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Doha world athletics championships: Five things we learned on Day 7

Trophy pose: Katarina Johnson-Thompson ponders her achievements after winning the world heptathlon title for the first time.
Trophy pose: Katarina Johnson-Thompson ponders her achievements after winning the world heptathlon title for the first time. AFP/Antonin Thuillier

Obstacles are overcome for a thwarted hurdler while the all-rounders end their quests for supremacy.



Orlando Ortega was upgraded from fifth to third after Omar McLeod’s calamitous end to the 110 metres hurdles final on day 6. McLeod, the defending champion, hit a hurdle, strayed into Ortega’s lane and impeded the Spaniard before falling to the track. Ortega had been looking good for a medal before the interference. The Spanish federation lodged an appeal after the race and the organisers eventually accepted their plea. Ortega was there on the podium at the Khalifa International Stadium with fellow bronze medallist Pascal Martinot-Lagarde, silver medallist Sergey Shubenkov and the golden boy Grant Holloway.


Ortega was unsurprisingly emotional after the medal ceremony. He revealed that he had received a flood of messages expressing sympathy or support. “I don’t want to talk about the race,” said the 28-year-old. “But let’s just say it’s experience for my career and personal life. I just want to thank the federation for taking up my case and to all the people who thought about me. I just want who celebrate this medal with my family and all the people in Spain.”

Pain of knowledge

The battle to find the world’s best all-round male athlete arguably lost the world’s best all-round muscle during the final day competition. Kevin Mayer, who set a world record last September, pulled out of the decathlon during the pole vault – the eighth event. The 27-year-old Frenchman had been well on his way to defending his world championship title when his achilles gave up the ghost. Mayer said he knew he didn’t have to be at his best to win. But still he needed two legs.

Pain of victory

Despite the uberalpha’s withdrawal, the punies carried on and three medals were suddenly up for grabs. The Abdomen gristled during the pole vault. They bristled through the javelin. Eventually three underlings - Maicel Uibo, Damian Warner and Niklas Kaul - were separated by 19 points going into the 1500 metres, the last of the 10 disciplines. Kaul had the freshest legs and won the race, relegating Uibo to silver and Warner to bronze. But they all know who really would have won.

Kind of King Kaul. Queen Katarina

So the record books will show that Niklas Kaul is Mr Tough. Katarina Johnson-Thompson is the new Ms Tough after deposing the erstwhile Ms Tough, Nafissatou Thiam to win the heptathlon. KJT – as she is known – has had a terrible time at world championships in Beijing and London over the past four years. At both venues she failed to live up to her promise. What to do? KJT did the OST (only sensible thing) and moved to France to train with the crew that hone … Kevin Mayer.



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