by Mark Cullen
Copyright 2019 Mark Cullen and Trackerati.com. All rights Reserved.
|Mutaz Essa Barshim|
Hometown High Jump Hero
On my way into Doha, at the airport, I ran into a young man named Daniel and his wife. While waiting for luggage we struck up a conversation, and he grew quite interested in the championships. I urged him to come for even one night, and he picked this night, of all nights, a night of nights.
A world record by Dalilah Muhammad in the 400m hurdles, her second of the year. The crowning comeback win of Mutaz Essa Barshim of Qatar in the men's high jump in front of a raucous home crowd - a year's recovery from serious injury that had many doubting a return at all. A steeplechase win by the resurgent Conseslus Kipruto - by a thrilling one one-hundredth of a second. And a discus title by Cuba's Yaime Perez in her 6th attempt at a global medal. Her last major title? 2010 World Junior gold.
In a week overshadowed by drugs, Daniel chose the best night of these championships. Here's what I wrote to Daniel:
"I am so pleased that you chose tonight of all nights. To see a world record is something rare and special - when someone does something that no one else has done before.
"And Barshim on top of that - a packed house rocking and roaring.
This was track and field at its best."
So, Daniel, there's hope for this troubled sport yet. Keep on coming back. I can't always promise a night like this, but I can promise that each will be memorable in its own way. It's worked for me for 48 years.
|Dahlilah Muhammad (52.16) and Sydney McLaughlin (52.23)|
2xWorld Record setter with #2 all-time
Photo Credits: Getty Images for IAAF
Updated 1:47pm 10/5/2019 to include last paragraph.