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≡ WORLD ATHLETICS CHAMPIONSHIPS ≡
A wild second day at the 2023 World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary, in a hot day with temperatures as high as 93 F. But the hottest of all turned out to be U.S. sprint star Noah Lyles.
● Men/100 m ● The first shocks came in the semis, with two-time Worlds 200 m winner Lyles and Christian Coleman sprinting to clear wins in 9.87 (+0.3 m/s) and 9.88 (0.0). Then, in heat three, defending champ Fred Kerley did not make it to the final, finishing third in 10.02; Jamaica’s Oblique Seville won in 9.90 (-0.3). Kerley missed qualifying on time by 0.01.
The conditions were excellent, with temperatures of 87 F for the final, with Coleman in four, Britain’s world leader Zharnel Hughes in five and Lyles in six, in the middle of the track. Off the gun, Coleman got his usual bullet start and was in front, but stumbled and hurt his momentum. He was still in front by 50 m, but it was Letsile Tebogo (BOT) moving best and got to the front with 20 m to go. But Lyles was coming.
And coming, so hard to he won in the final 5 m in a lifetime best of 9.83, equaling the world lead for 2023. Tebogo was second in a national record of 9.88, then Hughes in 9.88 for bronze, Seville in fourth (9.88) and Coleman in fifth (9.92).
It’s Lyles’ fourth Worlds gold, after two in the 200 m and in the 2019 Worlds 4×100 m.
And the 200 m is still to come!
It’s the third straight U.S. win in this race, after four in a row for Jamaica, by Usain Bolt (3) and Yohan Blake (1).
● Men/10,000 m ● Two-time defending champion Joshua Cheptegei (UGA) was the headliner, but teammate Joel Ayeko ran away from the start and set a pace that strung the field out for the first seven laps, and dropped out soon after, with temperatures around the 90 F mark.
Ethiopia’s Berihu Aregawi led at the 5,000 km mark, but with a dozen within two seconds. A lead pack of nine was together with three laps to go, with Aregawi, Cheptegei and Canada’s Moh Ahmed at the front. There were seven in contention with 800 m left, then Cheptegei took charge with 550 m to go and started sprinting. He broke the race apart and only Ethiopians Selemon Barega and Aregawi, and Kenya’s Daniel Ebenyo remained in contention.
Barega, who beat Cheptegei to be the Tokyo 10,000 m champ, chased hard and came to Cheptegei’s shoulder with 100 m to go. But the Ugandan star gritted his teeth and sprinted home the clear winner in 27:51.42. Ebenyo passed Barega at the line for second, 27:52.60 and 27:52.72, with Aregawi fourth at 27:55.71.
Cheptegei ran 53.45 for his final lap and his third Worlds title in a row. He’s the fourth to do it, after Ethiopia’s Haile Gebrselassie (4) and Kenenisa Bekele (4) and Britain’s Mo Farah (3).
Woody Kincaid was the top American finisher in 11th (28:08.71), followed by Sean McGorty (16: 28:27.54) and Joe Klecker (20:29:03.41).
● Men/Hammer ● Hungary’s Bence Halasz sent the home crown into a frenzy with his first-round throw of 80.82 m (265-2) for the lead, but was passed by Poland’s Olympic champ Wojciech Nowicki at 80.83 m (also 265-2) in the fourth round. Nowicki improved to 81.02 m (265-10) in round five.
Then the shock came, with Canada’s Ethan Katzberg, who unloaded a national record of 81.25 m (266-7) in round five and took the lead. And no one could do better. It’s Canada’s first-ever Worlds medal in this event.
Nowicki won his second straight Worlds silver, after three Worlds bronzes in 2015-17-19. Halasz won the bronze; Americans Daniel Haugh and Rudy Winkler finished 6-8 in 78.64 m (258-0) and 76.04 m (249-6).
● Women/Long Jump ● Gold and silver were decided in the first round, as American star Tara Davis-Woodhall got out to 6.91 m (22-8) to take the lead. That held up for a round, then two-time World Indoor Champion Ivana Vuleta (SRB) popped out to 7.05 m (23-1 3/4) to take the lead, and she held it.
Davis-Woodhall could not improve and no one challenged the top two. Then Vuleta finished off the field with a world-leading 7.14 m (23-5 1/4) in round five and took her first outdoor Worlds gold, after two prior bronzes. Davis-Woodhall, sixth in Tokyo in 2021, won her first international medal.
Romanian Alina Rotaru-Kottmann surprised in third with a final-round jump of 6.88 m (22-7); American Jasmine Moore was 10th at 6.54m (21-5 1/2).
● Women/Heptathlon ● American Anna Hall had the lead coming into the second day, but 2019 World Champion Katarina Johnson-Thompson (GBR) led the long jump at 6.54 m (21-5 1/2), with Hall fifth (6.19 m/20-3 3/4), and Johnson-Thompson took the lead.
Hall had a wrap on her left leg from the high jump, and she finished 10th in the javelin (44.88 m/147-3, a season’s best), but Tokyo Olympic runner-up Anouk Vetter (NED) sailed the spear out to a World Championships best of 59.57 m (195-5) and moved into second overall, while Johnston-Thompson got a lifetime best of 46.14 m (151-4). Johnson-Thompson entered the 800 m at 5,710 points, then Vetter (5,684) and Hall (5,667).
In the 800 m, Hall pushed hard from the start and got the bell at 58.59, with Johnson-Thompson following, trying to stay within three seconds and win the title. Hall pushed into the straight and won in 2:04.09 – a World Championships best – but Johnson-Thompson stayed just close enough and finished in a lifetime best of 2:05.63. Johnson-Thompson won her second world title at 6,740 to 6,720 for Hall. Hall moved up from third at the 2022 Worlds, now to second.
Vetter held on for the bronze with 6,501 points; Chari Hawkins of the U.S. was eighth with a lifetime best of 6,366. Taliyah Brooks, fourth after the first day, did not start on day two.
● Women/20 km Walk ● Defending champ Kimberly Garcia Leon of Peru was in front by halfway, leading a close pack of seven. It didn’t thin out until Spain’s Maria Perez threw in a 4:06 kilometer and took over the lead at the 16 km mark, and she was not challenged.
Perez, the 2018 European Champion and the 2023 world leader, increased her lead and won in 1:26:51, way ahead of Australian Jemima Montag (national record 1:27:16), then Antonella Palmisano (ITA: 1:27:26) and Garcia Leon (1:27:32).
There were some surprises in the prelims, but most of the favorites got through without incident.
● Men/400 m ● Who is Norway’s Havard Bentdal Ingvaldsen?
The 2023 European U-23 champ led the qualifying with a national record of 44.39, quickest of the day, out of heat three. Wow! The expected stars did fine, with Olympic champ Steven Gardiner (BAH) winning heat one in 44.65, Rio 2016 Olympic champ Wayde van Niekerk (RSA) taking heat two in 44.57, and 2012 Olympic champ Kirani James (GRN) winning heat four in 44.91.
Jamaica’s Antonio Watson won heat five in 44.77, ahead of Quincy Hall of the U.S. (44.86), and Botswana’s Bayapo Ndori running 44.72 to win heat six. Vernon Norwood was second to Ingvaldsen in heat four (44.87), but U.S. champ Bryce Deadmon was last in heat six (46.20) and did not advance.
● Men/1,500 m ● The pace was fast off the start of the first semi, with Kenyan Abel Kipsang in the lead, but American Yared Nuguse was leading a big pack at the bell. Nuguse led into the final straight, and into the final 15 m, but a final push from the frantic runners behind him closed the gap. Nuguse actually quickened in the final step and managed to win in 3:32.69, just ahead of Kipsang (3:32.72). Dutch teen star Niels Laros (18) got a national record of 3:32.74 in third.
Norway’s Olympic champ Jakob Ingebrightsen was the focus of the second semi, but he was badly boxed in with 600 m to go, in ninth place. Britain’s Josh Kerr led at the bell, with American Cole Hocker third. Ingebrghtsen had to go to the outside on the back straight, then charged to the front around the final turn – while urging the fans to cheer! – and finished in a jog at 3:34.98, with Kerr at 3:35.14 and Hocker at 3:35.23. The final is Wednesday.
● Men/110 m hurdles ● World Champion Grant Holloway of the U.S. led all qualifiers at 13.18 (-0.6), with Olympic winner Hansle Parchment (JAM) taking heat one in 13.30 (-0.3) with Cordell Tinch of the U.S. fourth in 13.49. France’s Wilhem Belocian won heat two in 13.31 (+0.5).
American Freddie Crittenden was second to Senegal’s Louis Francois Mendy in heat three, 13.24-13.40 (0.0), and Daniel Roberts was third in heat five in 13.36 (-0.9).
● Men/400 m hurdles ● Norway’s Olympic champ and world-record holder Karsten Warholm was actually an eased-up second in his heat, 48.63 to 48.76, to France’s Wilfried Happio, but the other favorites won their races. Defending champ Alison dos Santos (BRA) won heat one in 48.12, Rai Benjamin of the U.S. took heat five in 48.35, and Kyron McMaster (IVB) won heat two in 48.47.
CJ Allen of the U.S. was second in heat four in 48.36 to Joshua Abuaku (GER: 48.32). Trevor Bassitt of the U.S., the 2022 bronze medalist, qualified third in heat two in 48.73.
● Men/High Jump ● It took 2.28 m (7-5 3/4) to qualify, led by co-Olympic champs Mutaz Essa Barshim (QAT) and Gianmarco Tamberi (ITA), but also Americans JuVaughn Harrison and Shelby McEwen.
Vernon Turner of the U.S. managed 2.14 m (7-0 1/4) and did not qualify.
● Women/100 m ● The stars moved through, with NCAA champ Julien Alfred (LCA: 10.99 with 0.0 wind) winning heat one, Brittany Brown of the U.S ran 11.01 to win heat two (-0.8), Poland’s Ewa Swoboda got heat three at 10.98 (-0.4), with Tamari Davis of the U.S. at 11.06.
Jamaican star Shericka Jackson ran 11.06 to win heat four (-1.0), U.S. star Sha’Carri Richardson had the fastest time of the morning at 10.92 in heat five (-0.4) and Marie Josee Ta Lou ( won heat six at 11.08 (+0.9). Defending champ Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce won heat seven in 11.01 (+0.2).
● Women/400 m ● Only 2022 Worlds runner-up Marileidy Paulino (DOM) ran under 50 seconds, at 49.90, to win heat six. Poland’s Natalia Kaczmarek ran 50.02 to win heat one, and Dutch star Lieke Klaver won heat two in 50.52.
Two U.S. entries moved through, with Lynna Irby-Jackson third in heat two (50.81) and Talitha Diggs steamed down the straight to get third in heat six in 50.87. Britton Wilson was not in form and finished eighth in heat four (53.87) and was eliminated.
● Women/1,500 m ● Kenya was the story of the semis, with Nelly Chepchirchir taking over with 300 m to go in the first race and pulling away to win in 4:02.14, ahead of Birke Haylom (ETH: 4:02.46), Ciara Mageean (IRL: 4:02.70) and American Cory McGee (4:02.71). Fellow American Sinclaire Johnson was 11th in 4:06.39 and did not advance.
World-record holder Faith Kipyegon led the second semi, and did she ever! The pace was astonishingly fast, with Kipyegon leading Dutch star Sifan Hassan – coming back after her fall in the 10,000 m on Saturday – and Britain’s Laura Muir with 300 m to go, but then Hassan took over into the straight before Kipyegon pushed hard to the finish and held off fast-closing Diribe Welteji (ETH) in a startling 3:55.14! Welteji finished in 3:55.18, then Hassan (3:55.48) and Muir (3:56.36). The top nine all broke four minutes; American champ Nikki Hiltz ran a creditable 4:00.84 – that would have won semi one – and was 11th!
Kipyegon’s 3:55.14 is the second-fastest non-final time in history; only China’s Lax Lixin ran 3:55.01 in a heat of the national games in 1997.
● Women/Discus ● Olympic champ Valarie Allman of the U.S. led the qualifying at 67.14 m (220-3) on her first throw, confirming her status as the favorite. Reigning World Champion Bin Feng of China needed a final throw of 65.68 m (215-6) to get the automatic qualifying mark. American Laulauga Tausaga qualified as well, getting out to 64.34 m (211-1) on her second trial.
Fellow Americans Veronica Fraley and Elena Bruckner did not qualify, at 59.36 m (194-9)) and 55.94 (183-6).
≡ PANORAMA ≡
Through two days, the U.S. has six medals to lead all nations (3-2-1), ahead of Ethiopia (4: 1-1-2) and Great Britain (3: 1-1-1).
In the eight-place points table (8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1), the U.S. has 61 points to 32 for Ethiopia and 22 each for Great Britain and Kenya.
There is no morning session on Monday, with U.S. coverage of the evening session on USA Network from 1-4 p.m. Eastern time.
For our updated, 787-event International Sports Calendar (no. 3) for 2023 and beyond, by date and by sport, click here!