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Athletics

Doha world athletics championships: Five things we learned on Day 3

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce won her first world championship gold in the 100 metres 10 years ago in Berlin.
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce won her first world championship gold in the 100 metres 10 years ago in Berlin. AFP/Jewel Samad

Where are the crowds? Are they saving their money for the football world cup? Their loss because they missed some wicked haircuts and a slice of history.

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No shows at the late show

It all got going late at the track on day 3. Just after 8pm in fact. And still the crowds stayed away. Where are these people? There are lots of cars on the road and many of them clog up the highways around the Khalifa International Stadium. But they are not depositing spectators. What are Doha’s denizens doing instead?

Time to take it easy

We liked the approach of Kyle Greaux at the end of the fourth heat in the first round of the men’s 200 metres. The 31-year-old looked to the left and then to the right before slowing down. “I was cruising at the end,” said the 31-year-old from Trinidad and Tobago. “But I wasn’t at the beginning. I felt a little rusty because I haven’t competed in the 200 for over a month. You want to win so you can get a good lane in the semi-final but you don’t want to spend too much energy because the semi will be like a final.”

Colourful lad

Noah Lyles is expected to be in the 200 metres final on day 5. The 22-year-old American has produced some searing times this season to highlight his menace. He’s also given the occasional wacky interview in which he talks in the third person about calming the madcap spirit within. Away from the antic disposition, Lyles came second in heat seven of round 1 behind Jereem Richards from Trinidad and Tobago. That order is not expected to continue. Lyles, who has his own Youtube channel on which he explores his artistic creativity, is so jazzy that he has dyed his hair kind of blue.

Curl up and dye

Lyles could learn a thing or two about coiffure, self-reference and even music from Spandau Ballet. Ah, the glossy days of those new romantics. Lyle should also weave his way towards Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce. Her locks have been refashioned to emit a golden glow. Apt. She took the 100 metres in a season’s best 10.71 seconds.

Strand by me

Fraser-Pryce is nicknamed the pocket rocket. Why? Because she is 1 metre 52 and fast. She won a record fourth gold in the 100 metres. It will gleam with the 32-year-old’s shiny baubles from 2009, 2013 and 2015. The Jamaican missed the 2017 championships to have a baby. And the lad, Zyon, was down on the track in Doha celebrating with “mummy rocket” as she references herself. And why not? “Coming back after having a baby is possible,” she said. “Running fast after 30 is possible. So here I am.” Clearly not a case of hair today gone tomorrow.  

 

 

 

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