Day 3 of the World Championships had everything from worthy winners to controversial exits. This is what had us standing up, sitting down, laughing, crying, and then standing up again before having a big ol' sit down just for good measure.
The usual suspects
To start us off today, a fact: Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce now has as many world and Olympic 100m titles as Usain Bolt. Not bad, eh? The Jamaican won her third 100m world title in Beijing, cruising through the qualis and holding off the Dutch powerhouse that is Dafne Schippers in the final. It completed her hat trick and confirmed her as the best female 100m sprinter of our time.
Undoubtedly the best steeplechaser of our time is Ezekiel Kemboi, who won his FOURTH world title. The Kenyan sprinted the final lap as if he’d only just joined the race, vaulting the final barriers like a stud at Aintree. After victory was sealed, the double Olympic champion high fived every single one of his rivals and danced his way round the victory lap.
Ginger is the new gold
Red is a lucky colour in China, and fortune was certainly on the side of flame-topped pole vaulter Shawn Barber today. The door was left open when big favourite Renaud Lavillenie crashed out at 5.90m, and Barber pounced with a first time clearance to take control of the contest.
The University of Akron student went on to win the world title on count back after both he and Germany’s Raphael Holzdeppe failed at 6m. It is Canada's first gold of these champs, and a huge moment for the 21-year-old who has already won NCAA and PanAmerican Games titles this summer.
Red hot runway
If something is fast, it is red hot. Even if it’s blue. But in this case, the red hot thing in question is indeed red, and the red thing we're on about is the Bird’s Nest’s jumps runway. Olympic champion Greg Rutherford said it felt “0.1 or 0.2 of a second quicker” than normal, and in the two parallel jumps contests to have taken place so far at these champs, that has showed.
Yesterday, KJT fell victim to speed, fouling on all three of her attempts – the final one just a whisker too long – as she crashed out of contention in the heptathlon. In today’s men’s long jump qualifiers, American champion Marquis Dendy was the big hitter whose competition came to early end after another of the most marginal of fouls you're likely to see.
American Jeff Henderson played it safe, taking off a full 10cm short of the board but still going out to 8.36m. That had the crowd cooing, but it was nothing compared to the roar they gave when it was confirmed that all three Chinese athletes had progressed to the final. They’ve got this guy to thank.
Emily Infeld has been injured for pretty much forever. It was a turn up for the books when she finished in the top three at USAs to make it to Beijing in the first place, and nobody gave her a prayer in the final.
But in a tactical race, the 25-year-old showed incredible guts. In the steamy conditions, she stuck with the leaders the whole way and just pipped her teammate Molly Huddle on the line to take bronze. Heartbreak for Huddle, but for a giddy Infeld it was just rewards for her patience, persistence and sheer force of personality.
“I'm so excited. I'm shocked. I'm so happy. I can't believe it,” Infeld said afterwards. You better believe it.
It’s been a long four years since Ortis Deley uttered these immortal words, and today we finally managed to achieve our dream. It has made the four-year-old child in us almost as happy as Emily Infeld.
And on that bombshell... Bye!