Doha 2019: Noah Lyles crowned 200m world champion as Adam Gemili misses bronze

ATHLETICS-WORLD-2019

All hail athletics' prince: Noah Lyles.

In truth, the American sensation has long since occupied the throne and victory at the World Athletics Championships was mere vindication for his omnipotence over 200 metres.

Still, Usain Bolt can breathe a sigh of relief. Lyles' time of 19.82 seconds was nothing to kill the king, but any suggestions of a world record were a little premature in what's been a gruelling season.

Much like Bolt, the American has a pay-per-view personality – even donning silver hair as a nod to his favourite cartoon character – and has the alien-like pace to match it.

But it wasn't until the home straight that Lyles showed Qatar his true invincibility, steaming ahead like a locomotive as soon as he sensed Andre de Grasse and Alex Quinonez by his side.

Heartbreak strikes for Gemili

Both the Canadian and Ecuadorian collected the remaining medals in that order, while there was heartbreak for Adam Gemili as he was forced to stomach another fourth-place finish.

The 25-year-old, who suffered the same fate at the 2016 Olympics, cut a forlorn figure as he entered the mixed zone but answered each and every question with his admirable candour. 

"I ran like such an amateur," Gemili decreed with a shake of the head. "All my technique went out the window, all the training I've been doing all year. I just lost it. 

17th IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019 - Day Five

'I've let so many people down'

"The one race I needed to get it right and when it felt like it was there for the taking, I let it slip through my fingers. I just don't really know what to say, I'm just gutted really.

"I feel like I've let so many people down. So many people put so much faith in me. I read every single message people send to me, especially over the last few days after the 100m.

"This was a redemption event. This is the same, if not worse, than that feeling after Rio because of the whole story behind it, where I've come back from injuries and being written off completely."

The whole country needs to put an arm around Gemili. It seems that lady luck takes pleasure in slashing spike-marks through his medal hopes, but the Brit will be back stronger than ever for the relays.

17th IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019 - Day Five

Absolute war in the pole vault

If you've never watched pole vault, I'm sorry but you're missing out.

Just a few days after the women put on an absolute clinic in their final, the men's competition escalated into a tremendous war between Sam Kendricks and Armand Duplantis.

It speaks volumes that the bar was cranked so high that Olympic champion Thiago Braz and former European Indoor king Piotr Lisek both fell by the wayside. 

In the end, it was Kendricks that retained his World title after emerging with the cleanest scorecard, but the Qatari crowd won't be forgetting his, nor Duplantis', 5.97-metre clearances in a hurry.

17th IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019 - Day Five

Kendricks hails the pole-vaulting quality

Chatting to the international press after his second gold, Kendricks admitted: "The competition tonight is something that you don't always get the chance to be in. It's been a long year.

"I've jumped so much, this is my 30th meet this year. I was so inspired by Anzhelika Sidorova, she was so laser-focused and I wanted to bring a part of that to me in my competition. I learnt from watching her.

"And Sandi, man. My good goodness, she put on the best competition I've ever seen her do and I was really inspired by her as a teammate and a friend."

17th IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019 - Day Five

Muhammad sails through the heats

Dalilah Muhammad got her campaign over the 400m hurdles underway, marking the beginning of the end for a season that has already seen her shatter the world record in 52.20 seconds.

After swanning through her heat in 54.87 seconds, the 29-year-old explained to GIVEMESPORT: "It felt good. I wanted to go out there and win the heats, and I was able to accomplish that.

"I think I'm going into this one with a little more pressure on myself. I really want to perform well, but I'm up for the challenge and I'm ready. I still think it's possible to set another world record here."

However, before any suggestions of yet another all-time best, Muhammad will have to negate tomorrow's semi-finals that will feature the British duo of Jessica Turner and Meghan Beesley.

ATHLETICS-WORLD-2019

Brazier dominates 800m final

In the absence of the world-record-hunting Nijel Amos, the very man that pipped him in the Diamond League final - Donavan Brazier - was on hand to pickpocket the gold medal in similar fashion.

The American, who clocked a Championship record, was greeted by more journalists in the mixed zone than any other athlete but it wasn't for the quality of his run.

Brazier faced up to and largely dismissed questions about his coach Alberto Salazar, who was slapped with a four-year ban from athletics this morning for doping violations. 

There are no allegations lodged against Brazier, but it cast an unwanted shadow of doubt on a superb performance, even if Salazar's removal is being greeted as a huge positive for the sport. 

17th IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019 - Day Five

Barshim delights the home crowd

And after Monday evening's delight for Abderrahman Samba, there was even more for the Qatari crowd to cheer as Mutaz Essa Barshim made his bow in the men's high jump qualifying.

It's been a difficult season for the reigning champion, but there's hints that he could be peaking at just the right time with a perfect scorecard and season's best clearance at 2.29 metres.

Barshim shared the lead with the nationless Ilya Ivanyuk, while the duo of Brandon Starc and Luis Enrique Zayas knocked on the door in third place ahead of Friday's showpiece.

17th IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019 - Day Five

Hudson-Smith out through injury

There was disappointment for Britain in the 400m heats as Matthew Hudson-Smith, the reigning European champion, pulled up less than 50 metres after emerging from the blocks.

Hudson-Smith has been blighted with injury throughout 2019, was forced to wait until August to begin his season and now the British medical team will assess his latest knock.

However, there will still be a British representative in the semi-finals with Rabah Yousif set to rub shoulders with super-stars like Michael Norman, Fred Kerley and Kirani James.

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Brits bow out of competitive 400m

Shaunae Miller-Uibo stamped her authority on the women's 400m with one of the easiest looking 49.66-second laps you're every likely to see.

It was a flash of two fingers to her closest challenger Salwa Eid Naser who, along with Jamaica's Stephenie Ann McPherson, booked a place in the final by winning her heat.

Sadly, there won't be any Brits joining them in the climax as both Laviai Nielsen and Emily Diamond bowed out of their respective championships until the relays.

But Diamond, now the world's 15th fastest 400m runner, was still delighted with her performance and told GIVEMESPORT:  “I’m absolutely over the moon.

"You should never doubt yourself about what you can do – the last few days have shown that if something is thrown at me, I can go out there and give it my all. To come away with a season’s best today, and another sub 52, I’m thrilled."

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Asher-Smith now a huge favourite

The competitors have been dropping like flies in the women's 200 metres and now all eyes turn to Asher-Smith, who enters tomorrow's final as a whopping favourite.

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Blessing Okagbare, Dafne Schippers, Elaine Thompson, Marie-Josee Ta Lou and Shaune Miller-Uibo have all joined the scrapheap of withdrawals.

Asher-Smith will be the only Brit taking her place in the final, but it wasn't for a lack of trying as Beth Dobbin and Jodie Williams put up valiant fights in the second round.

17th IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019 - Day Five

Action all over in Doha

The hammer throw launched itself into action with Pawel Fajdek and Wojciech Nowicki summiting their qualifying groups thanks to 79.24 and 77.89-metre throws respectively.  

In the men's steeplechase, there was a clean-sweep for the East African nations as Getnet Wale and Lemecha Girma of Ethiopa - as well as Kenya's Conselus Kipruto - won their first round clashes.

There was also a little piece of history in the women's javelin as Kelsey-Lee Barber bagged Australia's first gold in the event, snatching the crown with a final round throw of 66.56 metres.

17th IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019 - Day Five

All hail Noah Lyles

So, the world waited, the world adored and Lyles delivered.

Lyles isn't Bolt. He never will be and he doesn't want to be, but that's alright. That's just fine.

Regardless of whether the American ever flirts with that preposterous record of 19.19 seconds, there's no better time to celebrate his significance to the sport than after he conquered the world.

Once Lyles unravels his stride into a speed that only three humans in history can match, you get the feeling he could sprint across water and not make a splash. On athletics, however, he certainly has.

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