THE FASTEST MAN & WOMAN IN THE WORLD
Athletes, around the world, train very hard and passionately year after years to concentrate to become the ultimate World Champions in their respective disciplines. It is indeed very fascinating to note that the World Athletics Championships was started by the IAAF because the International Olympic Committee dropped the men’s 50km Walk from the Olympics Athletics Program at the 1976 Montreal Olympics. The IAAF has been conducting the biennial World Athletics Championships since 1976.
After the first World Athletics Championships in 1976 held in Sweden, the second limited event was held four years later in 1980 in the Netherlands. However, the 1983 World Athletics Championships held in Helsinki, Finland is considered as the official start of this international event. The first three editions of the World Athletics Championships – the 1983 Helsinki, 1987 Rome and the 1991 Tokyo – were held every four years. From the fourth edition, the events were held biennially.
The World Athletics Championships has come a long way since then. Athletes all around the world look forward for this magnificent event, because each winner is hailed as the World Champion in their respective discipline. The 2019 World Athletics Championships being held in Doha, Qatar from the 27th of September to the 6th of October 2019 is the 17th edition.
Ironically, the event has had a disastrous start with empty stands in the Khalifa Stadium in Doha, women’s marathon being conducted in high temperature of 32.7 degrees Centigrade with a high humidity of 73%, athletes’ safety and well-being was compromised by the IAAF President, and the women sprinters protesting about the new cameras built into the starting blocks, because it captures female sprinters’ intimate areas. IAAF President Lord Sebastian Coe’s second term has started with ‘big black spot’ of his callousness towards international athletes and career as the responsible man.
THE FASTEST MAN IN THE WORLD – Christian Coleman
Christian Coleman emerged as the fastest man in the world to an empty stadium in Doha clocking 9.76s. It was indeed a sad occurrence, courtesy IAAF President and the Organizers. The American sprinter triumphed over compatriot Justin Gatlin and Canada’s Andre de Grasse. In his first heat, Coleman clocked an amazing 9.88s in the semi-final. He burst open in the final and did not give any leeway to the 37-year-old Gatlin to clock the World Lead of 9.76s.
Gatlin may have aged as a sprinter, but the American is still holding his second spot among the fastest men in the world. He picked up the Silver medal clocking an impressive 9.89s. Canada’s Andre de Grasse picked up the Bronze medal with a Personal Best time of 9.90s. Coleman ultimately fulfilled his long standing ambition to be crowned as the “Fastest Man in the World” and the “World Champion”. The question of the day is – Will any sprinter break Usain Bolt’s 100m World Record of 9.58s established in the year 2009?
After the win, Coleman enthused, “I have been blessed with incredible talent and tonight, I was able to show it. I usually have a good start, but I don't follow it up with execution. I have been working on my drive phase and being patient. Tonight, it all paid off. The last time, it was a surprise when I won Silver, but this time there was a lot of pressure, but I managed to come out with Gold.” Coleman’s 9.76s is the World Lead of the year 2019. He clipped 0.03s from his previous Personal Best, which Coleman had set in the Diamond League final in Brussels in 2018.
The 100m final at the 2019 World Athletics Championships had an amazing line-up of Americans Christian Coleman and Justin Gatlin with Canadian Andre de Grasse and Aaron Brown, South African Akani Simbine, Jamaican Yohan Blake, British Zharnel Hughes and Italian Filippo Tortu. Simbine finished fourth clocking 9.93s followed by Yohan Blake with a time of 9.97s. Hughes, Tortu and Brown finished as the 6th, 7th and 8th fastest men in the world.
U. S Anti-Doping Agency’s Temporary Ban
Christian Coleman concentrated on the long outdoor season in 2019 and skipped the 2019 indoor season. At the Shanghai Diamond League’s 100m final, Noah Lyles triumphed over Coleman in a photo-finish clocking 9.86s. Coleman won the 100m in Diamond League meet in Oslo clocking World Lead of 9.85s. At the Golden Spike meet in Ostrava, Coleman ran his first 200m in two years. He was beaten by Canadian Andre de Grasse, who clocked 19.97s.
Coleman had trained hard and was consistently lowering the World Lead in 2019. At the Prefontaine Classic 100m final, Coleman triumphed over Gatlin clocking an astonishing 9.81s. Gatlin clocked 9.87s to pick up the Silver medal. In the month of August 2019, Coleman was temporary banned by the United States Anti-Doping Agency because he had missed three drug tests in the 12-month period. Coleman had to finish the Diamond League final at Brussels. The ban tainted Coleman’s image among other sprinters of the world.
On the basis under the World’s Anti-Doping Agency’s International Standard for Testing and Investigations, Coleman appealed the decision that a first missed test should be backdated to the first day of that testing quarter, that is, 1st April 2018 in his case. Coleman’s third whereabouts failure came on the 26th of April 2019, which makes him missing just two tests within the given 12-month period. The technical issue saved him and the IAAF allowed him to run at the 2019 World Athletics Championships.
THE FASTEST WOMAN IN THE WORLD – Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce
The women’s field in the short sprint has really become a see-saw battle among the top sprinters of the world. The fact was evident at the Diamond League meets. At the Diamond League final in Brussels, Dina Asher-Smith emerged as the fastest woman to triumph over Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Ta Lou picked up the third spot. Fraser-Pryce avenged her defeat from Dina Asher-Smith at the right moment to be crowned as the “Fastest Women in the World” and the “100m World Champion” at the 2019 World Athletics Championships. Interestingly, Ta Lou maintained her third spot.
The Jamaican sprinter vociferously announced her return from motherhood to become the “100m World Champion”. Fraser-Pryce had an explosive start and powered her way to victory clocking the World Lead in 10.71s. She gave no chance whatsoever to Dina Asher-Smith or Ta Lou and others with her strong domination in the race from the start to the finish. Asher-Smith clocked her Personal Best of 10.83s to establish a New British Record. Ta Lou finished third clocking 10.90s.
After the race, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce exclaimed, “Standing here, having done it again at 32 and holding my baby is a dream come true! I had no sleep last night. Last time, I was at a major championship was 2016 and I just could not sleep with nerves. But with mental toughness, you will get what you want. I cannot believe it! I worked so hard to be back. The field was so strong. I had to come good here and I am so excited to come out with victory. I just wanted to nail my start, which I did and in the end, I was just making sure to get to the line and not leaving anything to chance. Zyon and my husband have been my strength. When everybody else doubted me, they never did. It’s down to them that I am here again.”
Nicknamed the ‘Pocket Rocket’, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce won her fourth Women’s World 100m title. 10 years ago in 2009, the Jamaican won her first 100m World Athletics Championships title clocking 10.73s. She went onto win another Gold medal with Jamaica winning the 4x100m Relay at the meet. At the 2011 World Athletics Championships, Fraser-Pryce missed the victory podium and stood a disappointing fourth. She bounced back to win the 100m at the 2012 London Olympics, picked up a Silver medals in the 200m and 4x100m Relay.
At the 2013 World Athletics Championships in Moscow, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce won the 100m title, 200m Gold medal along with the Gold in 4x100m Relay. At the 2015 World Athletics Championships in Beijing, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce defended her 100m World Champion stature along with the 4x100m Relay Gold medal. She missed the 2017 World Athletics Championships to give birth to her son. And in 2019, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce is back to where she belonged before motherhood. It is one of the most magnificent resurgences for a woman sprinter in the world.
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce became the first mother and the oldest woman sprinter, at the age of 32, in the world to win the “100m World Champion” title. Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce has etched her name with golden letters in Athletics History with her amazing and inspiring success story. The women’s longstanding 100m World Record of 10.49s was established by Florence Griffith-Joyner way back in 1988. Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce’s diminutive stature of just 5 ft is an amazing powerhouse full of speed.
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce’s fourth “100m World Champion” title at the 2019 World Athletics Championships bettered the legendary fellow sprinter Usain Bolt’s record of three titles. She also broke Carl Lewis and Maurice Greene’s record of three titles each. Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce is the greatest 100m sprinter in the Athletics History.
The Jamaican athlete enthused, “It’s a victory for motherhood! I am really excited about tonight! It took a lot of hard work, a lot of sacrifice to get to this point. A lot of people say that I should retire and go out gracefully. Honestly, I am working hard more and trying to run fast. I feel good. I am excited! I was able to come here and put on a show.”