Prior to the World Championships in Doha, Mutaz Essa Barshim has had a quiet season after suffering a major ankle surgery that almost ruled him out of the competition, but he ensured he ended it on a loud note, successfully defending his High Jump title in front of his home fans.
Barshim entered the World champs with a modest Season’s Best (SB) of 2.29m, and although the High Jump event tend to spring up new winners, the Qatari had an outside chance of retaining his title, as there were question marks over his fitness.
Cheered on by a large home crowd, the second best High Jumper in history, defied all odds to emerge the World Champion, scaling a World Lead (WL) mark of 2.37m to become the first man to ever defend a World Championships High Jump title.
Neutral athletes, Mikhail Akimenko and Ilya Ivanyuk were an inspiring pair, going all out to 2.35m which marked new Personal Bests for the two. Akimenko was however awarded the silver medal as he needed just an attempt to clear 2.33m while Ivanyuk went clear of the height on his third try.
Meanwhile in the women’s Discus Throw, Yaime Perez led a Cuban 1-2 finish, throwing an impressive 69.17m to win the title. The World Leader hadn’t experienced much luck on the global stage after she finished 4th at the previous editions of the World Championships in Beijing and London but she capped off an impressive 2019 season at the Khalifa International Stadium with a world title.
Denia Caballero was 2nd with a best throw of 68.44m while Sandra Perkovic, the most dominant figure in recent years was third with 66.72m.