Echevarria sails through to long jump final
Cuban lays down the marker with a super jump while Norwegian Jakob Ingebrigtsen disqualified in 5000M.
Juan Miguel Echevarria laid down an early marker on the opening night of the 17th IAAF World Championships, qualifying for Saturday’s long jump final with ease.
On a night when fans turned up in big numbers to create a lively atmosphere at the Khalifa International Stadium, Echevarria was the most impressive performer, though no finals were scheduled at the main venue.
The Cuban was the only one to cross the automatic qualifying distance of 8.15M, leaping to 8.40 in his first try and packing up his bags.
“I was only 17 when I had my first experience at a senior World Championships. I’m more experienced and confident now. The weather was fine and the track is fast,” said the 21-year-old Cuban.
Olympic champion Jeff Henderson of the United States produced an 8.12M effort to be among the top 12 who progressed to the final. Also moving up was defending champion Luvo Manyonga of South Africa, with a leap of 7.91M.
Favourite Ajee Wilson of the United States easily progressed to the semifinal of the women’s 800M in 2:02.10, but Winnie Nanyondo was the leader among the qualifiers, with a time of 2:00.36. The surprise was the exit of Briton Lynsey Sharp, the seventh best performer this season.
Sharp timed 2:03.57 to finish 31st overall.
A total of 17 athletes qualified for the final of the women’s pole vault, after crossing the standard of 4.60M. Olympic and world champion Katerina Stefanidi of Greece, American Sandi Morris, season’s leader Jennifer Suhr and Canadian Commonwealth Games champion Alysha Newman all progressed without alarm.
Triple jump big guns Christian Taylor and Will Claye both entered the final, doing just enough to qualify. Cuban Pedro Pichardo led the list with 17.38 while Olympic champion Taylor had a best of 16.99 on the day. Claye advanced with a 16.97M effort.
Defending champion in women’s high jump, Mariya Lasitskene, an Authorised Neutral Athlete, qualified without fuss. Her closest rival, Yulia Livchenko of Ukraine, could not meet the qualifying mark of 1.94, but advanced by being among the top 12, with a 1.92M clearance.
There were no surprises in the women’s 3000M steeplechase, but in the men’s 5000M, Norway’s Jakob Ingebrigtsen, the European champion, was disqualified for stepping out of the track. The 19-year-old had originally qualified for the final along with two of his brothers Filip and Henrik. The Norwegians have appealed the disqualification.