Bednarek storms to 200m triumph in Doha, Neeraj Chopra falls short

Published May 12, 2024
DOHA: Germany’s Simon Batz competes in the men’s long jump during the Diamond League meeting at the Suheim Bin Hamad Stadium.—AFP
DOHA: Germany’s Simon Batz competes in the men’s long jump during the Diamond League meeting at the Suheim Bin Hamad Stadium.—AFP

DOHA: Kenneth Bednarek sounded out a warning to his Olympic rivals with a personal best and world-leading time in the 200 metres when he led an all-American podium at the Diamond League meeting in windy conditions in Doha on Friday.

Wearing a headband with the words “Fear no one”, Bednarek was in lane seven but the Tokyo Olympics silver medallist stormed to the finish line with a time of 19.67 seconds.

Courtney Lindsey finished second (20.01), while Kyree King (20.21) was third.

“The best I can do this year is gold medal in the Olympics... I know I have the talent and good training. Running this fast this early is really good, it means I will be fast by the time we start the Olympics,” Bednarek said.

In the women’s 100 met­res, Britain’s Daryll Neita edged ahead of American Tamari Davis in the final 15 metres to win by one-hundredth of a second in a photo finish for the podium.

Neita won with a time of 10.98 while American Cel­era Barnes was third (11.02).

But it was Alison dos Santos who got the crowd going when he broke the meet record in the 400m hurdles as the towering Brazilian left his opponents far behind to clock 46.86 seconds.

In the men’s long jump, Greece’s reigning Olympic champion Miltiadis Tentoglou finished second behind Jamaica’s Carey McLeod who won with a leap of 8.52 metres thanks to a strong tailwind.

Tentoglou, who was competing in his first event this year, could only manage 8.36 on his final attempt.

India’s Olympic champion Neeraj Chopra was pipped to top spot in the javelin by the Czech Republic’s Jakub Vadlejch in a close contest where the pair were separated by just two centimetres.

Chopra was looking to beat Vadlejch’s best throw of 88.38 metres but his final effort fell agonisingly short as the two athletes smiled and shook hands.

Elsewhere, Tokyo 2020 gold medallist Steven Gardiner said he was “just where I wanted to be” after a dominant 400m win at Qatar Sports Club Stadium.

And Kenyan world title-holder Mary Moraa held off Britain’s Jemma Reekie to win the women’s 800m by half a second in 1:57.91, her season’s best.

Kenya’s Brian Komen came out narrowly ahead of compatriots Timothy Cheruiyot — the former world champion and Tokyo 2020 silver-medallist — and Reynold Kipkorir Cheruiyot with 3:32.43 in the men’s 1,500m.

In the women’s pole vault, Britain’s world indoor champion Molly Caudery won on countback against reigning world champion Nina Kennedy of Australia after they both cleared 4.73.

Published in Dawn, May 12th, 2024

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