World Athletics Championships: Cleaner but slower sprinters

Some of the slowest timings in recent years were registered in the sprint events, the 400 metres and the relays at this edition of the World Athletics Championships. Here a look at why unprecedented out-of-competition doping tests, in the aftermath of the Russian doping scandal, could be one of the reasons for the slower timings.

By: Express News Service | Published: August 18, 2017 10:43 am
Usain Bolt, Gatlin, World Championships, sports news, Indian Express Usain Bolt ran his last race during the World Championships. (Source: AP)

400m men: slowest since 2011
2011 Kirani James 44.60
2013 LaShawn Merritt 43.74
2015 Van Niekerk 43.48
2017 Van Niekerk 43.98, Steven Gardiner 44.41, Abdalelah Haroun 44.48 (5 sub 45s)

5,000 out of competition tests
The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) increased vigilance and testing in the run-up to the 2017 World Athletics Championships in London.
The AIU was established in April 2017 and handles all aspects of the anti-doping programme for international-level athletes.
n In a 10-month period before the championships, 2,000 blood and 3,000 urine tests — all out of competition — were conducted in an effort to catch cheats. At the championships 600 urine tests were conducted. 600 blood samples were also collected before the championships and will be used to study Athlete Biological Passports.

Age and injury
In the men’s 100 metres the slower timings this year could be attributed to injury and the ‘old age’ of the sprint kings. Gatlin is 35 and struggled with injuries this season, and Bolt, 31, whose timings have fallen over the years had his own battles with body. However, Christian Coleman, just 22, clocked 9.94 for silver.

Women 100M: slowest since 2011

2011 Carmelita Jeter 10.90

2013 Shelly Ann Fraser Pryce 10.71

2015 Shelly Ann Fraser Pryce 10.76

2017 Tori Bowie  10.85

Marie-Josee Ta Lou  10.86; Dafne Schippers 10.96
200M:  slowest since 2013

2013 Shelly Ann Fraser Pryse 22.17

2015 Dafne Schippers 21.63

2017 Dane Schippers  22.05

Marie-Josee Ta Lou 22.08; Shaunae Miller-Uibo 22.15

49.92 seconds
The winning time of the United States Phyllis Francis in the women’s 400 metres. This is the slowest time ever since 1983.

11 Number of winning times in sprints, including relays and hurdles, which were slower than in 2013.

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