|2019 World Athletics Championships|
|Venue: Khalifa International Stadium, Doha Dates: 27 September-6 October|
|Coverage: Watch live on BBC TV, BBC iPlayer and BBC Sport website and app; Listen live on BBC Radio 5 Live; Live streams, clips and text commentary online.|
Briton Lynsey Sharp was left in a state of disbelief as she went out of the women’s 800m on the opening day of the World Athletics Championships.
Sharp, ranked fourth in the world of those competing in Doha, ran out of steam in the home straight as she finished fourth in her heat.
The 29-year-old Scot’s time of two minutes 03.57 seconds was not good enough for a fastest losers’ spot.
GB’s Alexandra Bell and Shelayna Oskan-Clarke did progress to the semi-finals.
Elsewhere, Christian Coleman, defending champion Justin Gatlin and Britons Zharnel Hughes and Adam Gemili reached the men’s 100m semi-finals, while European champion Jakob Ingebrigtsen was reinstated into the men’s 5,000m after initially being disqualified for stepping off the track.
With South Africa’s Olympic and world champion Caster Semenya absent, along with fellow Rio 2016 medallists Francine Niyonsaba of Burundi and Margaret Wambui of Kenya, Sharp was tipped to challenge for a medal in the women’s 800m.
Semenya is not competing in Doha after governing body the IAAF introduced a rule that athletes with differences of sexual development (DSD) must either take testosterone-reducing medication in order to compete in track events from 400m to the mile or change to another distance.
Despite being among the pack in the home straight, Sharp failed to find the burst of speed needed to finish in a top three spot, which would have earned automatic qualification.
She sat on the track in shock watching the replay of the final stages of her heat.
World indoor bronze medallist Oskan-Clarke produced a brilliant sprint to take second in her heat in 2:02.09, while fellow Briton Bell, fifth at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, battled her way to third, clocking 2:03.34.
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Given how well Lynsey has run this year, she didn’t run that race with authority. She didn’t run with the dominance that someone with her form this year should have done.
She was in the final heat and knew what the fastest losers’ times were. She should have been dictating it. She was maybe a little bit overconfident and thought she could kick faster than anyone in the closing stages.
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Big names progress in men’s 100m
Coleman underlined his status as favourite for the men’s 100m as he cruised to victory in his heat in 9.98 seconds.
The 23-year-old American is competing in Doha after the US Anti-Doping Agency charged him with missing three drugs tests in 12 months, before withdrawing the claim. A technicality regarding the date of one of the tests resulted in the London 2017 silver medallist being free to compete.
All three Britons progressed to the semi-finals, with European champion Hughes, 24, the most impressive as he recovered from a poor start to win his heat in 10.08.
Hughes, who represented Anguilla as a youth, spoke about the air-conditioning inside the stadium as he told BBC Sport: “It’s different coming from the heat to the cool inside here but I’m happy, I got through easily.
“I have to be aware of the block settings, they are different to what I am using so it wasn’t the best start. I won’t let it hamper me.”
Gemili, 25, has been hampered by a hamstring problem in recent seasons but finished third in his heat in 10.19 behind the USA’s 37-year-old Gatlin (10.16), who has twice been banned for doping offences.
British champion Ojie Edoburun squeezed into Saturday’s semi-finals as a fastest loser having run 10.23 in the first heat.
South Africa’s Akani Simbine, fifth at the last Olympics, went through as the second fastest qualifier in 10.01 and Jamaican 2011 champion Yohan Blake is also into the semi-finals, which take place at 16:45 BST on Saturday with the final at 20:15.
Jakob Ingebrigtsen reinstated into 5,000m – and agony for Butchart
There was a big story in the men’s 5,000m with 19-year-old Norwegian Jakob Ingebrigtsen, who finished fourth in his heat, initially disqualified for stepping off the track.
That promoted Briton Andrew Butchart into the final fastest losers’ spot, earning him qualification for Monday’s final. However, Norway successfully appealed against Ingebrigtsen’s disqualification and Butchart, who finished seventh in his heat, missed out on a place in the final.
An IAAF statement said: “The jury of appeal reviewed the video and concluded that all three steps taken inside the kerb by the athlete were the result of a contact with another athlete. No material advantage was gained.”
Ingebrigtsen’s brothers, Filip and Henrik, progressed from the other heat but Britons Ben Connor and Marc Scott missed out.
European bronze medallist Holly Bradshaw needed only one attempt to book her spot in Sunday’s pole vault final. The Preston-born 27-year-old, who has yet to win a major outdoor medal, soared over 4.60m to qualify.
All her main rivals, including defending champion Katerina Stefanidi of Greece and the USA’s world and Olympic silver medallist Sandi Morris, also made it through.
There was disappointment for Bradshaw’s team-mate Morgan Lake, who took Commonwealth silver last year, as she failed to clear 1.89m in the women’s high jump. The 22-year-old had only twice managed to clear 1.90m this season, with 1.94m required to guarantee a spot in Monday’s final.
Elsewhere, Ben Williams leapt to 16.77m but it was not enough to make it through triple jump qualification.
Britons Rosie Clarke, Elizabeth Bird and Aimee Pratt all failed to qualify for Monday’s 3,000m steeplechase final.
Norwegian defending champion Karsten Warholm won his 400m hurdles heat to reach Saturday’s semi-finals with rivals for gold Karsten McMaster, from the British Virgin Islands, Qatar’s Abderrahman Samba and American Rai Benjamin also going through.
Briton Chris McAllister, 23, who has lowered his personal best four times this year, also reached the next round by finishing fourth in his race.
Memorable moment witnessed by sparse crowd
The 5,000m heat containing Butchart and Scott witnessed what could prove to be one of the iconic moments of the competition as Guinea-Bissau’s Braima Dabo helped the struggling Jonathan Busby of Aruba complete the last 250 metres of the race.
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Both athletes had been lapped before Busby visibly began to cramp up in the final metres. Dabo rushed to his aid and helped him hobble over the line as the crowd cheered the pair on the home straight.
“I wanted to help him cross the line. I think anyone in that situation would have done the same thing,” said Dabo, who is a student in Portugal.
Dabo eventually finished in 18 minutes 10.87 seconds, which was still a personal best despite being nearly five minutes slower than winner Selemon Barega, but Busby – who was taken away in a wheelchair – was disqualified.
Other than that, few other athletes appeared to suffer inside the Khalifa Stadium which is partly shielded from the heat and humidity of Doha due by its air-conditioning.
The crowd on the first day was sparse. In the build-up, organisers announced they had sold only 50,000 tickets for the 10 days of action inside this 40,000-seater arena.
The stadium did fill up as the evening progressed, but there were large empty sections behind the 100m starting blocks.
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