World Athletics Championships – van Niekerk wins first part of possible 400m-200m double

The Olympic and reigning 400m Champion, Wayde van Niekerk of South Africa, successfully defended his World title in London last night, in what he hopes will be the first part of a golden double of 400m and 200m titles


The World recorder holder had a comfortable victory in 43.98 seconds and became the fourth multiple 400m champion at a World Championships. Bahamian Steven Gardiner claimed the silver (44.46) and Abdalelah Haroun from Qatar became the first Asian medallist in the event when taking the bronze medal in a time of 44.48, a season’s best for him.


The Men’s 800m Final, without the injured reigning champion David Rudisha of Kenya, saw Frenchman Pierre-Ambroise Bosse (1:44.67) create a surprise in becoming the first European to win the event since Switzerland’s André Bucher tasted success in 2001.


European Champion Adam Kszczot of Poland ran a season’s best (1:44.95) to ensure a European 1-2 when he defeated Kenya’s reigning U20 World Champion Kipyegon Bett (1:45.21) for the silver medal.


In claiming the bronze medal, Bett became the second youngest medallist ever in the event, behind Ethiopia’s Mohammed Aman, at just 19 years and 218 days old.


Kenyan domination of the Men’s 3,000m Steeplechase, an event in which the country had previously won 28 World Championship medals and 11 of the last 15 titles, continued with the victory of Conseslus Kipruto in 8:14.12.


The Olympic Champion’s win ensured he became the first World Youth Champion to win the World Championships title and it completed his set of gold medals from the World Youth, World Junior and World Championships.


Morocco’s 21 year-old Soufiane Elbakkali (8:14.49) held off Olympic silver medallist Evan Jager (8:15.53) for the runner’s-up spot, as Jager became the first American to medal in the event.


The USA’s Olympic silver medallist Sam Kendricks won his first World title with a third-time clearance of 5.95m in the Men’s Pole Vault.


European Indoor Champion Piotr Lisek of Poland took silver with his first-time clearance of 5.89m, while 2012 Olympic Champion, Renaud Lavillenie of France, gained the bronze medal for his 5.89m clearance on his second attempt, though he unsuccessfully attempted 6.01m in a last ditch effort to claim the gold.


Kendricks, who has been the dominant men’s pole vaulter this season, was the only competitor to record a clean card at 5.50m, 5.65m, 5.75m, 5.82m and 5.89m in the final. He becomes the second American to claim the title following Brad Walker’s win in Osaka 10 years ago.


The 36 year-old Czech javelin thrower, Barbora Spotakova, bridged a ten-year gap since her initial World Javelin title when she won the only women’s final on Day 5 of London 2017.

The world record holder threw 66.76m to beat the 2008 World U20 silver medallist Li Lingwei, who threw a lifetime best of 66.25m for silver in the third round, while her compatriot the 2015 World silver medallist Lyu Huihui threw 65.26m in round five to claim the bronze, in what was the first javelin competition in history in which 12 women threw beyond 60 metres,


The Czech athlete has now won 10 medals at major championships and joins Osleidys Menendez (CUB), Mirela Tzelili-Manjani (GRE) and Trine Hattestad (NOR) as a multiple gold medallist in the event at the World Championships.


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