TSX BULLETIN: Charlton gets another world record; Hoppel and Davis-Woodhall get U.S. golds as World Indoors close

The fastest ever: world-record setter Devynne Charlton (BAH) at the World Athletics Indoor Championships (Photo: Dan Vernon for World Athletics)

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● Athletics ● The final day of the World Athletics Indoor Championships in Glasgow (GBR) confirmed the world-class status of Devynne Charlton, as she stormed to a second world record in the women’s 60 m hurdles to highlight the final day, as the U.S. ran away with the overall medal table honors.

This was a fun day of competition, with lots of drama. The highlight was the women’s hurdles.

All eyes were on world-record setter Charlton of The Bahamas, who won the first semi in 7.72, then France’s defending champ Cyrena Samba-Myela (7.73 national record) in semi two and American Masai Russell (7.79) in semi three. Christina Clemons of the U.S. was fourth in the first semi and did not advance to the final.

In the final, Charlton was in the middle of the track in four and had the lead over the first hurdle and ran away from the field, winning in another world record of 7.65! Samba-Mayela emerged in second at 7.74 and the surprise bronze winner was Poland’s Pia Skrzyszoska (7.79), just ahead of Russell (7.81), who hit the first hurdle.

Charlton, who won the silver in this meet in 2022, now owns three of the fastest six races in history. She’s run 12.44 outdoors and was fourth at the 2023 Worlds in Budapest; how much faster will she be by Paris?

But there was a lot more:

Men/800 m: Defending champ Mariano Garcia (ESP) took the lead right away, and despite some pushing, was in the lead at 400 m over American Bryce Hoppel and Belgium’s Eliott Crestan.

Hoppel moved closer by 600 m, but then Crestan moved to the lead at the bell. Hoppel stayed patient on the outside and it was Crestan and Hoppel to the finish and the American – the runner-up in this race in 2022 – zooming by in the final 50 m to take the gold in a world-leading 1:44.92!

Swede Andreas Kramer slipped past Crestan for silver at the line, 1:45.27 to 1:45.32, with Garcia dropping to sixth. It’s the first U.S. win in the men’s 800 since Boris Berian in 2016 and only the third ever.

Hoppel’s 1:44.92 is the no. 5 indoor U.S. performance; only he and Donavan Brazier have ever broken 1:45 in U.S. history.

Men/1,500 m: American Hobbs Kessler, the World Road Mile champ, led at the 800 m mark in 1:57.19, then saw two-time defending champ Sam Tefera (ETH) came up to challenge. But the pack was closely packed and at the bell, Kessler still had the lead, ahead of Portugal’s Isaac Nader and Narve Nordas (NOR), last year’s 1,500 m bronze medalist.

Kessler was still leading around the final turn, but Nader and American Cole Hocker were moving hard, along with New Zealand’s Geordie Beamish. Hocker moved hard on Kessler and got to the lead with 20 m to go, but Beamish moved out to lane three and got to the line first, moving from sixth on the turn to the World Indoor gold in 3:36.54, with Hocker a surprised second at 3:36.69 – he was stunned to see he didn’t win – and Kessler getting the bronze in 3:36.72, with Nader fourth (3:36.97).

It’s the first U.S. medal(s) in this race since 2016, when Matthew Centrowitz won it. It’s the first-ever win in this event for New Zealand.

● Men/4×400 m: The event got spicier when Noah Lyles was placed on the third leg of the U.S. team; he hadn’t run an open 400 m since 47.04 as a high schooler in 2016! Jacory Patterson (45.97) led off and got the lead off the second turn and passed to Matthew Boling in the lead.

Boling (45.63) led after the second leg, by a meter over Belgium, and handed cleanly to Lyles (45.68), who maintained the lead over Belgium’s Christian Iguacel.

On the anchor, Christopher Bailey led over 400 m winner Alexander Doom, but the Belgian star shot by on the final straight and won in the final stride, 3:02.54 to 3:02.60. Doom ran 44.88 to Bailey’s 45.32 and Belgium defended its title from 2022.

The Netherlands got the bronze over Kenya, 3:04.25 to 3:06.71.

Men/High Jump: Another surprise, with only three men able to clear 2.28 m (7-5 3/4): New Zealand’s 2022 World Indoor bronze winner Hamish Kerr and co-world leaders Shelby McEwen of the U.S. and defending champ Sang-hyeok Woo of South Korea.

At 2.31 m (7-7), Kerr sailed over with his fifth straight clearance and maintained his lead. McEwen missed twice and passed to a higher height, and Woo missed all three of his attempts and had to settle for third.

McEwen already had the silver medal wrapped up and missed once at 2.34 m (7-8) and left Kerr as the victor. The New Zealander had missed once at 2.34, but now went to 2.36 m (7-8 3/4) and cleared on his second try for the win to take the world lead for 2024 and his best-ever jump, indoors or out.

McEwen, a Tokyo Olympian and Worlds finalist in 2022 and 2023, won his first Worlds medal of any kind. Vernon Turner of the U.S. cleared 2.24 (7-4 1/4) and finished sixth.

Men/Vault: Only six were left when the jumping ended at 5.75 m (18-10 1/4), and then two-time World Indoors silver winner Sam Kendricks (USA) took the lead with a first-try clearance at 5.85 m (19-2 1/4). He was joined by Greek Emmanouil Karalis, the 2023 Euro Indoor runner-up, but everyone else missed.

Defending champ and world-record holder Mondo Duplantis (SWE) missed twice, but finally got over on his third try, but American star Chris Nilsen, Australia’s Kurtis Marschall and eventually, E.J. Obiena (PHI) all went out, leaving three to decide the medals order. Nilsen got fourth on misses.

Kendricks continued perfect at 5.90 m (19-4 1/4), but Duplantis passed; Karalis, jumping for a lifetime best, missed once and then passed to 5.95 m (19-6 1/4). Kendricks finally missed on his first try, as did Duplantis, but Mondo made it on his second try to take the lead, while Karalis went out with a second miss to take bronze.

On to 6.00 m (19-8 1/4), with Kendricks passing his final try at 5.95, but missed and settled for his third World Indoors silver, previously in 2016-18. Duplantis repeated as champion, then went to 6.05 m (19-10 1/4), cleared on his third and then went right to 6.24 m (20-5 1/2) for another world-record try, but missed all three times.

Men/Heptathlon: Ken Mullings (BAH) extended his lead by winning the 60 m hurdles, but as so often happens, the vault changed things up. Swiss Simon Ehammer, second in 2022, took the lead by jumping 5.20 m (17-0 3/4), while Mullings managed 4.60 m (15-1) and dropped to second after six events, 5,610 to 5,470.

In the final 1,000 m event, Johannes Erm (EST) and Norwegian Sander Skotheim (NOR) ran away from the pack, with Skotheim taking over on the final lap and winning in 2:33.23, a lifetime best. Ehammer finished sixth, also in a lifetime best of 2:46.03, with Mullings ninth (also a lifetime best: 2:49.35).

When the final scores came up, Ehammer had done just enough, finishing with 6,418, with Skotheim moving up to second (6,407) and Erm passing Mullings for the bronze, 6,340 to 6,242.

Women/800 m: The crowd was behind British star Jemma Reekie and everyone was close, right through the bell. Ethiopia’s Tsige Duguma, a two-time national champion, pushed hard down the backstraight, with Reekie on her shoulder.

On the turn, Reekie pushed, but Duguma had plenty left and sprinted away on the final straight, and outran everyone at 2:01.90, with Reekie a comfortable second in 2:02.72.

Noelie Yarigo (BEN: 2:03.15) got the bronze at age 38 with a sharp run on the final straight, for that country’s first medal in this event. Duguma won Ethiopia’s first gold in the women’s 800.

Women/1,500 m: Ethiopia’s Freweyni Hailu, Diribe Welteji and Birke Haylom took the lead from the gun, but the pack was in contact through 800 m.

Welteji and American Nikki Hiltz were 1-2 at 1,000 m, then Emily Mackay of the U.S. took over with two laps left. Mackay, Hailu and Hiltz led at the bell, and Hailu – the world leader in the event – took over down the backstraight and would not be headed, winning in 4:01.46. Hiltz ran down Mackay in the final 50 m for second, 4:02.32 to 4:02.69, with indoor bests for both.

Hiltz moved to no. 3 all-time U.S. indoors and Mackay is no. 4, with the nos. 5-6 performances in American indoor history. It was quite a finish; the U.S. hadn’t won a medal in this event since 2003!

Women/4×400 m: The Dutch were second in this event in 2022, but was anyone going to be able to hold off world-record setter Femke Bol? No.

Women’s 400 m runner-up Lieke Klaver (50.26) led off for the Dutch and had a big lead at the hand-off, while Talitha Diggs (50.50) came on for the U.S. on the second leg and gave the baton to Bailey Lear (52.02) in third place. Lear moved smartly over the final 100 m and was second when Alexis Holmes took the baton on the anchor.

Bol and Holmes were close, but there was little doubt that Bol had enough to win and surged in the final 10 m and won in 3:25.07 to 3:25.34. Bol split 50.54 to 50.49 for Holmes.

Women/Long Jump: Americans Tara Davis-Woodhall and Monae Nichols were 1-2 after two rounds at 6.79 m (22-3 1/2) and 6.75 m (22-1 3/4) and both improved in round three, with Davis-Woodhall out to 6.93 m (22-9) and Nichols to 6.83 m (22-5).

Davis-Woodhall finally got the jump she was looking for in round four at 7.07 m (23-2 1/2), a distance no one else has reached this season. Nichols improved to 6.85 m (22-5 3/4) in round four and took the silver, while Davis-Woodhall underscored her win with a 7.03 m (23-0 3/4) finale.

It’s Davis-Woodhall’s first Worlds gold, to go with her Worlds silver in Budapest last season. Nichols, who got to jump as Jasmine Moore concentrated on the triple jump, moved up from third at the U.S. Nationals to silver at the Worlds!

Women/Triple Jump: This morning final produced another first: a Worlds gold for tiny Dominica, as Thea LaFond, who was on fire from the start. She took the lead at 14.41 m (47-3 1/2) in the first round and then exploded to 15.01 m (49-3) in round two, and no one could catch her. In fact, she didn’t jump again.

LaFond had been fourth at the 2022 World Indoors, but won her first Worlds medal. The only one who got close was Cuban Leyanis Perez Hernandez, who reached 14.90 m (48-10 3/4) in round four. Spain’s Ana Peleteiro-Compaore got third at 14.75 m (48-4 3/4), ahead of Americans Keturah Orji (14.36 m/47-1 1/2) and Jasmine Moore (14.15 m/46-5 1/4).

The top three took the top three places on the 2024 world indoor list.

There were world-leading marks in nine events and two world records in Glasgow:

Men/60 m: 6.41, Christian Coleman (USA)
Men/800 m: 1:44.92, Bryce Hoppel (USA)
Men/4×400 m: 3:02.54, Belgium

Women/60 m: 6.98, Julien Alfred (LCA) and Ewa Swoboda (POL)
Women/400 m: 49.17, Femke Bol (NED) ~ World Record
Women/60 m hurdles: 7.65, Devynne Charlton (BAH) ~ World Record
Women/4×400 m: 3:25.07, Netherlands
Women/Triple Jump: 15.01 m (49-3), Thea LaFord (DMA)
Women/Pentathlon: 4,773, Noor Vidts (BEL)

As expected, the U.S. – which brought a team almost triple the size of anyone else – topped the medal table at 20 (6-9-5), with Netherlands at five (2-1-2) and Belgium, New Zealand, Ethiopia, Great Britain and Italy at four.

On the placing table (8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1), the U.S. scored 195 points to 51 for Great Britain, 50 for Italy, 49 for Ethiopia and 45 for Belgium. A terrific meet, well attended and previewing what should be a fabulous spring season leading to the U.S. Olympic Trials in June.

The 17th Tokyo Marathon was held Sunday morning, with a Kenyan man winning for the ninth time, but not the iconic Eliud Kipchoge. Instead, it was Benson Kipruto, who ran away with the race, winning in 2:02:16.

That’s a race record, a lifetime best and moves Kipruto to no. 5 on the all-time list with the no. 8 performance ever. He was well clear of fellow Kenyans Timothy Kiplagat (2:02:55: equal-7th all-time) and Vincent Kipkemboi (2:04.18) in second and third.

The race went out at world-record pace, with seven in the lead at 10 km, but only three by 25 km, with Kipchoge having dropped to fifth. Kiplagat had a had a five-second lead at 30 km, but Kipruto caught up by 35 km and broke the race open from there.

It’s Kipruto’s third World Marathon Majors win, after Boston 2021 and Chicago in 2022. Kipchoge, who won this race in 2021, finished 10th in 2:06:50, his worst finish ever in a marathon.

The women’s race was also a runaway, with Sutume Asefa Kebede (ETH) winning in 2:15:55, the no. 10 performance ever and she is now the no. 8 performer ever. Kenyan Rosemary Wanjuru – the 2023 winner – was second (2:16:14) and 2023 World Champion Amane Beriso (ETH: 2:16:58) third. Dutch star Sifan Hassan, considered a pre-race favorite, was 2:18:05 in fourth, with American Betsy Saina fifth in a lifetime best of 2:19:17.

The race broke open after 15 km, with four in the lead pack, and Asefa Kebede, Wanjiru and Beriso running together from 20 km to 35 km. Asefa Kebede led Wanjuru by a second at 40 km, but blew the race open on the run-in to win by 19 seconds.

For Saina, who dropped out of the U.S. Olympic Trials race, she’s now no. 3 all-time in U.S. history, with the no. 3 performance.

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