Team GB & NI finish 2 short of medals target in...

Team GB & NI finish 2 short of medals target in Doha

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Whilst the USA regained top stop as world leaders, Team GB & NI will look back at the IAAF World Athletics Championship and, as a nation, in which direction it will be going within the coming season and beyond.

With the Tokyo Olympics only months away, certain aspects of the sports – specifically and generally – has some questions to answer.

As Britain ended the meet with five medals – their worst total since the three they won at Helsinki 2005 – in looking forward, the question is whether they will be in a position to really stake a claim to be one of the world’s leading lights in the sport.

Coming away from a too-often empty Khalifa International Stadium, in Doha, with only five medals – two of which include Dina Asher Smith’s individual 200m gold and 100m silver medals, her silver in the Women’s 4×100, relay to match that won by the Men’s sprint quartet and Katarina Johnson-Thompson’s gold in the heptathlon – that was the sum-lot after ten days of competition.

The USA finish these championships with four more gold medals than they won at London 2017.

Their 14 golds were nine more than second-placed Kenya and their total of 29 was almost three times more than any other country managed.

Among the highlights was Dalilah Muhammad improving her own world record in the 400m hurdles – which BBC pundit and former Olympic champion Michael Johnson said was his favourite moment of the championships – and sprinter Allyson Felix breaking Usain Bolt’s record for most World Championship gold medals.

Felix won her 12th in the 4x400m mixed relay and her 13th in the women’s event – although she did not actually race in Sunday’s final – all 11 months after giving birth.

After picking up just one one gold medal in the men’s sprinting events in London two years ago, the Americans head home with five out of a possible seven golds.

It was the largest tally since the six sprinting golds won by the US at the 2007 championships in Osaka, a year before the start of Jamaican Bolt’s decade of dominance at the 2008 Beijing Olympics

As for the sparsely-filled stadium, plus the highly publicised ban for coach, Alberto Salazar, IAAF chief Lord Coe hailed as the “best we have ever had”.

“Our sport is in pretty good shape,” Coe said.

“It is pretty clear to us on athlete performance this is the best World Championships we have ever had.”

However, four-time Olympic champion and BBC athletics pundit Michael Johnson viewed it differently.

He said: “Hosting championships in Doha a mistake.

“The decision to bring the championships [to Doha], there were far more negatives than positives. I think it was a mistake and I think the athletes would say the same thing”.

The IAAF and Team GB & NI have to make sure that the make the right decisions or the sake of the sport both at home and abroad as all eyes now a fixed towards the Tokyo Olympic Games 2020.

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