Twenty-five year old Dafne Schippers, possibly the only woman competing in London to have a road named after them (Dafne Schipperslaan in Utrecht), did what many reigning IAAF World Champions failed to do, successfully defend their title.
The former heptathlete from the Netherlands, the Olympic silver medallist in Rio, stormed down the home straight of 2012 Olympic Stadium to cross the line in a season’s best time of 22.05 seconds, holding off the strong challenge of Marie-Josée Ta Lou of the Ivory Coast (22.08 NR), who had missed out on a 100m gold medal by 0.01 seconds earlier in the championships, and the Bahamian Shaunae Miller-Uibo (22.15), the woman who looked to be heading for gold in the 100m until she lost her momentum in the straight and finished fourth.
“It was very important to win,” Schippers said, “I’ve worked so hard and last year was not the easiest for me. I changed everything and got a new coach, so I’m very happy. It was a close race. It was a final I won. I’m very happy with this gold medal.”
Brittney Reese (USA) claimed a fourth emotional world title when her third round effort of 7.02m went unmatched by her competitors.
The 30-year-old London Olympic gold medallist from Mississippi dedicated her gold medal and her success as an athlete to her grandfather who died a fortnight prior to the championships:
“It’s been a tough couple of weeks, with the death of my grandfather,” said Reece, “This is for him.”
Russian Darya Klishina, allowed compete by the IAAF as a neutral athlete, won the silver medal with a best of 7.0m having put together four successive season’s best jumps during the course of the competition.
Defending World Champion Tianna Bartoletta (USA) claimed the bronze medal with 6.97m, her last jump in the final.
The surprise of the competition was the failure of Serbia’s Ivana Spanovic, who led the competition in round two with a 6.96m jump, to claim a medal for the sixth successive global championship she has competed in.
Americans Emma Coburn and Courtney Frerichs pulled off a huge upset in the final of the Women’s 3,000m Steeplechase, delivering both gold and silver medals for their country.
Coburn, the Rio bronze medallist, stormed to victory in a championship record time of 9:02.58, with Frerichs clocking a personal best of 9:03.77 for silver, and the defending champion Hyvin Kiyeng Jepkemoi (KEN) claiming the bronze medal in 9:04.03.
Coburn was totally shocked by her success, USA’s first victory in the event at the World Athletics Championships:
“This is incredible,” she said, “I want to say a massive thank you to everyone who has supported me and made it possible for me to be world champion. I just want to find my family and give them a hug. I’m lost for words. This is better than I could ever have imagined.”
Poland’s Pawel Fajdek became the first three-time World Championships gold medallist in the hammer when his fourth throw reached 79.81m.
Twenty-three year-old Valerly Pronkin, classed as a neutral athlete at the championships, claimed silver with 78.16m, short of his personal best of 79.32m set earlier this year, while another Pole Wojciech Nowicki’s 78.03m was good enough for his fourth major championships bronze medal.