A round-up of the action from the penultimate IAAF World Championships morning session in Beijing
Matej Toth enjoyed a dominant victory in the men’s 50km race walk, the world No.1 taking an early lead which he maintained all the way to the line to clock 3:40:32 for Slovakia’s first ever world gold.
Australia’s Jared Tallent added a silver medal to the two bronzes he won in Daegu and Moscow as well as his Olympic runner-up positions in 2008 and 2012, while bronze was claimed by Japan’s Takayuki Tanii.
Having created a five-second gap by 5km, Toth had improved that to around a minute at the halfway point and none of his competitors could get close. Tallent and Tanii were separated by 38 seconds, the Australian clocking 3:42:32 to secure the silver.
Behind the medallists were Japan’s Hirooki Arai (3:43:44) and Ireland’s defending world champion Robert Heffernan (3:44:17), plus China’s Zhang Lin (3:44:39) and Yu Wei (3:45:21).
Spain’s Jesus Angel Garcia of Spain, who won the world title in 1993, is the oldest man competing in Beijing at the age of 45 and he finished ninth in 3:46:43.
Decathlon action resumed with the 110m hurdles, Canada’s Damian Warner going quickest with 13.69 to USA’s world record-holder Ashton Eaton’s 13.69.
The discus throw was next and after seven events Eaton was still top with 6451 points to Warner’s 6320 and Rico Freimuth of Germany’s 6266-point tally.
All four of Britain’s relay teams qualified for the finals, with the 4x100m events to be held on Saturday and the 4x400m on Sunday.
First GB’s 4x400m team of Eilidh Child, Anyika Onuora, Kirsten McAslan and Seren Bundy-Davies clocked a 3:23.90 season’s best behind USA’s 3:23.05, with the runner-up time one that would have been enough to win a medal in Moscow.
The GB men’s team, comprising Rabah Yousif, Delano Williams, Jarryd Dunn and Martyn Rooney, won the first heat in a 2:59.05 season’s best, Rooney running a 44.29 anchor leg. That would have medalled in the past four World Championships and would have won in Daegu. Going quicker in the second heat were USA (2:58.13), Trinidad and Tobago (2:58.67) and Jamaica (2:58.69).
An unprecedented feat of all eight qualifiers broke three minutes and Botwana’s 2:59.95 was the quickest ever non-qualifying time.
Jamaica won the first women’s 4x100m heat in a world-leading 41.84 ahead of Britain’s Asha Philip, Jodie Williams, Bianca Williams and Desiree Henry with a 42.48 season’s best. Canada ran a national record 42.60 to also advance. The second heat was won by USA in 42.00. Netherlands, with world 200m champion and 100m silver medallist Dafne Schippers on leg two, clocked a 42.32 national record to also make the final.
Richard Kilty, Harry Aikines-Aryeetey, James Ellington and Danny Talbot secured GB a spot in the men’s 4x100m final after clocking a 38.20 season’s best behind USA with 37.91 in the first heat. Much to the delight of the home crowds, China broke the Asian record with 37.92 in a second heat won by Jamaica in 37.41.
» See the September 3 edition of AW magazine for coverage of the final five days of World Championships action, while the August 27 edition includes reports, results, news, stats and more from the first four days