Sprint hurdles produce surprises on World Athletics day seven
The USA’s bid to win three Gold medals on day seven of the 2015 World Athletics Championships from Beijing fell apart, as their strength over the sprint hurdles deserted them. Coral make their women’s 4x100m relay team 11/8 to deliver and be top team, however.
Defending men’s 110m hurdles champion David Oliver paid the price for stumbling into one of the barriers, as Russia’s Sergey Shubenkov grabbed Gold in a national record time of 12.98 seconds. Hansle Parchment of Jamaica scooped Silver, while other American medal contender Aries Merritt, who is set to undergo a kidney transplant once the championships are over, nabbed Bronze.
It was worse for the US female athletes over the obstacles, however. Losing faller Dawn Harper-Nelson and flop Kendra Harrison to a disqualification in the semis, reigning 100m hurdles champ Brianna Rollins and pre-event favourite Sharika Nelvis both finished out of the medals alongside Team GB hope Tiffany Porter.
Gold instead went to Jamaica’s Danielle Williams in a personal best time of 12.57, with shock podium places going to European duo Cindy Roleder (Germany) and Alina Talay (Belarus).
Decathlon favourite Ashton Eaton is firmly in control after five of 10 events, though, so there is a silver lining for the United States. He hold a healthy lead of 173 points over Commonwealth and Pan American Games champion Damian Warner following a big personal best over 400m.
A final round world leading effort of 7m 14cm from Tianna Bartoletta denied Great Britain’s Shara Proctor Gold in the women’s long jump, but a Silver medal and national record does compensate her somewhat. Ivana Spanovic also went over 7m for Serbia to take Bronze.
In men’s high jump qualifying, all the main protagonists made the final, with Gold set to go either favourite Mutaz Essa Barshim (7/4), host nation China’s hope Guowei Zhang (5/2) or reigning champion Bohdan Bondarenko (10/3).
Barbora Spotakova, meanwhile, has qualified for the women’s javelin final, so is on course to regain the world crown she last won in 2007. Kenyan middle-distance runner Asbel Kiprop is on course for a third men’s 1500m world title on the bounce, and odds-on at 4/6 to get it after doing enough in his semi.
Dafne Schippers set a new World Athletics Championships record over 200m, and became the third fastest woman round the bend in history, as the Dutch sprinter grabbed goal in 21.63 seconds, dipping on the line to deny Jamaican rivals Elaine Thompson.
Improving on her Silver over 100m, sensational Schippers’ rangy figure allowed her to nip in and take the title over double that distance. Veteran Veronica Campbell-Brown bagged Bronze, while Team GB teenage talent Dina Asher-Smith set a new national record down in fifth.