By Sports Reporter Doha
Qatar’s Ashraf El Seify has his task cut out when the men’s hammer throw action gets underway on October 1, and concludes with the medal round the next day, at the IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019.
The 2018 Asian Games gold medallist has never hit the 80m mark in his career but has made it his goal, something that will send him into the uppermost echelons of the discipline.
With a personal best of 78.19, the 24-year-old will be going up against at least six athletes, including defending world champion Pawel Fajdek of Poland and his compatriot Wojciech Nowicki, and Olympic champion Dilshad Nazarov of Tajikistan, who have been past the 80m mark in their careers.
“I want to throw 80m this season, that is my aim. If I make it here in Doha at the World Championships, I could be placed in a high position,” El Seify was quoted as saying on the Doha 2019 World Championships website.
In Jakarta last year, the former two-time World under-20 champion had beaten Nazarov for gold, but Nazarov won gold ahead of his younger rival at the Asian Athletics Championships, which was a test event held in April this year for the IAAF World Championships at the state-of-the-art Khalifa International Stadium.
History, however, may be on Fajdek’s side as he prepares to compete in Doha against a formidable field. Fajdek, oddly enough, may have never won an Olympic medal, but has three world titles to his name.
The field also has Denis Lukyanov, who is fourth on this season’s world list with 78.97m.
Bence Halász maintained Hungary’s proud tradition in this event by taking bronze at last year’s European Championships in Berlin and stands one place below Lukyanov on the 2019 world list with 78.54m.
Spain’s Javier Cienfuegos, only 28 but a veteran of the 2009 World Championships and European U20 bronze medallist in that same year, has inserted himself into the mix in extravagant fashion with his effort of 79.38m in Andújar on September 6.
But Fajdek’s toughest competition looks likely to come from his Polish teammate – and fellow 30-year-old – Nowicki.
The latter, who earned Olympic bronze in Rio, followed up last year by winning the European title in Berlin with 80.12m, beating Fajdek, the defending champion, into second place with a best of 78.69m.
Nowicki leads this year’s world list with the effort of 81.74m he produced in Poznan on July 2, but that was his last throw beyond 80 metres. Fajdek, meanwhile, has thrown beyond 80 metres on three occasions since then, topped by a season’s best of 80.88m in Cetniewo on August 3.
Nowicki, however, won at the European Team Championships in his native Bydgoszcz and beat Fajdek in their last pre-Doha outing, 79.55m to 79.33m. He will be keen to add a world medal of a different colour to the bronze versions he collected in 2015 and 2017.
All in all it looks like being a fascinating struggle.
(With inputs from IAAF)
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