Great Britain 4 x 100m teams reach World Athletics Championships finals

Dina Asher-Smith’s hopes of a third 2019 World Championships medal remained intact as both Britain’s 4x100m relay teams qualified for Saturday’s finals.

Britain’s men, the defending champions, made it through their heat with a world lead time of 37.56 seconds in Doha.

Britons Neil Gourley, Josh Kerr and Jake Wightman looked in good shape as they reached Sunday’s 1500m final.

USA’s Dalilah Muhammad set a world record for the second time this year as she won the women’s 400m hurdles final.

Following much scrutiny over the small crowds at the event, the Khalifa Stadium was almost full to capacity on Friday as the Qataris cheered on home favourite Mutaz Essa Barshim who defended his men’s high jump title.

Asher-Smith, the 200m champion and 100m silver medallist, will be brought into the quartet for the final after sitting out Friday’s heat.

She relied on Asha Philip, Imani-Lara Lansiquot, Ashleigh Nelson and Daryll Neita and they kept their composure to bring the baton safely around in a season’s best time of 42.25 seconds.

At the World Relays earlier in the year, Nelson was involved in a baton-exchange error, but her exchange with Neita, on the anchor leg, was faultless.

Neita told BBC Sport: “We’ve practised so hard. We’ve had an amazing camp coming into this. I feel like we’re moving away from the technical side and moving into the trust.

“We all trust each other. I’m really proud of us and Saturday is going to be great.”

Jamaica’s quartet, which included 100m gold medallist Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, won the heat in 42.11.

Defending champions USA won their heat to take their place in the final.

The British men’s team of Adam Gemili, Zharnel Hughes, Richard Kilty and Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake were also impressive as they won their race with a clear distance between themselves and the Americans, who included 100m champion Christian Coleman and came third with Brazil second.

Gemili, fourth in the men’s 200m, told BBC Sport: “I’m actually good. I feel really fresh. It’s always an honour to come out with these guys. We were looking for redemption, especially myself and Zharnel, after what happened in the individuals.”

Great Britain captain Kilty added: “We knew the key to this was relaxation. I said to the lads at the start – this is one seamless effort of taking the baton round, and we’ve done that nicely We’re full of confidence, relaxed and ready to go again.”

Mitchell-Blake said: “Right now we’ve got to rewrite the history books and focus at what’s on hand right now.”

‘It’s time for us to show up on the biggest stage’

World Athletics Championships: History made as GB trio qualify for men’s 1500m final
In the men’s 1500m, Scots Gourley, Kerr and Wightman made history as it is the first time three British men have reached a 1500m final at a World Championships.

Gourley, 24, came third in the first semi-final and Kerr, 21, was fourth in the second with Commonwealth bronze medallist Wightman, 25, taking the final qualification spot as one of two fastest losers in three minutes 36.85 seconds.

There was only 0.35 seconds separating the fastest qualifier, Marcin Lewandowski of Poland, and Wightman, who told BBC Sport: “I still don’t believe it – there’s the ‘Q’ on the big screen. I made hard of work of that but it bodes well for the final that we all got through.”

Asked about three Scots progressing, Kerr said: “It’s fantastic. We’ve had a clean sweep in the British Championships in the last couple of years and it’s time for us to show up on the biggest stage.”

Norway’s European champion Jakob Ingebrigtsen finished third in the second semi-final to go through but brother Filip, a 2017 world bronze medallist, missed out after coming seventh in the first semi-final.

Muhammad sets second world record this year

Dalilah Muhammad breaks women’s 400m hurdles world record to win gold
In the women’s 400m hurdles, Muhammad, 29, held off compatriot Sydney McLaughlin in a thrilling final, winning in 52.16 seconds – 0.04 faster than the time she set in July.

McLaughlin, 20, produced a brilliant late sprint to clock 52.23, which is the third-fastest ever. Jamaica’s Rushell Clayton took bronze in 53.74.

The men’s 3,000m steeplechase was decided by a photo-finish as Kenya’s defending champion Conseslus Kipruto snatched gold from Ethiopia’s Lamecha Girma.

Rio champion Kipruto, 24, who has only recently recovered from a stress fracture in his foot, won in eight minutes 01.35 seconds – 0.01secs ahead of the 18-year-old. Britain’s Zak Seddon finished 15th.

Kenya’s Kipruto wins gold in sensational steeplechase finish
The loudest cheers of the night were reserved for home favourite Barshim, who retained his title and won Qatar’s first gold with an effort of 2.37m.

The 28-year-old’s fitness was in question for these championships having ruptured ankle ligaments in July 2018 attempting to break Javier Sotomayor’s world record of 2.45m.

They were allayed when he cleared a season’s best of 2.29m in qualification before outjumping Russian silver medallist Mikhail Akimenko (2.35m) and his compatriot Ilya Ivanyuk (2.35m), both competing as Authorised Neutral Athletes, in the final.

In the men’s 400m final, Bahamas’ Steven Gardiner stunned favourite Fred Kerley of the USA to take gold in 43.48 seconds – the sixth-fastest time in history.

Colombia’s Anthony Jose Zambrano was a surprise second in 44.15 and Kerley, who ran 43.64 in the summer, took bronze a further 0.02secs back.

Japan’s Toshikazu Yamanishi won the men’s 20km walk in one hour 26 minutes 34 seconds, with Russian Vasily Mizinov – another Authorised Neutral Athlete – second in 1:26.49 and Sweden’s Perseus Karlstrom third in 1:27.00.

In temperatures of around 31C, Britain’s Tom Bosworth finished seventh in 1:29.34, but compatriot Callum Wilkinson was left near to tears after being disqualified.

Wilkinson, who led briefly around the 6km mark, was shown a fourth red card in the closing stages of the race.

In the women’s discus final, it was a Cuban one-two as Yaime Perez took gold with 69.17m.

Compatriot Denia Caballero clinched silver (68.44m) and Croatian’s Sandra Perkovic, a two-time Olympic and world champion, won bronze with 66.72m.

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Source – BBC

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