Doha 2019 predictions: How did we do?

After 10 days of IAAF World Championships action, Steve Smythe analyses how well we guessed the top eight placings in every event

Doha was a strange venue for the IAAF World Championships – the city effectively seemed to be a building site in a sauna as they prepared for the far more important World Cup. The Metro was not finished and most of the local population was not interested in athletics apart from seeing the high jump.

However, the stadium was superb as were the conditions inside the venue and the athletics was fantastic – it was the greatest quality athletics meeting in history.

Before the 10 days of action, we made top eight predictions and took a guess at the winning mark (men’s events here and women’s events here).

How did we do? We predicted 137 of the 149 medallists among our top eight and 24 of the 49 champions and you can read further analysis below.

Men’s events

100m

Prediction: 1 C Coleman (1); 2 J Gatlin (2); 3 A Simbine (4);4 Z Hughes (6); 5 A De Grasse (3); 6 Y Blake (5); 7 Xie Zhenye (sf); 8 M Rodgers (sf). Winning mark: 9.74 (9.76)

A predictable prediction – Coleman and Gatlin were the obvious top two and all our first six all made the top six and the time was close.

200m

Prediction: 1 N Lyles (1); 2 R Guliyev (5); 3 A de Grasse (2); 4 C Coleman (dnc); 5 A Gemili (4); 6 Xie Zhenye (7); 7 M Francis (dnc sf); 8 A Quinonez (3). Winning mark: 19.36 (19.83)

Lyles was much slower than anticipated but still won easily with our expected second Guliyev not at his best.

400m

Prediction: 1 M Norman (sf); 2 F Kerley (3); 3 S Gardiner (1); 4 K James (5); 5 A Bloomfield (8); 6 M Cedonio (7); 7 V Norwood (sf); 8 M Hudson-Smith (dnf ht). Not chosen: A Zambrano (2). Winning time: 43.44 (43.48)

Norman was injured and did not make the final but would have struggled to beat Gardener who was faster than anticipated.  Silver medallist Zambrano was overlooked as he was not ranked in the top 10 but we were close on our time guess. 

800m

Prediction: 1 N Amos (DNC); 2 E Korir (sf); 3 A Kszczot (sf); 4 D Brazier (1); 5 F Cheruiyot (3); 6 C Murphy (8); 7 B McBride (sf); 8 A Tuka (2). Winning mark: 1:43.55 (1:42.34)

Our top three selection was a a failure as Amos did not run and Korir and Kszczot disappointed and did not make the final. We had the eventual top three further back though and Brazier, who was much better than anyone anticipated, was our top athlete from those who made the final. 

1500m

Prediction: 1 T Cheruiyot (1); 2 J Ingebrigtsen (4); 3 M Lewandowski (3) 4 A Souleiman (sf); 5 R Musagala (sf); 6 F Ingebrigtsen (sf); 7 J Wightman (5); 8 G Manangoi (ht). Not chosen: T Makhloufli (2). Winning mark: 3:35.35 (3:29.26)

Cheruiyot ensured the best man won with a very fast paced race and we had three of the top four. We wrongly missed out on Makhloufli, who was not ranked in the top 10.

5000m

Prediction: 1 J Ingebrigtsen (5); 2 S Barega (2); 3 H Gebrhiwet (dnc); 4 T Haile (4); 5 N Kimeli (8); 6 S McSweyn (12); 7 P Chelimo (7); 8 M Ahmed (3). Not selected: Edris (1). Winning mark: 13:11.45 (12:58.85)

Our top two prediction was the position 200m out but Ingebrigtsen faltered and Edris defended in style, having been overlooked by us as he was only 18th in Lausanne in his previous 5000m.

10,000m

Prediction: 1 Y Kejelcha (2); 2 J Cheptegei (1); 3 R Kipruto (3); 4 H Gebrhiwet (9); 5 L Lomong (7); 6 A Belihu (5); 7 M Ahmed (6); 8 R Chumo (4). Winning mark: 27:34.65 (26:48.36)

We would have had all the top eight had Gebrhiwet not struggled in and been caught on the line by Crippa, who broke the 30-year-old Italian record.

Marathon

Prediction: 1 M Geremew (2); 2 G Kirui (14); 3 M Wasihun (DNF); 4 Y Kawauchi (29); 5 S Mokoka (5); 6 T Abraham (9); 7 P Lonyongata (DNF); 8 S Kiprotich (18). Not chosen: Desisa (1). Winning mark: 2:15:45 (2:10:40)

Marathons are hard to predict, but though his 2019 best time was nothing special, the winner, a Boston runner-up, was a major omission as was superb fourth-placer Hawkins. The conditions were much better than in the other road events and the time much faster than predicted. 

3000m steeplechase

Prediction: 1 S El Bakkali (3); 2 G Wale (4); 3 B Kigen (6); 4 C Kipruto (1); 5 A Kibiwot (7); 6 L Bett (9); 7 C Beyo (DNF); 8 F Carro (5). Not selected: Girma (2). Winning mark: 8:11.35 (8:01.35)

Kipruto, in his first win of the year, showed his superb competitiveness when it matters and caught us and his competitors out. We had seven of the first nine but not runner-up Girma in his first major race. 

110m hurdles

Prediction: 1 O McLeod (dq); 2 G Holloway (1); 3 O Ortega (eq3); 4 D Roberts (dq ht); 5 S Shubenkov (2); 6 Xie Wenjun (5); 7 P Martinot-Lagarde (eq3); 8 R Levy (dq sf). Winning mark: 12.97 (13.10)

Three of our top eight got disqualified but those that survived the judges, made the top five. Holloway impressed with his victory and his ability to follow the rules.

400m hurdles

Prediction: 1 K Warholm (1); 2 R Benjamin (2); 3 A Samba (3); 4 K McMaster (4); 5 Y Copello (6);6 L Vaillant (sf); 7 T Holmes (5); 8 A dos Santos (7). Winning mark: 46.85 (47.42)

One of our better predicted events with the first four in order and seven of the top eight but we thought the winning time would be faster.

4x100m

Prediction: 1 USA (1); 2 JPN (3); 3 GBR (2); 4 CHN (6); 5 JAM (sf); 6 BRA (4); 7 NED (dq); 8 GER (sf). Winning mark: 37.66 (37.10)

We had five of the first six and Britain’s strong finish in a European record time prevented us from having the top three in order by 0.07 of a second.  As in most of the track events our prediction was too slow. 

4x400m

Prediction: 1 USA (1); 2 TTO (5); 3 JAM (2); 4 BOT (dq sf) 5 POL (dnc); 6 BEL (3); 7 GBR (dnf); 8 JPN (sf). Winning mark: 2:56.32 (2:56.69)

Two of the top three were in our choices but otherwise not one of the best selections but at least close in terms of winning time.

High jump

Prediction: 1 M Nedosekov (4); 2 B Bondarenko (nh q); 3 M El Dein Ghazal (25q); 4 I Ivanyuk (3); 5 M Przybylko (30q); 6 M Essa Barshim (1); 7 M Akimenko (2); 8 Wang Yu (10). Winning mark: 2.33m (2.37m)

Barshim was well in advance on all his previous 2019 form but we underestimated him and the crowd support and the eventual top two were only the sixth and seventh choices.

Pole vault

Prediction: 1 S Kendricks (1); 2 P Lisek (3); 3 A Duplantis (2); 4 R Lavillenie (15q); 5 T Braz da Silva (5); 6 P Wojciechowski (13q); 7 R Holzdeppe (6); 8 C Walsh (10). Winning mark: 6.00m (5.97m)

Though the minor medallists were in the wrong order, we had the top three and five of the top seven and we were close on the winning mark.

Long jump

Prediction: 1 J Echevarria (2); 2 L Manyonga (4); 3 M Tentoglou (10); 4 T Gayle (1); 5 J Henderson (2); 6 Y Hashioka (8); 7 R Samaai (5); 8 T Montler (9). Winning mark: 8.71m (8.69m)

We had the first two in fourth and fifth but all of our chosen eight made the top 10 and were very close on the winning mark but we thought it would be Echevarria who would win rather than Gayle who made a huge improvement.

Triple jump

Prediction: 1 W Claye (2); 2 C Taylor (1); 3 O Craddock (13q); 4 P Pichardo (4); 5 F Zango (3); 6 J Diaz (8); 7 D Scott (6); 8 B Williams (17q). Winning mark: 18.11m (17.92m)

Based on 2019 form we thought Claye may for once get the better of his eternal rival Taylor but superb competitor Taylor again had the edge. Six of our top seven made the top eight. 

Shot

Prediction: 1 T Walsh (3); 2 R Crouser (2); 3 M Haratyk (16q); 4 D Romani (4); 5 K Bukowiecki (6); 6 D Hill (5); 7 J Kovacs (1); 8 J Gill (7). Winning mark: 22.16m (22.91m)

We had the eventual top seven in our top eight but greatly underestimated Kovacs’ form and were well short of the winning mark in the best ever shot competition.

Discus

Prediction: 1 D Stahl (1); 2 F Dacres (2); 3 A Gudzius (12); 4 L Weisshaidinger (3); 5 P Malachowski (17q); 6 C Harting (14q); 7 O Isene (10); 8 T Smikle (15q). Winning mark: 68.86m (67.88m)

We had the predictable top two but struggled on the minor placings but were within a metre on the winning mark.

Hammer

Prediction: 1 P Fajdek (1); 2 W Nowicki (3); 3 B Halasz (3); 4 D Lukyanov (19q); 5 N Miller (10); 6 J Cienfuegos (7): 7 E Henriksen (6); 8 D Nazarov (dnc). Not chosen: Bigot (2). Winning mark: 80.44m (80.50m)

Our first three all medalled and we were very close on the winning distance but we under-rated Bigot who was not ranked in the top 10 prior to the event. 

Javelin

Prediction: 1 J Vetter (3); 2 M Kirt (2); 3 C Chao-Tsun (10); 4 A Hofmann (20q); 5 J Yego (nm); 6 T Rohler (23q); 7 A Peters (1); 8 E Matusevicius (22q). Winning mark: 88.90m (86.89m)

Two of the first three medallists were chosen but Peters surprised us in one of the weaker events and selections. 

Decathlon

Prediction: 1 K Mayer (DNF); 2 D Warner (3); 3 L Victor (DNF); 4 K Kazmirek (17); 5 N Kaul (1); 6 P LaPage (5); 7 I Shkurenyov (4); 8 T Duckworth (dns). Not chosen: Uibo (2). Winning mark: 8876 (8691)

Kaul pulled off one of the biggest advances in decathlon history on day two moving from 11th overnight with a record day two score of 4527 and caught us out too as we predicted fifth as a number of athletes struggled with injury or bad luck. We missed Uibo, who came so close to winning.

20km walk

Prediction: 1 T Yamanishi (1); 2 K Ikeda (6); 3 V Mizinov (2); 4 E Takahashi (dnc); 5 M Stano (14); 6 C Bonfim (13): 7 C Linke (4); 8 P Karlstrom (3). Winning mark: 1:21:32 (1:26:34)

Considering the length of the event and its unpredictably, the disqualifications and the very hot conditions, this was a surprisingly accurate prediction with five of the top six in our top eight. 

50km walk

Prediction: 1 Y Suzuki (1); 2 Y Diiz (dnf); 3 M Toth (dnf); 4 Wang Qin (dnf); 5 Niu Wenbin (4); 6 T Noda (dnf); 7 Luo Yadong (5); 8 H Haukenes (dq). Not chosen: Viera (2), Dunfee (3). Winning mark: 3:45:55 (4:04:20)

The heat caused a lot of drop outs and a very slow time but we did get the winner and three of the top five but missed the silver and bronze medallist.

Women’s events

100m

Prediction: 1 E Thompson (4); 2 S Fraser-Pryce (1); 3 Asher-Smith (2); 4 M Ta Lou (3); 5 T Bowie (dns SF); 6 M Kambundji (sf); 7 D Schippers (dns F); 8 T Daniels (7). Winning mark: 10.75 (10.71)

Thompson’s injury held her back to fourth but excepting her the top four were in the right order.

200m

Prediction: 1 E Thompson (dns SF); 2 D Asher-Smith (1); 3 A Annelus (4); 4 M Kambundji (3); 5 D Schippers (dns); 6 B Okagbare (dq ht; 7 S Fraser-Pryce (dns); 8 M Ta Lou (dns). Not chosen: Brown (2). Winning mark: 21.90 (21.88)

The timetabling with the 200m heats hot on the 100m final did not help the event but Asher-Smith would have won anyway from those who were entered. Consequently, getting three of the eventual top eight was the worst of our predictions but we were close on time.

We missed Brittany Brown who improved from 22.42 to 22.22.

400m

Prediction: 1 S Miller-Uibo (2); 2 S Eid Naser (1); 3 S Jackson (3); 4 S Wimbley (sf); 5 S McPherson (6); 6 P Francis (5); 7 K Ellis (sf); 8 W Jonathas (4). Winning mark: 48.65 (48.14)

Miller-Uibo was a huge favourite and ran a superb time but was still well beaten by Naser as we had the top six in our top eight.

800m

Prediction: 1 A Wilson (3); 2 H Green (ht); 3 N Goule (6); 4 E Sum (5); 5 L Sharp (ht); 6 R Rogers (2); 7 S Oskan-Clarke (sf); 8 C Bisset (ht). Not chosen: Nakaayi (1). Winning mark: 1:56.65 (1:58.14)

The winner, who was lucky to survive disqualification in her semi final, produced a superb finish and was one of the biggest shock winners in Doha. We had four of the top six but a number of expected high-placers struggled in the heats.

1500m

Prediction: 1 F Kipyegon (2); 2 S Hassan (1); 3 G Tsegay (3); 4 L Muir (5); 5 S Houlihan (4); 6 J Simpson (8); 7 R Arrafi (9); 8 W Chebet (7). Winning mark: 4:08.98 (3:51.95)

The fact that Hassan might not do the 1500m and run the 5000m instead clouded the selection but she won very easily in a fantastic European record time and shocked her opponents. The race did go close to form and all of top eight finished in the top nine but we were a mile out on the time.

5000m

Prediction: 1 H Obiri (1); 2 K Klosterhalfen (3); 3 L Gidey (dns); 4 M Kipkemboi (2); 5 H Feysa (8); 6 L Weightman (7); 7 E McColgan (10): 8 T Worku (dns). Winning mark: 14:48.65m (14:26.72)

Two of our top eight choices did not compete but the six who did, finished in the top eight. It is debatable whether Obiri would have won if Hassan competed but she ran a superb race controlling most of it and sprinting to victory.

10,000m

Prediction: 1 S Hassan (1); 2 H Obiri (5); 3 L Gidey (2); 4 S Teferi (6); 5 N Gudeta (dnf); 6 M Huddle (9); 7 R Wanjiru (4); 8 A Tirop (3). Winning mark: 31:06.54 (30:17.62)

Seven of our top eight made the top nine in a race which Hassan showed unprecedented finishing speed in any endurance race – 5000m or 10,000m.

Marathon

Prediction: 1 R Chepngetich (1); 2 L Salpeter (dnf); 3 R Aga (dnf); 4 S Demise (dnf); 5 R Dereje (dnf); 6 O Mazuronak (5); 7 S Eshete (dnf); 8 E Kiplagat (4). Winning mark: 2:30:45 (2:32:43)

The winner was a clear favourite but we struggled with the minor places and our next predicted four dropped out in the very high temperatures and humidity. 

3000m steeplechase

Prediction: 1 B Chepkoech (1); 2 E Coburn (2); 3 G Krause (3); 4 H Jepkemoi (8); 5 C Chespol (dnf); 6 C Frerichs (6); 7 W Yavi (4); 8 C Quigley (dnc). Winning mark: 8:55.55 (8:57.84)

The first three matched our predictions in one of our better selections that was also close to the winning time. Chepkoech was another endurance runner who showed their superiority by controlling the race at a quick pace, too much for her opponents.

100m hurdles

Prediction: 1 D Williams (3); 2 K Harrison (2); 3 N Ali (1); 4 B McNeal (dq ht); 5 J Brown (7); 6 T Amusan (4); 7 E Herman (sf); 8 C Roleder (sf). Winning mark: 12.31 (12.34)

The first three were chosen but not in the right order as Ali showed a big improvement on her previous 2019 form while Williams suffered  a rare off-day.

400m hurdles

Prediction: 1 S McLaughlin (2); 2 D Muhammad (1); A Spencer (6); 4 Z Hejnova (5); 5 R Clayton (3); 6 L Sprunger (4); 7 K Carter (dnf ht); 8 A Ryzhykova (7). Winning mark: 52.40 (52.16)

It was one of the greatest races in Doha and resulted in a world record and we wrongly chose the runner-up McLaughlin who fell 0.07 of a second short of the superb Muhammad who confirmed her No.1 position, for the moment at least. We had the first seven in our eight choices. 

High jump

Prediction: 1 M Lasitskene (1); 2 Y Levchenko (4); 3 V Cunningham (3); 4 K Demidik (6); 5 Y Mahuchikh (2); 6 A Palsyte (22q); 7 M Demireva (10); 8 I Herashchenko (23q). Winning mark: 2.03m (2.04m)

Our top five all made the top six as Lasitskene won as expected but was surprisingly pushed all the way by young Mahuchikh’s world junior records.

Pole vault

Prediction: 1 A Sidorova (1); 2 S Morris (2); 3 E Stefanidi (3); 4 J Suhr (eq7); 5 A Newman (5); 6 H Bradshaw (4); 7 Y Silva (11); 8 K Nageotte (eq7). Winning mark: 4.80m (4.95m)

In another high-quality contest, the first three were in the same order as we predicted and seven of our top eight made the top eight, with Silva the one exception.

Long jump

Prediction: 1 M Mihambo (1); 2 B Reese (13q); 3 N Mironchyk-Ivanova (5); 4 E Brume (3); 5 C Ibarguen (dnc); 6 A Rotaru (6); 7 M Bekh-Romanchuk (2); 8 T Bowie (4). Winning mark: 7.45m (7.30m)

There was no surprise in the winner or that she did not match our unlikely suggested distance but she came reasonably close in winning by a huge margin.

Of the seven in our predictions who competed, all made the top six except multi champion Reese who just made the final.

Triple jump

Prediction: 1 Y Rojas (1); 2 C Ibarguen (3); 3 S Ricketts (2); 4 K Orji (7); 5 L Povea (15q); 6 K Williams (4); 7 O Saladukha (5); 8 A Peleteiro (6). Winning mark: 15.50m (15.37m)

More proof that the women field events largely went to form as we had the first three (but not in the right order) and the top seven were in our top eight as Rojas was a class apart as expected.

Shot

Prediction: 1 Gong Lijiao (1); 2 C Schanwitz (3); 3 C Ealey (7); 4 D Thomas-Dodd (2); 5 M Carter (9); 6 F Roos (14q); 7 P Guba (10); 8 A Marton (5). Winning mark: 19.98m (19.55m)

Seven of our top eight made the top 10 in a competition that was the worst ever as opposed to the men’s which was the best shot ever!

Discus

Prediction: 1 S Perkovic (3); 2 D Caballero (2); 3 Y Perez (1); 4 Feng Bin (5); 5 V Allman (7); 6 C Vita (9); 7 Chen Yang (4); 8 N Muller (8). Winning mark: 69.84m (69.17m)

We had the obvious top three but in the wrong order as we incorrectly anticipated that Perkovic would return to her best form. Perez, with a poor championships record, finally got it right and we got it right as all our top eight made the top nine and we were close with the winning mark.

Hammer

Prediction: 1 D Price (1); 2 Wang Zheng (3); 3 G Berry (nm f); 4 M Kopron (13q); 5 A Tavernier (6); 6 J Fiodorow (2); 7 B Andersen (20q); 8 H Malyshik (10). Winning mark: 75.98m (77.54m)

Not as good as our other field predictions but we had four of the top six in an event that saw USA gain their first hammer success since the 1956 men’s Olympics.

Javelin

Prediction: 1 Lu Huihui (3); 2 S Kolak (7); 3 C Hussong (4); 4 K Barber (1); 5 T Kholodovich (6); 6 N Ogrodnikova (11); 7 B Spotakova (9); 8 Liu Shiying (2). Winning mark: 68.20m (66.56m)

All our top eight made the top 11 but we did not predict the surprise Australian win for Kelsey Barber.

Heptathlon

Prediction: 1 N Thiam (2); 2 K Johnson-Thompson (1); 3 E Bougard (4); 4 K Williams (5); 5 A Vetter (dnf); 6 X Krizsan (dnc); 7 V Preiner (3); 8 I Dadic (dnf). Winning mark: 7018 (6981)

The eventual top five were all in our top seven. We wrongly predicted a Belgian win (as did most experts) but Johnson-Thompson had her ideal competition and excelled in every event while Thiam was slightly below her best.

20km walk

Prediction: 1 Liu Hong (1); 2 Yang Jiayu (dq); 3 G Morejon (25); 4 Qieyang Shenjie (2); 5 A Palmisano (13); 6 Yang Liujing (3); 7 S Arenas (5); 8 E de Sena (4). Winning mark: 1:28:50 (1:32:53)

On a very hot evening, we had the eventual top five in our top eight but the conditions did cause a few upsets.

50km walk

Prediction: 1 E Giorgi (3); 2 J Takacs (8); 3 I Henriques (dnf); 4 Li Maocuo (2); 5 Ma Faying (5); 6 Liang Rui (1); 7 V Myronchuk (dnf); 8 P Perez (9). Winning mark: 4:10:23 (4:23:26)

Four of the top five were included in our top six but the conditions made predictions difficult and we were again way out in the winning time.

4x100m

Prediction: 1 JAM (1); 2 USA (3); 3 GER (5); 4 GBR (2); 5 CHN (dq f); 6 NED (sf); 7 SUI (4); 8 FRA (dq sf). Winning mark: 41.45 (41.44)

The eventual top five were in the top seven and Britain did better than we predicted as Jamaica won surprisingly easily considering their team was not at full strength. The winning time was one of our best predictions though, being just 0.01 of a second out. 

4x400m

Prediction: 1 JAM (3); 2 USA (1); 3 POL (2); 4 GBR (4); 5 CAN (dq F); 6 ITA (5 ht); 7 FRA (7 ht); 8 NGR (8 ht). Winning mark: 3:19.45 (3:18.92)

Jamaica were not as good as in the sprint relay as we predicted and were beaten by USA and Poland and should have been disqualified for lining up wrongly on the last leg. We had the top four in the wrong order but otherwise it was a bad selection.

Mixed 4x400m

Prediction: 1 USA (1); 2 POL (5); 3 GER (7 ht); 4 JAM (2); 5 GBR (4); 6 CAN (5sf); 7 UKR (7sf); 8 FRA (6sf). Not chosen: BRN (3). Winning mark: 3:12.45 (3:09:34)

We predicted four of the top five but underestimated Bahrain. The event has potential but was wrongly put at the start of the programme and most top individuals therefore did not take part.

Check out our reports on all of the action on the dedicated Doha 2019 section on our website here.

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