Doha 2019: Day 4 – Semenya to be replaced as face of Women’s 800m
South African Caster Semenya will not have the chance the defend her title after losing her challenge to the restriction of testosterone levels in female runners in track events from 400m to the mile.
Women’s 800m is one of six gold medals to be won on the day. American Ajee Wilson, who was third two years ago in London, comes in as the favourite, having secured four Diamond League wins this season.
With Briton Mo Farah out of the picture over the longer track distances, there is the chance of an Ethiopian clean sweep in the 5,000m. Telahun Haile Bekele is the fastest this year, having managed 12:52.98 in Rome, an epic race in which he pipped team-mate Selemon Barega, a former world junior and youth champion. Defending champion Muktar Edris, who beat Farah to the title two years ago, is also in the team although he has only managed an 11th and 18th in his two Diamond League outings this year.
In the women’s 3,000m steeplechase, Kenya’s Beatrice Chepkoech has been the outstanding performer in this event this season. The 28-year-old, fourth in Rio and at London 2017, won all four of her Diamond League races and her time of 8:55.58 seconds in Palo Alto is the fastest of 2019 by eight seconds. The USA’s defending champion Emma Coburn is expected to challenge once again.
Women’s high jump defending champion Maria Lasitskene is going for a hat-trick of titles and her world-leading jump of 2.06m this season – 4cm better than anyone else – suggests it is her crown to lose. The Russian’s main challenge might come from Ukraine’s Yuliya Levchenko, who took silver at London 2017 and has managed 2.02m in 2019.
In the men’s 400m hurdles, will we see the 27-year-old world record of 46.78 secs broken? Norway’s biggest track star, Karsten Warholm, the defending champion, is the favourite to break it after he ran a personal best of 46.92 this season. Warholm, however, will be wary of USA’s Rai Benjamin who ran him close in the same race in Zurich and don’t forget home favourite Abderrahman Samba ran 46.98 in Paris last year.
It’s all happening at the Khalifa International Stadium here – in women’s high jump, men’s 5,000m, men’s discus, women’s 3,000m steeplechase, women’s 800m, men’s 400m hurdles.