IAAF World Championships...So How Did I Do?

Last week the IAAF World Championships wrapped up, and it was ten days of fun for me! I was able to catch a majority of the coverage, and was not disappointed in what I saw. While I was cheering for my picks to win, I can't say I was ever disappointed in who won the event. I hope that this was a great warmup for all of those athletes, and I'm excited to see many of these athletes in Tokyo next year!

Let's take a look at how I did with my picks!

Men's 100 Meters

My Pick: Christian Coleman

Actual Winner: Christian Coleman (1)

This was a solid pick. When the gun went off, there wasn't any doubt that Coleman was going to take this handily. Plus he won it with the fastest time in the world this year! Justin Gatlin ended up with silver, and Andre de Grasse of Canada won the bronze.

Women's 100 Meters

My pick: Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce

Actual Winner: Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (1)

Dina Asher-Smith and Marie Josée Ta Lou made competition fierce, but no one can yet challenge Fraser-Pryce's top speed. When she is on, she is on.

Men's High Jump

My pick: Majd Eddin Ghazal

Actual Winner: Mutaz Essa Barshim

It was my mistake not to pick the hometown favorite to win this one. While the stadium in Doha was rarely full, it was packed for the men's high jump event. Barshim has been plagued with injuries, but didn't let that get him down.

Men's 400 Meters

My pick: Michael Norman

Actual Winner: Steven Gardiner

This result was an absolute shock because Norman didn't even qualify for the final! In the semifinal he started okay, but then just faded in the last 100 meters. An injury hasn't been disclosed, but after what he did this season, I wouldn't be surprised if something was hurting. Team USA's Fred Kerley ended up with bronze.

Women's Long Jump

My pick: Malika Mihambo

Actual Winner: Malika Mihambo (1)

Mihambo was on the outside looking in after two jumps and needed to nail her third jump in order to even continue in the competition! (The top twelve are reduced to eight after the first three rounds in many field events.) But did she ever nail it! She ended up getting 7.3 meters - the longest jump in the world this year. Looks like she just needs a bit of pressure!

Men's 400 Meter Hurdles

My pick: Rai Benjamin

Actual Winner: Karsten Warholm

Warholm repeated his 2017 win, but really had to push himself to do so. Benjamin took the silver and was behind Warholm all the way.

Women's 100 Meter Hurdles

My pick: Danielle Williams

Actual Winner: Nia Ali

I was pretty shocked and thrilled by this outcome. Ali won the silver medal in Rio, but has never been in talks for the best in the world. But she was the one that pushed the hardest in this race and ended up beating Kendra Harrison and Williams, who placed silver and bronze, respectively.

Women's 800 Meters

My pick: Ajee Wilson

Actual Winner: Halimah Nakaayi

This race was pretty slow compared to 800m races of the past seven years or so (you can read all about that in my preview article), but while Wilson was favored to win, it ended up being Uganda's Nakaayi who took advantage of the smaller competition pool. Raevyn Rogers of the US actually was in seventh place with 100 meters to go and ended up sprinting past five other competitors to take the silver! If she'd paced herself better, I think she could have taken gold. But now she knows what to do for next year.

Women's 1500 Meters

My pick: Sifan Hassan

Actual Winner: Sifan Hassan (1)

Hassan won with three seconds to spare. And she'd taken the 10,000 meters a few days earlier. I wonder what might have happened if she'd decided to do the 5000 meters too? That would have been nuts!

Men's 200 Meters

My pick: Noah Lyles

Actual Winner: Noah Lyles (1)

Christian Coleman was on the startlist for this event, but withdrew after taking the gold in the 100m the night before. Even if he had raced, there was no one who could beat Lyles at that length. He came off the curve like he'd been catapulted.

Men's Javelin

My pick: Magnus Kirt

Actual Winner: Anderson Peters

The man from Grenada was only one of the surprising things that happened in the men's javelin this year. Two of the strongest Germans - Thomas Röhler and Andreas Hoffman - didn't even make the final. Then Magnus Kirt - who had two throws in qualification that would have won the final - did his normal falling move for his fifth throw (that he always does when he throws) but landed awkwardly on his non-throwing arm. He had to be taken out on a stretcher and couldn't throw the sixth time. Peters' actually accomplished his top throw twice - once in the first round and once in the fourth.

Women's 400 Meter Hurdles

My pick: Dalilah Muhammad

Actual Winner: Dalilah Muhammad (1)

Muhammad won the US Trials with a world record. She needed to top that world record in Doha in order to win and narrowly beat her teammate, Sydney McLaughlin. It was a photo finish, with Muhammad dipping in .07 of a second faster. This was one of the few races I didn't see on the day, but I wish I had!

Men's 110 Meter Hurdles

My pick: Omar McLeod

Actual Winner: Grant Holloway

This race was so much fun to watch! McLeod and Holloway were right up against each other until the ninth hurdle, when McLeod stumbled, blocking Spain's Orlando Ortega (who was coming up to challenge the two) and giving Holloway the chance to take the win. I remember watching Holloway at the NCAA Championships in May, and now he's world champion. Amazing. (By the way, the IAAF granted Ortega a tie for bronze because he was impeded.)

Women's 3000 Meter Steeplechase

My pick: Norah Jeruto

Actual Winner: Beatrice Chepkoech

So...Jeruto wasn't even in the field. Oops. But Chepkoech should have been my pick, because she absolutely smashed the field in the final - almost a full five seconds faster than Emma Coburn, who took the silver.

Women's 200 Meters

My pick: Shaunae Miller-Uibo

Actual Winner: Dina Asher-Smith

Another eye-roller because I didn't realize that the 200m and 400m races were so close together (with one heat and one final on the same day) that Miller-Uibo didn't run this race. Neither did Fraser-Price or Ta Lou, which meant there wasn't a huge competitor to beat Asher-Smith, who won the race - probably her specialty race over the 100m.

Men's 3000 Meter Steeplechase

My pick: Soufiane El Bakkali

Actual Winner: Conseslus Kipruto

Kipruto won this race at the finish line, barely dipping out Lamecha Girma. El Bakkali got the bronze.

Women's Discus

My pick: Denia Caballero

Actual Winner: Yaime Pérez

I picked a Cuban to win, but turns out I picked the wrong one! Pérez was winning until the sixth round when Caballero took the lead, so it was up to Pérez to take it with one final throw - which she did!

Men's 800 Meters

My pick: Donavan Brazier

Actual Winner: Donavan Brazier (1)

In the span of an hour, Lyles, Brazier, and Sam Kendricks won gold medals for Team USA. Brazier ended up winning the 800m by over a second!

Men's Shot Put

My pick: Tomas Walsh

Actual Winner: Joe Kovacs

The field events had their own dedicated feeds, but I chose to watch the all-in-one feed most of the time. (Since it was commercial-free, they gave a lot of time to field events...unlike NBC Sports.) But when it came to men's shot put, I had to watch the whole event. And I was not disappointed! Walsh ended up giving his best effort with his first put, getting it to 22.90 meters. After that, everyone waited in eager anticipation to see if it could be bested. It did - but not until the sixth round! Joe Kovacs beat out Walsh by one centimeter, and then Ryan Crouser tied Walsh. Because of his other throws, Crouser ended up with silver and Walsh the bronze. That last round was absolutely incredible. I can't wait to watch this competition in person.

Women's Pole Vault

My pick: Katerina Stefanidi

Actual Winner: Anzhelika Sidorova

Sandi Morris made Sidorova work hard for her win, and managed a silver medal behind the Russian-er, I mean "Authorized Neutral Athlete." At the medals ceremony, the IAAF flag and anthem were played when she received the gold. That has to be such a bummer. They didn't even mention that she was from Russia!

Men's Discus

My pick: Daniel Ståhl

Actual Winner: Daniel Ståhl (1)

The most fun part of this competition was Ståhl's victory celebration, when he decided to jump over one of the hurdles that was set up for the 400m hurdle final. Later during the men's pole vault, he was seen in his Swedish gear cheering on his compatriot, Mondo Duplantis!

Men's Pole Vault

My pick: Piotr Lisek

Actual Winner: Sam Kendricks

Kendricks was able to repeat his win, but Piotr Lisek and Duplantis made it close. Several times each of these vaulters were on their third and final jump, and managed to get over the bar. Duplantis and Kendricks each had several chances to lose it and allow the other to clinch, but they didn't let it happen until Duplantis had more attempts overall and neither could clear over 6.02m.

Men's Long Jump

My pick: Juan Miguel Echevarría

Actual Winner: Tajay Gayle

Look out Jamaica: between Gayle's win and Fredrick Dacres' silver medal in the discus, suddenly the country doesn't need to just be about track sprinting! (Good thing; their sprinters were pretty bad this year.) But Gayle jumped the world lead and accomplished a national record, as well. Echevarría ended up with bronze, and Team USA's Jeff Henderson, who had been struggling much of this season, got the silver.

Women's Javelin

My pick: Lyu Huihui

Actual Winner: Kelsey-Lee Barber

Two Chinese - the aforementioned Lyu and Liu Shiying - had gold and silver locked up until the Australian Barber blasted a 66.56m throw in her final round to stun them!

Women's Shot Put

My pick: Lijiao Gong

Actual Winner: Lijiao Gong

USA Trials winner Chase Ealey never really got it going in this competition, leaving up to Danniel Thomas-Dodd of Jamaica to challenge Gong. She made it really close, and I think if Thomas-Dodd keeps this going, she has a chance to beat out Gong next year in Tokyo.

Women's 400 Meters

My pick: Shaunae Miller-Uibo

Actual Winner: Salwa Eid Naser

While Norman's failure to qualify for the final was a shocker, this was my upset of the event. Both Miller-Uibo and Naser raced to records for their respective continents, Naser ended up having the fastest 400m this year - and that is saying something considering how Miller-Uibo raced in the Diamond League! Some people questioned Naser's win, so we'll see if anything comes from it now or in the future.

Men's 1500 Meters

My pick: Timothy Cheruiyot

Actual Winner: Timothy Cheruiyot (1)

Cheruiyot took the lead at the start and never let it go. It wasn't even close! Algeria's Taoufik Makhloufi won silver but was two whole seconds behind him. Meanwhile, the Ingebrigtsens' efforts came up empty here, as they also did during the...

Men's 5000 Meters

My pick: Selemon Barega

Actual Winner: Muktar Edris

Jakob Ingebrigtsen actuall was disqualified during the 5000m heats but was later reinstated. He took the lead in the final lap, but that ended up being too early, and he ended up stumbling to fifth place. Barega took silver but couldn't beat his fellow Ethiopian Edris.

Women's 5000 Meters

My pick: Sifan Hassan

Actual Winner: Hellen Obiri

Like I said earlier, I was surprised to see Hassan do the 1500/10,000 double instead of the normal 5K/10K double, so she didn't even do this one. Instead, Obiri repeated her win, and Konstanza Klosterhalfen of Germany managed to take bronze - a big win for European distance runners.

(By the way, the crowds for the distance races were even bigger and more boisterous than the crowds for the sprint races, thanks to the crowds from Kenya and Ethiopia. While it was disappointing to see an almost empty arena for the men's 100m, it was amazing to see 30 minutes of non-stop cheers during the 10K!)

Women's Triple Jump

My pick: Caterine Ibargüen

Actual Winner: Yulimar Rojas

I should have stuck with the repeat winner. Ibargüen only managed a bronze, showing that last season was the height of her career so far. Will she be able to regain her form for Tokyo? I have a feeling she'll place more time into triple jump next season instead of doubling on triple jump and long jump like she did this season. (But it's just a guess.)

Men's Triple Jump

My pick: Will Claye (upset!)

Actual Winner: Christian Taylor

No upset here. Claye and Taylor once again made this a spectacular event to watch, but in the end Taylor won by 18 centimeters - which is quite a lot in triple jump standards.

Women's High Jump

My pick: Mariya Lasitskene

Actual Winner: Mariya Lasitskene (1)

Both Team USA's Vashti Cunningham and the Ukraine's Yaroslava Mahuchikh made Lasitskene work for it, but in the end her experience and focus won out. Yet another Russian who never heard the word "Russia" in the arena loudspeakers. C'mon, governing body, look out for your national athletes!


Total correct: 10! 

Not bad!

I am sad to see the track and field season over - especially because it was wonderfully long thanks to Doha's hot weather pushing the World Championships back a month - but I am so excited to see how these athletes prepare for Tokyo next year.

When I started these weekly blogs, the summer athletes were all in their downswing after Rio. They were changing coaches, trying new things, and taking it easy. In 2019, that all changed. The upswing of training began, and it's only going to get higher and higher as we get closer to July. Stay tuned - this is going to get exciting!


Next Week!

There is so much going on right now that it's hard to keep up! Next week I plan on talking more about the ISL's second week in Naples, the World Gymnastics Championships, and another dump of Olympic tickets on CoSport. How exciting is all of this?!


Weekly Cauldron Check

Is the cauldron lit????

...No. But it will be in less than eleven months!

I'm Claire Nat and you're reading Light The CauldronFollow me on Twitter and Facebook @CauldronLight and read my past Olympic articles! Look back on previous posts to hear about my trips to the US Curling National Championships, the US Figure Skating Championships, and my very successful quest to acquire tickets for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics!


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