London, Aug 9 (IANS) Two-time Olympic champion Barbora Spotakova of the Czech Republic lifted her second world javelin throw title at the IAAF World Championships here, South African Wayde Van Niekerk was in a class of his own to claim the 400m title while Poland’s Anita Wlodarczyk completed a hat trick of women’s hammer throw world titles.
World and Olympic champion Van Niekerk finished well clear in 43.98 seconds on Tuesday night, reports Xinhua news agency.
“It is amazing to win the world title. I hope the fans enjoyed that,” the South African said.
Steven Gardiner of Bahamas clocked 44.41 for the silver and was followed by Abdalelah Haroun of Qatar in 44.48.
“The first thing that I wanted to do was to reach the final, but then I had to fight for a medal,” Haroun pointed out.
“I knew it was a big chance for me, and I’m very happy to have taken the opportunity.”
Isaac Makwala of Botswana, who pulled out of the 200m heats Monday due to what he said was food poisoning, did not start for Tuesday night’s 400m final.
The organizing committee later said “a number of cases of gastroenteritis” happened within one of the official team hotels.
“Those affected have been supported by both team and LOC medical staff, in addition we have been working with Public Health England to ensure the situation is managed and contained,” the organisers said in a statement.
The women’s javelin throw saw a strong performance from seasoned veteran Spotakova and China took the silver and broze medals through Li Lingwei and Lyu Huihui.
Spotakova, 36, who won her last world title in 2007 in Osaka, won the gold medal with an effort of 66.76 metres in her second attempt.
China’s Li Lingwei, a two-time Asian champion, produced a lifetime best of 66.25 to take the silver and her teammate Lyu Huihui settled for the bronze at 65.26. Lyu set a new Asian record in the qualification of 67.49 on Sunday but could not repeat her strong performance in the final.
For Li, 2008 junior world runner-up, the silver medal was a delightful surprise.
“I did well today. This year I have been bothered by injury and loose training, so I was not at the height of my fitness tonight,” Li said. “I had not expected to win the medal at all.”
Among the 12 finalists, three are from China, which Li considered a good sign for javelin throw to develop in China.
“We have three people in the final and won two medals. I think it is good for the sport in China, so I am very happy,” she said.
Bronze medallist Lyu’s qualification time would have won her the gold medal if she had produced the result on Tuesday night. She admitted that she tried a bit too hard in the qualification.
“I competed so hard in the qualification and got brilliant result, which left me a little fatigued both physically and mentally,” she said.
In the women’s hammer throw, Wlodarczyk, who won the event in 2009 and 2015, bagged the gold medal with a throw of 77.90 meters in her fifth attempt, adding the title to her two Olympic titles in 2012 and 2016.
However, Wlodarczyk thought there was room to improve for her performance.
“This was not the performance I expected tonight but come on, I am the world champion and that is the most important thing now,” Wlodarczyk who turned 32 on Tuesday, said.
“This competition reminded me of Zurich 2014 when I had problems getting into the top eight and managed it only in the third series. Of course, I expected to throw 80 meters or even a world record attack. But now I am happy for gold.”
China’s Wang Zheng brought China the first medal at the world championships here in 75.98m. Wang, 29, the Asian record holder, was jubilant after securing the silver.
“I really enjoyed this competition tonight. I gained confidence in the competition and I have a very good result,” she said.
“I was hoping for more improvement but when I try to improve too hard, my technique is not good. I have to stay relaxed. I am confident that I will improve in the future. My technique was the only problem tonight.” Wand added.
Another Polish Malwina Kopron took bronze in 74.76 meters and Beijing worlds silver medalist Zhang Wenxiu from China finished a disappointing fourth in 74.53.
The 110m hurdles saw McLeod, gold medalist in the Rio Olympics, clock 13.04 seconds to rank first ahead of Russia’s defending champion Sergey Shubenkov, who was given greenlight for the championships as an authorized neutral athlete by the IAAF. The bronze medal belonged to Balazs Baji of Hungary.
Olympic champion Faith Kipyegon of Kenya turned her 1500m silver at Beijing two years ago to a gold medal as the 23-year-old pulled away in the last 50 meters to clock 4:02.59 to win.
American Jennifer Simpson, who won the title in the 2011 worlds and finished second in 2013, took silver in 4:02.76. South Africa’s Caster Semenya, the 2009 world champion and twice Olympic gold medalist in the 800 meters, outsprinted Britain’s Laura Muir and Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands, throwing herself at the line to take bronze.
Reigning world indoor champion Yulimar Rojas made history by claiming the women’s triple jump gold medal in 14.91m. Rojas, whose best result is 15.02m, won Olympic silver in Rio last year, her country’s first Olympic medal since 1952.
“I am so proud about this gold medal. My family, my friends and my country – I made them proud and full of joy. This is a great victory for my country,” the 21-year-old said.
“I am sure they will be celebrating and having a party. Thanks for everything, to my friends, family, my coach and Venezuela.”
The silver medal went to Colombia’s Caterine Ibarguen in 14.89 and Olga Rypakova of Kazakhsatan finished third in 14.77.
Xue Changrui had looked he could make an amazing breakthrough by winning China’s first ever men’s pole vault medal at the world championships as he led after four jumps.
However, he failed to clear 5.89m and American Sam Kendricks claimed the title with 5.95m and Polish Piotr Lisek bagged a silver at 5.89m. Rio Olympics runner-up Renaud Lavillenie of France finished third.
Olympic gold medallist Conseslus Kipruto finally came to a golden finish in the men’s 3,000m steeplechase at the world championships after two runner-up finishes at previous worlds as the Kenyan clocked 8:14.12 min to continue his in-form performance in the event after the Rio Olympic Games last year.
Soufiane Elbakkali of Morocco finished runner-up at 8:14.49. The bronze medal went to Evan Jager of the United States, who completed the race in 8:15.53.
Pierre-Ambroise Bosse of France lifted his first world title in men’s 800m as the he clocked a season best of 1:44.67.
The silver and bronze medals belonged to Adam Kszczot of Poland and Kipyegon Bett of Kenya respectively.