Yomif Kejelcha, Muktar Edris and Selemon Barega of Ethiopia are three to watch as they line up before this final. Off they go and straight away Farah moves on to the shoulder of Paul Chelimo on the front.
It’s Mo-time. Farah is out on the track applauding the crowd while warming up with a classic sidestep like a Sunday League footballer who turned up late. Presumably he’s done the real stuff backstage. A pre-race email from Guy Hornsby: “I was in the stadium last Friday, and it was agonising to watch. So I have to say I’m a little nervous about the 5,000 tonight. Mo is a supreme champion, but the heats were chaotic, and brutal, with a fearsome 10,000 in his legs already, a while his odds may be ridiculous, he’s going to have to be his brilliant best to get the golden sign off we all crave.”
Next on the track? Mo Farah and the men’s 5,000m final. In the women’s high jump final Johnson-Thompson has failed her first attempt at 1.97m. So too has Jungfleisch, Licwinko twice, and KJT’s team-mate Morgan Lake. Only Yuliia Levchenko and Maria Lasitskene have cleared it, and they will face 1.99m when they next go.
That, by the way, is Australia’s first medal of these championships.
At 30 Pearson has claimed her second world title, six years after her first in Daegu. The winning time was 12.59sec and Pearson looked utterly stunned crossing the line, a fine reward following two injury-ravaged years. Pamela Dutkiewicz grabbed bronze on the line for Germany behind USA’s Harper Nelson in second.
Sally Pearson wins the women’s 100m hurdles for Australia!
Kendra Harrison gets to the first hurdle before Sally Pearson and leads into the third barrier, but clips a couple and falls away. Pearson comes to the fore, clearing the hurdles cleanly and holding off Dawn Harper Nelson on the line!
The crowd quietens for the women’s 100m hurdles final. Sally Pearson gives a nervous wave to the camera. She goes in lane four just outside Kendra Harrison and that is where we are expecting fireworks.
Back to the women’s high jump final and Britain’s Morgan Lake clears 1.95m to join the group going for 1.97m. Very coolly done and the 20-year-old from Reading is closing in on her personal best of 1.96m. Kamila Licwinko from Poland follows her over as a couple of others challengers fail. The field is thinning out as they near the business end.
First up on the track tonight is the women’s 100m hurdles final, and Australia’s Sally Pearson will be going for her second world title. She is up against a high quality field featuring the world record holder Kendra Harrison and three other talented Americans – Christina Manning, Nia Ali and Dawn Harper Nelson.
KJT aces 1.95m with a perfect leap! It didn’t even graze the bar. She’s the fourth high jump finalist to clear the height, although the one blot on her card at 1.92m means she is technically fourth and outside the medals.
Britain’s Morgan Lake has a perfect card so far, clearing 1.84m, 1.88m and 1.92m comfortably. She raises her arms to get the home crowd behind her before steaming into her arced approach, but nudges the bar and it’s her first failure of the competition, at 1.95m. She is followed by the 19-year-old Ukrainian Yuliia Levchenko, who makes it look easy, and the teenager will join Lasitskene at 1.97m, as will the German Marie-Laurence Jungfleisch. Next up, it’s Katarina Johnson-Thompson.
Maria Lasitskene is the first to clear 1.95m, at her first attempt, with plenty of room to spare it would seem. She is clearly the one to beat in this women’s high jump final. Next up is Vashti Cunningham from the US, who nicks the bar and will have to go again.
A surprise in the women’s high jump as the Olympic champion, Spain’s Ruth Beitia, racks up three fouls at 1.92m and is out of the competition. She had been struggling with a shoulder injury, in fairness, and at 38 that may be Beitia’s final world championship tilt. Katarina Johnson-Thompson clears the height at the second attempt and her challenge goes on.
After the conclusion of the ninth event in the men’s decathlon, here’s how they stand:
- Kevin Mayer (France) 8067 points
- Rico Freimuth (Germany) 7894
- Kai Kazmirek (Germany) 7796
- Janek Oiglane (Estonia) 7686
A quick check of 1500m personal bests suggests that Oiglane is going to need to run the race of his life to have any chance of stealing a podium spot, while Mayer has the gold all but wrapped up. With Ashton Eaton retired there is a room for a new decathlon king, and in this French 25-year-old we may have found one.
The women’s high jump final is just getting going and this promises to be an entertaining contest. The reigning world champion Mariya Lasitskene – from Russia but competing as an authorised neutral athlete – is the favourite, although she faces Spain’s 38-year-old Olympic champion Ruth Beitia and several talented young entrants. Among the contenders is Britain’s Katarina Johnson-Thompson, who suffered a disappointing heptathlon but bounced back to win a place in this final, and has already cleared 1.88m without a blemish on her card. Here comes her third jump… she clatters into the bar at 1.92m.
Kevin Mayer seems to opting against a second javelin throw – his arm is heavily strapped and he knows he has done enough to put himself in charge heading into the 1500m. His closest challenger to take the decathlon crown is Germany’s Rico Freimuth, who has set a mark of 62.34m after two throws, just behind his team-mate Kai Kazmirek’s 62.45m. These two are looking most likely to take silver and bronze but Estonia’s Janek Oiglane, who leads the javelin event with a huge personal best of 71.73m, could leap up to fourth in the overall standings and put himself in contention. Meanwhile, responding to Kevin’s email earlier:
In the men’s decathlon, the javelin is now in full swing. France’s Kevin Mayer has put up a solid mark of 66.10m with his first throw and that will be enough to ensure he leads the pack heading into the final event later tonight, the 1500m.
An early email from Kevin without surname: “Hi Lawrence, any ideas why the American flag is not – in contrast to other flags – lowered at an angle and unfurled at the medal ceremonies?” I must admit I don’t know. Does a reader have an answer for this one?
If you’d like to catch up on some of the action earlier in the day, including the 4x100m relay semi-finals ahead of tonight’s finals, take a look at Martha Kelner’s report from the London Stadium:
First up tonight is the men’s decathlon, which is nearing its conclusion. The penultimate event of the 10 – the javelin – is under way although the second group of competitors is the one stacked with medal contenders and is yet to start. France’s Kevin Mayer carries a hefty lead of more than 100 points into this and tonight’s final event, the 1500m, and bearing in mind his monstrous personal best in the javelin of over 70 metres would need something pretty terrible to occur not to be crowned world champion and win his first major international title.
Home fans at London 2017 may have suffered some oddly comforting flashbacks this week to the late 90s and early naughties, when Brits snatched plucky fourth-placed finishes from the jaws of glory like clockwork. Even then, though, there was always one athlete of rare talent at the top of their field. Paula Radcliffe, head lolloping, would streak away to marathon gold. Jonathan Edwards, the standard bearer for humble Britishness, would defy gravity in the triple jump. Colin Jackson would harness every last drop of gravity to achieve his title-winning dip over the line.
Now it is Mo Farah, whose domination of long distance running has become ludicrously routine, raising him to the top of all the British star athletes before him. In what he says will be his final major race, Farah is aiming to sign off with his seventh world title to add to his four Olympic gold medals in the 5,000m final (8.20pm BST) this evening, but this will be harder assignment than the 10,000m gold he won so impressively a week ago. He has picked out Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei as the main threat once more, while Ethiopia’s Muktar Edris, Yomif Kejelcha and their teenage team-mate Selemon Barega will have drawn up a plan titled ‘How to beat Mo’.
Before Farah, there are three gold medals up for grabs tonight. First is the women’s high jump final (7.05pm BST) where the reigning world champion, Mariya Lasitskene – competing as an authorised neutral athlete – will take on Spain’s 38-year-old Olympic champion Ruth Beitia. Australia’s Sally Pearson will go for the second world championship gold of her career in the women’s 100m hurdles final (8.05pm BST) but faces stiff competition from a pack of American talent including the world record holder, Kendra Harrison, before the men’s javelin final (8.15pm BST) where Germany’s Olympic champion Thomas Röhler will be the man to beat.
The men’s decathlon will be in action at various junctures before the evening wraps up with the men’s and women’s 4x100m relay finals (9.30pm BST), and Usain Bolt’s final act. Expect Jamaica and USA to fight for golds should they get the baton round, while Germany have strong teams and Britain have high hopes of snatching a life-affirming fourth. It is all set up for another brilliant night of athletics in London.