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Muslim athletes break records in Doha

25th Oct 2019
Muslim athletes break records in Doha

Home favourite Mutaz Essa Barshim won gold in the World Athletics Championships held in Doha, Qatar, he was one of nine Muslim athletes to win gold (Photo: Filip Bossuyt/WikiCommons)

Elham Asaad Buaras

Muslim track and field athletes bagged seventeen medals at the World Athletics Championships in Qatar, earlier this month. The number of gold medals won by Muslim athletes has more than doubled to nine from the last world championships in London two years ago. The championships also produced a series of record-breaking performances from Muslim athletes.

Muslim track and field athletes bagged seventeen medals at the World Athletics Championships in Qatar,earlier this month. The number of gold medals won by Muslim athletes has more than doubled to nine from the last championships in London two years ago.

Dalilah Muhammad of the US broke the world record to win the women’s 400-metre hurdles (Photo: Fernando Frazão/Agência Brasil)

The championships also produced a series of record-breaking performances from Muslim athletes. A total of 20 records were broken by Muslim athletes, the most notable of which was by Dalilah Muhammad of the United States who stormed to a world record-breaking victory in the women’s 400-metre hurdles final. 29-year-old Muhammad smoothed her way in 52.16 to break, by.04 seconds, the world record she had set at the US national championships in July. Compatriot Sydney McLaughlin won silver and Jamaica’s Rushell Clayton bronze. The 29-year-old Olympic champion took gold ahead of compatriot Sydney McLaughlin, while Jamaica’s Rushell Clayton took the bronze. American Nia Ali put up her second personal best to win the 100m hurdles with a time of 12.34 seconds. Kendra Harrison of the US won silver and Danielle Williams of Jamaica won silver.

Home favourite Mutaz Essa Barshim helped fill out the Khalifa International Stadium for the first time. The defending champion completed a remarkable comeback to take the men’s high jump gold. Barshim had been earmarked as the poster boy of these championships ever since they were awarded to Doha, but had competed just three times all season because of an ankle injury.

A season’s best of 2.29 metres in qualifying inspired hope that he may be able to contend for a medal, in what looked like a sub-par year for the event. Instead, Barshim surpassed all expectations, producing a first-time clearance of 2.37 metres, the highest jump in the world this year, to become the first man to ever defend a world high jump title. Russians Mikhail Akimenko and Ilya Ivanyuk took silver and bronze respectively, both in new personal best times.

Bahrain’s Salwa Eid Naser stunned the athletics world by producing the third-fastest 400 metres in history to upset heavy favourite Bahamian Shaunae Miller-Uibo to take the gold. The 21-year-old took almost a second off her personal best to run 48.14, the fastest time in the world since East Germany’s Marita Koch set a dubious world record back in 1985. Miller-Uibo, the world leader this year, also shattered her own personal best in 48.37, moving to number six on the all-time list, but could not run down the Bahraini. Jamaica’s Shericka Jackson took the bronze, with the first five athletes all breaking their personal best.

Earlier in the championships, Naser had set an Asian record (3:12.74) with her mixed four-by-400-metre relay team featuring Musa Isah, Aminat Jamal, and Abbas Abubakar Abbas when they won bronze. Making its debut at the championships, the event attracted the powerhouses of one-lap sprinting, many of whom were drawn in the first heat. Team United States-led from the outset, thanks to a 45.1 run from Tyrell Richard. The United States team also featuring Wilbert London, Courtney Okolo and Michael Cherry won in three minutes 9.04 seconds, a world record. Jamaica finished second in 3:12.73.

Bosnia’s Amel Tuka (800 metres) became the country’s most decorated track athlete (Photo: Filip Bossuyt/WikiCommons)

Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Amel Tuka became the country’s most decorated track athlete when he won silver in the men’s 800 metres. The 28-year-old finished in 1:43:37, a season-best for him. Donavan Brazier stormed home to claim a first-ever world title for the United States. Brazier raced past Puerto Rican Wesley Vasquez with 300 metres left to win in a championship record time of one minute 42.34 seconds. Kenya’s Ferguson Cheruiyot Rotich secured the bronze.

Abderrahman Samba gave the hosts something to cheer for by claiming a bronze in the men’s 400 metres hurdles. Norway’s Karsten Warholm retained the title in the distance extending his unbeaten streak of 14 races, the 23-year old came home clear of main rival Rai Benjamin timing 47.42 seconds with the American finishing in 47.66.

Mohamed Ahmed took the bronze to win Canada’s first-ever world championships medal in the men’s 5,000 metres; the thrilling race was won by Ethiopia’s Muktar Edris who battled over the last 200 metres to retain his title. The 25-year-old who outsprinted compatriot Selemon Barega won the season’s best 12 minutes 58.85 seconds as the Ethiopians were rewarded for a team performance with gold and silver.

Algeria’s Taoufik Makhloufi set a PB time of 3:31:38 on his way to a silver medal in the 1,500 metres. Kenyan Timothy Cheruiyot outclassed a field to win gold. The 23-year-old had a huge lead at the bell and never looked in danger over the final lap as he strode home in three minutes 29.26 seconds, more than two seconds clear, to claim Kenya’s fifth straight win in the event. Marcin Lewandowski set a Polish record to claim bronze.

Africa’s dominance on the tracks continued. Uganda’s Halimah Nakaayi dramatically won the women’s 800m title. The American pre-race favouriteAjeé Wilson tried to dictate the pace, but the Ugandan challenge was coming with Nakaayi and Winnie Nanyondo attacking the long-time leader. Nakaayi passed Wilson and sprinted clear to take gold in 1:58.04. Wilson had to settle for bronze.

Dutch athlete Sifan Hassan completed an unprecedented double by becoming the first woman to ever win gold in the 1,500 metres and 10,000 metres at the same world championships as she ran 3:51.95 to move to number six on the all-time list.

Britain’s Katarina Johnson-Thompson sprung a huge upset, beating Belgium’s Olympic champ Nafissatou Thiam to the gold medal in the heptathlon. Thiam was the odds-on favourite to defend her 2017 victory before the start of the competition but finished second on 6,677 points, with Austria’s Verena Preiner third.

Malaika Mihambo of Germany added the world long jump title to her European gold medal with one of the biggest leaps of recent years and raised her PB by 14 centimetres. Mihambo jumped 7.30 metres in the third round. It was the second-best leap by anyone in the last 15 years. The silver went to Ukraine’s Maryna Bekh-Romanchuk with 6.92, one centimetre ahead of Nigerian bronze medalist Ese Brume.

Moroccan steeplechase runner Soufiane El Bakkali came in third during the 3000m men’s steeplechase final. With a time of 8:03:76, El Bakkali was close behind Keynan athlete Conseslus Kipruto and Ethiopian athlete Lamecha Girma, who came in first and second.

Record-breaking Muslim athletes
World Athletics Championships: Doha, Qatar (Sep 27 – Oct 6)

Key: Men (M) , Women (W) Not applicable (N/a)

Abdelmalik Lahoulou Algeria N/A (M) 400m Hurdles National Record
Abderrahman Samba Qatar Bronze (M) 400m Hurdles Not applicable
Ahmed Al-Yaari Yemen N/A (M) 200m National Record
Amel Tuka Bosnia & Herzegovina Silver (M) 800m Season Best
Aminatou Seyni Niger N/A (W) 200m National Record
Arshad Nadeem Pakistan N/A (M) Javelin National Record
Dalilah Muhammad USA Gold (W) 400m Hurdles World Record
Halimah Nakaayi Uganda Gold (W) 800m National Record
Malaika Mihambo Germany Gold (W) Long Jump World Leading
Mohammed Ahmed Canada Bronze (M) 400m Not applicable
Muktar Edris Ethiopia Gold (M) 400m Season Best
Mutaz Barshim Qatar Gold (M) High Jump World Leading
Nafissatou Thiam Belgium Silver (M) Heptathlon Not applicable
Nia Ali USA Gold (M) 100m Hurdles Personal Best
Noureddine Hadid Lebanon N/A (M) 200m National Record
Mixed Relay Team Bahrain Bronze 4x400m Asian Record
Salwa Eid Naser Bahrain Gold (W)  400m Asian Record
Selemon Barega Ethiopia Silver (M) 400m Not applicable
Sifan Hassan Netherlands Gold (W) 1,500M Champ & European Record
Sifan Hassan Netherlands Gold (W) 10K World Leading
Soufiane El Bakkali Morocco Bronze (M) 3K st’chase Personal Best
Taoufik Makhloufi Algeria Silver (M)  1,500m Season Best

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