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Starting Friday, July 15 and lasting 10 days, World Athletics is putting on its championships for the world's best track and field athletes. It's the first world champs since 2019 and the first one ever to be hosted by the United States, taking place in the newly renovated Hayward Stadium in Eugene, Oregon, home of the University of Oregon.
And unlike last year's Olympics, these champs are open to fans--we're looking forward to packed stadiums for the more than 20 events. Similar to the Olympics, athletes have to qualify to make their country's team, and compete for gold, silver, and bronze medals.
Here, we'll update you throughout the championships from July 15-July 24 on results, news, inspiring stories, and memorable moments.
Monday, July 18 Race Reports
Americans, Jamaicans Make It Through the 200m Heats
Jamaica is one step closer to a second sweep this world championships, as all three 100-meters medalists from Sunday--Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Elaine Thompson-Herah, and Shericka Jackson--advanced to the semi-finals for the 200 meters. Fraser-Pryce, in lime green hair (one of 10 wigs she brought with her to Eugene), finished second in her heat, saving her legs.
The American team, lead by newcomer Abby Steiner, also advanced. Steiner, who won her heat, is one of the best, if not the best, 200m collegiate runner of all time, and said she’s “taking it one race at a time” during a long season. Jenna Prandini led her heat until the very end, when she was overtaken by Favour Ofili of Nigeria, who recently was running for Louisiana State University. “I want that medal for sure,” Prandini, who’s made multiple Team USAs but never medaled, said after the race.
Anthonique Strachan of the Bahamas sustained an injury and dropped out in the final heat, while her teammate, Tynia Gaither, advanced to the semis in a bit of a comeback after she was disqualified during the 100m semifinals for a false start.
Recovery will be the name of the game for these athletes as the 200m semi-finals take place tomorrow, Tuesday, July 19, at 6:05 p.m. Pacific time. --JCS
Sara Hall Secures 5th in the Marathon
In a cool Oregon morning, the women’s world champs marathon race started with a blazing pace set by a large lead pack that included the Kenyan and Ethiopian teams. Keira D’Amato tried to hang on but eventually fell back to join Emma Bates and Sara Hall in the chase pack, which never could catch up to the leaders but did make some moves ahead as runners dropped out.
The turning point of the race was when Kenya’s Ruth Chepngetich, the reigning world champ, dropped out around the midway point due to stomach issues. The Ethiopian team took the opportunity to surge ahead, creating a big gap between the leads and everyone else. Judith Korir of Kenya and Gotytom Gebreslase of Ethiopia (who just made her marathon debut last fall) ended up pulling ahead, the clear top two finishers for much of the last half. Gebreslase allowed Korir to lead until the final few kilometers, when she pulled ahead on a downhill to create a large gap, securing her gold medal finish in 2:18.11.
Sara Hall stayed with the pack until eventually breaking away, moving into sixth and working hard on her own to catch the leaders. When Lonah Chemtui Salpeter of Israel and Nazrat Weldu of Eritrea passed Ababel Yeshaneh of Ethiopia, Yeshaneh, who’d been clearly suffering from a cramp of some sort, dropped to a walk. Hall moved into sixth.
Salpeter pulled ahead of Weldu to finish third behind Korir. Down the final stretch, after working hard and alone to catch up with Angela Tanui of Kenya, Hall delivered a final kick to pass her, finishing fifth. Bates finished seventh and D’Amato eighth, rounding out the women who will receive prize money.
The Jamaicans Take the 100 Meters Once Again
It’s been a sweeps weekend at the World Athletics Championships. While the Americans swept the men’s 100 meter (Fred Kerley in 9.86, Marvin Bracy in 9.88, and Trayvon Bromell also in 9.88) on Saturday and the men’s shot put (Ryan Crouser, Joe Kovacs, and Josh Awotunde), it was the Jamaicans who took the women’s 100 meters as they did last year in the Olympic Games.
Though the 100 meter podium looked very similar to that of Tokyo, there was a slight shake up in Sunday’s final. Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce who took silver last year, became the reigning world champ, edging out the Tokyo gold medalist, Elaine Thompson-Herah. Shericka Jackson once again took bronze to join her superfast compatriots in glory.
Fraser-Pryce, now a five-time world champ, ran it in 10.67 in a championship record. It is the third time this year she’s run 100 meters in that time.
As for the American hopefuls, only Aleia Hobbs and national champion Melissa Jefferson lined up for tonight’s final. Twanisha (Tee Tee) Terry did not advance after the semi-final round earlier in the evening with her time of 11.04. Hobbs ultimately took 6th in 10.92 and Jefferson finished in 8th in 11.03.
Catch all three Jamaican superstars again on Monday as they are slated to compete in the 200 meter qualifiers. — M.R.
Saturday, July 16 Race Reports
Smooth Sailing and a Bit O’ Drama in the 1500m Semi-Finals
The excitement in the women's 1500m continued on Saturday night with two races that would decide the line up for the final on Monday. The first five in each heat automatically proceeded to the finals plus the next two fastest times.
In the first semi final, Gulag Tsegay from Ethiopia clocked the fastest qualifying time with a winning time of 4.01.28. She was followed by Great Britain's Laura Muir with a 4:01.78 seasonal best, and Jessica Hull from Australia at 4:01.81
The American athletes lined up with Cory McGee and Elle (Purrier) St. Pierre in the first semi-final and Sinclaire Johnson in the second. McGee qualified for the final coming in fifth with at time of 4:02.74 and Johnson qualified with second place and a time of 4.04.51 in her heat.
In the second heat, with the athletes coming into the final bend, drama sadly unfolded. Gaia Sabatini from Italy pushed Ugandan athlete Winnie Nanyondo out of the way, who consequently fell. Sabatini was disqualified and Nanyondo was registered as a DNF.
The athletes will line up on Monday 18th at 7:50 p.m. for the (almost) four lap journey to the podium. — M.M.
The Battle for 100m Dominance Is Out of the Blocks
Questions going into the heats for the 100m were if it would be a Jamaican one, two, three in the qualifiers. This was not to be, but the finals are where it counts.
Great Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith sprinted to the fastest time of the evening with a seasonal best of 10.84. Having suffered from a hamstring challenge at the Tokyo Olympics, she proved she was back, strong and ready to race.
For Team USA, all athletes qualified. Twanisha Terry easily cruised the fourth heat coming in second with a 10.95. Aleia Hobbs crossed the line fastest in her heat clocking an 11.04 and Melissa Jefferson rounded out the Americans qualifying with an 11.03.
The Jamaican team still all qualified for the semi-finals. Defending champion Shelly-Ann Fraser Price crossed the line with a 10.87, Shericka Jackson ran an 11.02 and, in heat three, Elaine Thompson-Hera clocked an 11.15.
Other notable performances in the heats were New Zealand's Zoe Hobbs, who came in second in the first heat with a PR and also breaking the oceanian record in the process. Great Britain's Daryll Neita and Marie-Josee Ta Lou both clocked seasonal bests with 10.95 and 10.92 respectively.
The semi-finals will play out on Sunday at 5:05 p.m. (PT) and the final at 7:50 p.m. (PT) — Melanie Mitchell
The American Steeplers Qualify for Wednesday’s Final
Though they most certainly all hoped to secure a top three spot in their heats to qualify for the 3000 meter steeplechase final, Emma Coburn, Courtney Frerichs, and Courtney Wayment were all left sweating while they waited for the results to come in after Saturday morning’s qualifying rounds. Each American woman came in fourth place in their heats and would have to wait to find out if they qualified based on time.
In the preliminary heats the top three each auto-qualify, while the next six are let through based on the next best times.
In the first heat, Norah Jeruto of Kazakhstan put her stake in the ground as a contender to take the world title, opening up a wide lead with several laps to go. She finished with the fastest time of the morning in 9:01.54.
The second heat, in which Wayment ran, was by far the biggest nail biter. Wayment ran comfortably around fourth place most of the race, waiting until the bell lap to make her move. She battled with Ethiopia’s Mekides Abebe, France’s Alice Finot, and Luiza Gega of Albania for the top three positions, shuffling places among them several times. Wayment was ultimately edged into fourth place in 9:14.95 to Gega’s 9:14.91. Finot finished in first in 9:14.34 and set a national record.
The steeplechase final will take place in the evening on Wednesday July 20. — M.R.
Friday July 15 Race Reports
No Surprises in the 1500m Qualifying Heats
The highly anticipated 1500m began its three days of competition on a balmy summer night in Eugene, Oregon with temperatures at 81 degrees and humidity around 40 percent.
All three American 1500m contenders–Sinclaire Johnson, Elle (Purrier) St. Pierre, and Cory McGee–advanced past the first qualifying heats and will compete in Saturday’s semi-finals. By finishing in the top six of their respective heats, the middle-distance runners made the cut.
Joining in the semi-finals are expected international stand-outs such as Kenya’s Faith Kipyegon, the reigning Olympic gold medalist; Great Britain’s Laura Muir, who took silver in Tokyo; and Ethiopia’s Gudaf Tsegay, an Olympic medalist in the 5000m. Tsegay ran the fastest time of the night in 4:02.68 in the third and fastest heat.
The semi-finals take place Saturday July 16 at 7:05 p.m., Pacific Time. Those who advance from there will compete in the finals on Monday July 18 at 7:50 p.m. — M.R.
Team USA Will Defend Its 4x400m Title
The United States 4×400 mixed relay team has automatically qualified for tonight’s final after coming in first place in the first heat. In each of the two heats, the top three teams had the opportunity to automatically qualify, with the next two fastest teams rounding out the eight final teams.
Team USA, made up by Elija Godwin, Kennedy Simon, Vernon Norwood, and Wadeline Jonathas, collectively ran 3:11.75. Running consistently in second place behind the Netherlands through the first three legs, it was anchor Jonathas (who also ran in the women’s 4x400m in Tokyo last year) who outkicked Eveline Saalberg of the Netherlands (3:12.63) for the win.
Those tuning into this first morning session of the World Championships were expecting Allyson Felix to compete in the event, but the five-time Olympian was not subbed in. But it is highly likely that Felix (who has announced her impending retirement) will make her final World Championship appearance in the final, set for 7:50 p.m., Pacific time tonight.
Besides the U.S., the Netherlands, Dominican Republic, Poland, Ireland, Jamaica, Italy, and Nigeria will compete in the final. — Malissa Rodenburg
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