air-con works!

6:45pm - Coleman first man under 10 seconds!

9.98 for Christian Coleman.

He's the fastest man this year, and the fastest here in Doha today too.

What a start, great transition into the drive phase, he's way ahead coming towards the line and eases off, still ducking under 10s easily.

Coleman has put all the drugs tests controversy behind him, he's got a serious, defiant look about him.

Can anyone stop him?

Coleman - Gatlin - Simbine is the rivalry to watch from what we've seen today.

In that final heat Lamont Marcell Jacobs is through in second, meaning Italy will have two men in the semi-finals, and Japan's fastest man this year Abdul Kahim Sani Brown makes it through in third.

Ojie Edoburun is also through as the sixth fastest loser!

6:28pm - Price leads hammer

Hammers are raining down over the qualification line, USA's Deanna Price has the longest cast so far: 73.77m

Moldovan Zalina Petrivskaya is second recording a 73.40m throw.

Wang, Hrasnova, Tsareva all looking good too.

6:20pm - Ajee Wilson speaks to Olympic Channel

We caught up with the U.S. 800m favourite who won her heat without any hassle.

"The first round is a little nerve-wracking. It’s supposed to be the easiest but just trying to make it through that qualifying spot – I’m so glad to get it out the way and get onto the semi finals tomorrow."

"Conditions wise – a lot of us were worried about the heat coming into it but they have indoor facility so I did my warm up in there." 

The talk is that the track isn't very fast, how did Wilson find it?

"Even if the track isn’t fast we are going to have to work. Because everyone is out there trying to do their best."

What about the temperature in the stadium?

"I wouldn’t say the stadium wasn’t super hot or super warm when we came in so it was just about focussing about what our race plan was and executing."

6:14pm - Gatlin controls heat

Gatlin goes 10.06 to top his heat, a bit slower than Simbine, but enough.

Strong start from the 37-year-old, Andre De Grasse is second, Britain's Adam Gemili qualifies in third.

6:07pm - 100m Heats underway - Simbine starts well

Fastest time thrown down so far today comes from Akani Simbine - 10.01 - that's fast in the first heat.

Canada's Aaron Brown is second in 10.16, Xie Zhenyie goes 10.19 for third.

Gatlin and De Grasse up in the next heat.

5:58pm - Final 800m heat

Just three could qualify from Heat 6 of 6, Renelle Lamote tops the heat in 2:03.36, Cuba's Rose Mary Almanza and Rababe Arafi from Morocco join her in tomorrow's semi-final.

Not the quickest 800m ever, but Lamote did what she had to.

Disappointment for Lynsey Sharp finishes fourth, agonizingly outside the final qualifying list.

That means 2017 800m finalist Lynsey Sharp and American standout Hanna Green both came up short despite coming into the competition as favourites for the final.

5:51pm - 800m Chaos!

First no-one wanted to win, then everyone did!

The 800m Heat 5 started strangely with no-one willing to take it on, then practically the entire field was still in it at the finish line.

Nataliya Prischchepa takes it in 2:03.22, Chunyu Wang is second and Alex Bell is third by a fraction.

5:40pm - Long Jump: 8.12 for Henderson!

The Olympic champ's best jump yet.

8.12 is just outside the 8.15 automatic qualification mark, but that puts him into second behind Echevarria.

Juan Miguel Echevarria of Cuba competes in the Men's Long Jump qualification during day one of 17th IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019 at Khalifa International Stadium on September 27, 2019 in Doha, Qatar. (Photo by Maja Hitij/Getty Images)

5:36pm - Natoya Goule on form

Natoya Goule dominates that heat winning 2:01.01.

The Pan American champ in Lima looks up for this, that's her through to the semi-finals.

Exclusive! Goule praises Semenya: "I admire her for her determination"

In an interview with Olympic Channel Natoya Goule has commended Caster Seme...

5:21pm - Raevyn Rogers puts down fastest 800m

A comfortable run for Ajee Wilson in Heat 1 clocking 2:02.11, Uganda's Halimah Nakaayi took second and Hedda Hynne of Norway who comes through for third.

In Heat 2 Raevyn Rogers finishes first despite the most casual finishes you've ever seen with GBR's Shelayna Oskan-Clarke and Morgan Mitchell from Australia pushing right to the line.

Tough heat.

Rogers went 2:02.01, Oskan-Clarke .08 of a second behind her and Mitchell going 2:02.13.

Former world champion Eunice Sum is 0.16 off Rogers' time finishing fourth.

5:14pm - Echevarria leads the way

The Cuban long jump star still the only one to clear the qualifying mark, with Jeff Henderson and Luvo Manyonga -the defending champ - coming closest with 7.91m. 

Yuki Hashioka, Steffin McCarter and Eusebio Caceres have all landed beyond the 8.00m mark but not the automatic line.

5:11pm - Ajee Wilson in action in 800m heat

The U.S. 800m favourite Ajee Wilson is leading her heat unsurprisingly.

Wilson the winner in 2:02.11.

Ajee Wilson explains why the 800m is so hard

Two laps of the track doesn't sound like it should be too taxing, but the 8...

5:07pm - Opening Ceremony

Coming up later, here's where you can watch it if you're in Qatar.

5pm - Yes, yes, we're as excited!

4:50pm - Xu cruises

China's Xu Zhouzheng the fastest in heat 3, 10.35 with a lot of easing up towards the end, his season's best is 10.12.

The pole vaulters are ready for their practice jumps as favourite Stefanidi looks to stretch her dominance.

Scroll down for full previews of all of today's events.

4:48pm - Echevarria qualifies with first jump!

Huge jump for the Cuban favourite who clears the qualifying distance of 8.15m easily with an 8.40m jump.

Job done.

4:31pm - Men's long jump / 100m starts

The men's long jump is underway as the first 100m heat runners limber up.

And there's the first 100m, biggest roar for Qatar's Barrow, he finishes third with a personal best, good run from the 18-year-old, but the Dutch sprinter Taymir Burnet takes that heat.

4:20pm - Rivalry

Coleman the new king?

De Grasse back and better than ever after his injury woes?

This is one of the many great rivalries we're going to see today.

4:14pm - Stay cool in Qatar

Nice view! Staying cool by the pool - jus to confirm, this is not where our live updates come from.


View of the stadium from the Torch Doha, here's how to stay cool. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images for IAAF)

4:04pm - And we're live

Things are warming up here in Doha, which isn't hard when it's steamy 36 degrees - although it's very cool and comfortable inside the stadium.

Your menu for today:

2019 Athletics World Championships Day 1 Schedule

Here's the full schedule for Day 1 and Day 2:

Doha 2019 Day 1 and Day 2 schedule

What we're excited about on Day 1

How about the successors to Usain Bolt facing off to ignite the biggest athletics event on the planet before Tokyo 2020?

Caster Semenya lost her appeal and is not here, (Why? Scroll down...), which means we'll have a new women's 800m champion too, today's heats should give us a glimpse at who looks likeliest.

And the first gold medal of Doha 2019 will come in the first ever IAAF World Championships midnight marathon.

Expect fireworks in this opening act.

Men's 100m Preview

Men's 100m Heats: 4:35pm, 6:05pm

For the first time since Osaka 2007 there'll be no Usain.

But World champion Justin Gatlin and pretender to the throne Christian Coleman - the two men who beat Bolt in his last ever race - are out to prove there's life after lightning.

Both are in action on the opening day and Coleman is particularly fired up.

Angered by comments and reactions after charges were brought against him by the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), charges which were then dropped, clearing him to race in Doha, Coleman is raring.

Can he bring that fire to the track in the Qatari capital?

"We're human beings, people don't realise how easy it is to miss tests"

- Christian Coleman on social media

23-year-old Coleman is the fastest man in the world this year (9.81s), but Gatlin will use all his experience and is still a threat at 37 years of age.

Gatlin kept his cards close to his chest by opting out of a race against Coleman at the USATF Outdoor Championships in July, where the younger sprinter won his first national title with a 9.99s sprint.

We can safely expect him to drop a few digits here in Doha.

But there are some questions over Gatlin's fitness, he pulled up grabbing his left leg in a 100m in Zagreb, Croatia, just three weeks ago.

Johnson on Coleman

Michael Johnson says World Indoor 60m champion Christian Coleman has plenty...

Divine Inspiration?

Can anyone spring a surprise and threaten a U.S. dominated podium?

Nigerian sensation Divine Oduduru and South Africa's Akani Simbine of South Africa are likeliest to do something extraordinary.

Oduduru caught the world's attention when he ran 9.86s to win June's NCAA Championships held in Texas.

The 22-year-old Texas Tech University student's personal best has put him on the radar and in the running for a podium finish.

5th at Rio 2016, South Africa's Akani Simbine is looking to make these Worlds his own too, at 26 he still has a lot to offer, and proved it in 2018 by winning the Commonwealth Games on Australia's Gold Coast.

His fastest time this year is 9.92s.

Akani Simbine on the African sprint revolution

African sprinter have shone recently. How does the Commonwealth 100m champi...

Oduduru's compatriot and Florida Gators college star Raymond Ekevwo is another one to watch, the 20-year-old broke 10 seconds for the first time when he won the African Games title in Rabat, beating the Ivory Coast's pre-race favourite Arthur Gue Cisse.

Big names like Rio 2016 bronze medallist Andre De Grasse who's making his way back from injury and Bolt's longtime teammate Johan Blake are in the mix, as is European championZharnel Hughes.

Hughes has run four sub-10's this year.

Next year's Olympic hosts Japan have high hopes for their terrific trio of sprinters in Qatar: Abdul Hakim Sani Brown, Yoshihide Kiryu, and Yuki Koike.

Brown clocked 9.97s to a new national record this year, former national record holder Kiryu is also here and 2018 Asian Games champion Yuki Koike completes the trinity.

So who will be crowned the world's fastest man in Doha?

Read our full 100m preview here.

Wanna win the 100m? "Shave your legs"

That's Richard Kilty's advice – captain of the British team.

Kilty will race in the 4x100m team for Great Britain and not in the 100m individual but he has some sharp advice for his fellow sprinters.

"I started running faster when I started shaving my legs. I've said to a few people as team captain (to do it)."

- Richard Kilty swaps trade secrets with Olympic Channel

“We get lots of massages," Kilty continued, "so the first reason I started to do and was because, you know, the physios would complain when you've got the oil and the lotion on the legs, it's sticky and you can't feel the muscle as much. So I started shaving my legs and funnily enough that was around the time I start to become more successful."

How could shaving your legs possible make you faster?

“I would definitely say aerodynamics maybe a tiny little bit but I think it feels a little bit easier for massage.”

No stubble trouble for the British in Doha then, this is the second piece of good advice we've had in Qatar so far:

No Diving here in Doha... You'll have to wait for Tokyo 2020.

Will Caster Semenya race at the World Championships?

No, Caster Semenya will not race at 2019 Worlds and will not will not be able to defend her 800m title.

At Rio 2016 this was the 800m Olympic podium:

  1. Caster Semenya
  2. Francine Niyonsaba
  3. Margaret Nyairera Wambui

But all three are excluded from the 800m at the 2019 World Championships.


The Swiss Supreme Court recently ruled in favour of the IAAF hyperandrogenism regulations meaning that Semenya and other female athletes with naturally-occurring high-testosterone levels will not be allowed to compete in Doha.

It is an issue that has divided opinions and dominated debate across the world.

"I am very disappointed from being kept to defend my hard earned title but this will not deter me from continuing my fight for the human rights of all of the female athletes concerned," the three-time world champion Semenya said in a statement.

Caster Semenya and Francine Niyonsaba are just two athletes affected by the IAAF's new DSD rules.

Exclusive! Francine Niyonsaba: "I didn't choose to be born like this..."

The Rio 800m silver medallist from Burundi opens up about her tough career ...

What is DSD?

DSD stands for Differences of Sexual Development - female athletes with DSD produce more testosterone in their bodies than women who do not, and the IAAF considers this an unfair advantage.

Here's a full guide and explanation on what DSD is and why the IAAF has introduced the regulations.

Semenya has argued that the rules are unfair and aimed at her personally.

Kenya's Margaret Nyairera Wambui spoke to the Olympic Channel at the Kenyan World Championship trials recently about the ruling and the impact it will have on her life.

"This was my career, this is my talent; this was feeding me," she said.

She rejected the IAAF's suggestion of medication to control her testosterone levels.

"Drugs is out for me. Other options like moving up to the long distance or scaling down, I can consider, but drugs? No."

Exclusive! Margaret Nyairera Wambui on testosterone rule: "I became a victim."

The Olympic 800m bronze medallist doesn’t know how to rebuild her life foll...

Doha 2019 Women's 800m preview

In the absence of Semenya, Niyonsaba and Wambui, who will rise to the top of the world in the 800m?

The name pinned to many watcher's walls is Ajee Wilson.

The 25-year-old middle distance prodigy has come of age and goes into the Worlds with two of the season's four fastest marks next to her name.

Including the quickest 800 this year: 1:57.72

Wilson has won six of eight outdoor races this year including the Diamond League series final in Brussels.

Here's what she told us yesterday:

"It’d be a super huge deal (to become world champion)"

- Ajee Wilson to Olympic Channel

"We're a small but really close knit community. So, even as I'm racing like Diamond Leagues my Facebook is live with it just you know posting messages from friends and family back home.

"So it would be awesome to bring back a medal to Neptune, New Jersey."

Meet the top contenders to take Caster Semenya's 800m crown

The world and Olympic champion will miss the 2019 World Athletics Champions...

But it's not all about Ajee.

Natoya Goule impressed when she won the 800m for Jamaica at the Pan Am Games in August and has a 1:57.90 season's best, 23-year-old U.S. runner Raevyn Rogers also has podium potential - she clocked a 1:58.65 season's best at the Prefontaine Classic in Stanford on 30 June.

Rogers also came in second behind Wilson in Brussels.

Britain's Lynsey Sharp is keen on capturing her first Worlds medal, Kenyan Eunice Sum brings a lot of experience to the field and there is some real break-out potential in Australia's Catriona Bisset, Winnie Nanyondo from Uganda and Pan-Am Games silver medallist Rose Mary Almanza who wears Cuban colours.

Exclusive! Goule praises Semenya: "I admire her for her determination"

In an interview with Olympic Channel Natoya Goule has commended Caster Seme...

Doha 2019 Midnight Marathon

Women's Marathon Start Time: 23:59

Another event that has attracted a lot of attention is the midnight marathon.

The only event that will bring a medal on Day 1 is the women's marathon, with the starter gun going off just before midnight to try and beat the Doha heat.

Daytime temperatures in Qatar see the mercury rev up around the 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) mark, and at night it falls to 30/31C - 86/88F.

It's the first ever night marathon at an IAAF World Championships.

The women's marathon will see 70 competitors at the start line under Doha's sparkling skyline, and among them will be defending champion Rose Chelimo whose 2:27:11 gave her gold at London 2017.

The Bahraini has a distinct advantage and should adapt well to the climate, but she'll have to hold off the challenge of her own teammates if she's to triumph again.

Desi Mokonin , Shitaye Eshete and Eunice Chumba could all mount a challenge, Eshete the fastest of the three having run 2:22:39 this year.

The African challenge centres on the Kenyans and the Ethiopians

Kenya’s Ruth Chepngetich won this year’s Dubai Marathon in a blistering 2:17:08 – not far off Paula Radcliffe’s world record of 2:15:25.

She's only 25 years old.

Two-time marathon world champion Edna Kiplagat is back for more at 39 and 8 years her junior Visiline Jepkesho has run 2:21:37.

Ethiopia has a fair shout too, Ruti Aga has run 2:20:40 this year, her personal best is 2:18:34, and Roza Dereje has clocked 2:20:51 already in 2019, and she has a best of 2:19:17.

How do you prepare for a midnight marathon?

We askedRio 2016 marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge's coach, Edna Kiplagat, Paul Tergat, Patrick Sang: Here's what they said.

Get set for the first Midnight Marathon!

The marathons at the IAAF World Championships have been scheduled to start ...

Men's 400m hurdles Preview: World record?

Men's 400m hurdles: 8:35pm

Karsten Warholm, Rai Benjamin, Abderrahman Samba.

This 400m hurdles event could see three exciting young talents push each other to a world record time.

Local hero Samba is out get home crowd off their seats, so confident is he that he was talking up a world record bid the night before the race:

“It's going to be something special to run in front of the home crowd because I have a lot of support you know. I think it's going to be special if we can break the world record, get the gold medal. I think it’s going to be something very special.”

- Abderrahman Samba to Olympic Channel

but he's just back from injury, and Warholm has been in unbeatable form this year.

The Norwegian sensation is on a serious winning streak - 100% in 2019 and his 46.92s time in the Brussels Diamond League final made him the second fastest of all time in this event behind Kevin Young.

All that and he's still only 23.

Young just happens to be the inspiration of the explosive 22-year-old U.S. challenger Rai Benjamin who ran 46.98 in Brussels.

Benjamin told us that the heat isn't affecting him in Qatar:

"I've gotten used to the heat. I don't think it really makes a difference I think we all have to come out here and run regardless of the conditions and I mean whether it makes for breaking the world record or not. We'll see."

- Rai Benjamin to Olympic Channel

The U.S. sprinter is taking it one step at a time, focusing on the heats:

"I mean it just comes down to you know who makes that final because it's three rounds it's not just one race.

Don't miss this one!

Abderrahman Samba: My perfect day off

The 400m hurdles specialist is Qatar's big medal hope at Tokyo 2020. But Ab...

Long Jump Preview: Can anyone top Echevarria?

Men's Long Jump Qualifiers: 4:30pm

Day 1 starts with long jump qualifiers and it'll be all eyes on Juan Miguel Echevarria.

Remember the time he nearly cleared the pit?

Since then Cuba's 'Black Panther' has soared to new heights, his 8.27m jump in Lima gave him Pan Am gold and he launched himself to the top of the Diamond League podium in Zurich with a world-leading 8.65m.

He's jumped 8.92m in Havana already this year, but a strong wind meant it didn't keep, but at just 21 years of age he's well within range of the greats:

Mike Powell (8.95m), four-time Olympic champion Carl Lewis (8.87m), and compatriot Ivan Pedroso (8.71) who won gold at Sydney 2000.

The many faces of Juan Miguel Echevarria

The 20-year-old entertainer is more than happy to play up to the crowd but ...

But Echevarria will still have to be at his best to bring it home.

He'll face Rio gold and silver medallists in the Middle East, and defending champion Luvo Manyonga will not give up his title without a fight.

The South African's 8.37m season's best shows he can still go the distance and the charismatic champ would love to steal the show from the Cuban upstart.

The Rio 2016 champion Jeff Henderson hasn't really been at his best of late, and at 30 some are saying his best days are behind him

What better stage than the Worlds to prove them wrong?

Surprise tickets include Greece's European champion Miltiadis Tentoglou, Tajay Gayle who impressed in the Diamond League for Jamaica, and Japanese jumper Shoutarou Shiroyama who's third in the world this year clearing 8.40m to reset the national best.

Keep an eye on World University Games gold medallist Yuki Hashioka too.

In recent seasons China has developed a growing reputation in the men’s long jump and once again they look to mount a prominent showing.

China's challengers are Asian Games silver medallist Zhang Yaoguang, and 2015 world bronze medallist Wang Jianan, who is still only 23.

Traditional powerhouse USA has won half of all World Championships long jump titles ever - 8 of 16 - but look unlikely to add number nine.

Olympic champ Henderson leads the charge but he hasn't exactly lit it up this season, coming fifth at the U.S. championships, and with a young and inexperienced back-up in Trumaine Jefferson (8.18m) and Steffin McCarter (8.25m), it's hard to see where the hero will come from.

Women's 3000m Steeplechase Preview: The Chepkoech redemption?

Women's 300m Steeplechase Heats: 6:55pm

Rio 2016 bronze medallist Emma Coburn is the reigning world champion but may not have won in London two years ago if Kenya's Beatrice Chepkoech hadn't missed a water jump and had to double back.

Since then Chepkoech has broken the world record and proved that she is the world's leading steeple chaser, topping 15 of her 17 races in 2018 and 2019 including heats.

But Coburn is the woman for the big occasion, her two fastest performances came at the Rio Olympics and the London Worlds in 2017, she has her sights set on winning a second world title.

Something that no other woman has achieved in this event.

Hyvin Kiyeng, the 2015 world champion, has the same aim, and world U18 and U20 champion Celliphine Chespol is out to make a name for herself too.

Whatever happens, it'll be fascinating to watch.

Coburn on her best year yet

The 3000m steeplechase Olympic bronze medallist reflects on her gold in Lon...

Men's 5000m preview - No Mo

Men's 5000m time: 7:45pm

Mo Farah has moved on to marathon (While still leaving the door open on a 10,000m defence at Rio 2016) on and all the prediction devices are belching up smoke and printing indecipherable hieroglyphics.

In other words, no-one has a clue what's going to happen.

Muktar Edris is defending champion, he stunned Mo Farah two years ago in London, but has been out of form and short on victories this year.

Yomif Kejelcha and Joshua Cheptegei are consistent performers over the 5,000m distance but they are racing the 10,000m in Doha making it even harder to call.

Ethiopia's Telahun Haile Bekele leads this year’s world list following his 12:52.98 victory at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Rome.

Compatriot Selemon Barega is a contender

Hagos Gebrhiwet from Ethiopia has also had a consistent season. He clocked a 5000m season’s best of 12:54.92 in Rome  

All three Ingebrigtsen brothers – Henrik, Filip and Jakob – are entered for the 5000m and the younger two will be doubling in the 1500m. The precocious Jakob, the youngest of the Norwegian trio, perhaps carries the family’s strongest medal hopes. The typical championship middle-distance race perfectly suits his racing style, as he showed when racing to senior European 1500m and 5000m titles last year at the age of 18.

Jakob finished a close second to Gebrhiwet in London in July, clocking a PB of 13:02.03, his third European U20 record of the season following his 3:30.16 run over 1500m in Lausanne and 3:51.30 performance in the mile in Stanford.

Filip, the world bronze medallist over 1500m, is also a contender and will be buoyed by setting a Norwegian mile record of 3:49.60 at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in London.

Paul Chelimo may not have won any races this year – he was even beaten at the US Championships – but having earned medals at the 2017 World Championships and 2016 Olympic Games, he can never be discounted.

Kenya's 20-year-old Nicholas Kimeli is one to watch too.

Women's Pole Vault Preview: Stefanidi's reign

Women's Pole vault qualification: 5:30pm

Women's pole vault has had another name of late: Katerina Stefanidi

The reigning Greek Olympic champion has wings - and a big bendy pole that has made her the dominant force in this discipline since Rio 2016 - she hasn't lost a meet that matters since then.

The defending champ is the one to beat again in Doha and stepping up to take a pop are 2012 Olympic champion Jenn Suhr, Anzhelika Sidorova who cleared 4.86m outdoors in 2019 and Sandi Morris, who has a 4.85m season's best.

All three have topped Stefanidi's 4.83 SB this term, so we'll see can the queen rise to the challenge.

"I wanted a doughnut, I ate the doughnut" - Pole Vault Champ talks nutrition

Rio 2016 gold medallist Ekaterini Stefanidi tells us what she's learnt from...

Hammer Time

Hammer Throw Qualification Group A: 4:40pm

Hammer Throw Qualification Group B: 6:10pm

In the absence of Poland's double Olympic champion Anita Wlodarczyk, there are a number of names fancied to step up.

DeAnna Price is top of the list and aims to win the USA's first medal in this event.

Price has the season's furthest hurl: 78.24m - nearly a metre and a half better than anyone else in the world.

But her two U.S. teammates Brooke Andersen and Gwen Berry are also interested parties, Berry won the Pan Am Games and her 76.46 season's best puts her in the conversation.

Andersen threw a lifetime best of 76.75m this year.

China's Wang Zheng will present a challenge too, her best effort this year is 76.26m and has won 11 of her last 12 competitions.