Friday night’s high jump final saw the crowds swell significantly for the first full house at the Khalifa International Stadium, as the Qatari locals flocked to see the home favourite and defending World Champion Mutaz Barshim.

But Australia’s Commonwealth Games gold medallist Brandon Starc was looking to upset the party and eyeing his own podium finish on Day Eight of the IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019.

Getting off to a stuttering start, it was an easy first-time clearance at 2.19m for the joint Australian record holder.  This was followed by a second attempt clearance at 2.24m, but it would require all three efforts to get over 2.27m.

There was another first-time clearance and equal season’s best jump at 2.30m, but 2.33m would be a jump too far for the Parramatta City athlete, with three failed attempts.

Much to the delight of the crowd in the Qatari capital, Barshim would defend his 2017 World title on home soil and claim the 2019 gold medal with a 2.37m clearance.

Matthew Ramsden and Stewart McSweyn went in the 1500m semi-finals.  Ramsden finished in eighth place clocking 3:37.16 in his semi, with McSweyn completing the three-lap race in 3:37.95 for 10th place.

In the opening heats of the 4x100m relay, Melissa Breen started off the quartet, with, Nana Owusu-Afriyie on leg two, Madison Coates taking on the bend and Celeste Mucci anchoring.  Unfortunately, an over extension on two into three led to the girls not getting the baton round.

Still to come at 23:30 (06:30 AEST), Dane Bird-Smith and Rhydian Cowley compete in the 20km race walk along the waterfront of Doha’s Corniche.

Athletics Australia

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