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≡ WORLD ATHLETICS CHAMPIONSHIPS ≡
Session 4 ~ Saturday, 16 July 2022
The “world’s fastest man” title went to American Fred Kerley as part of a U.S. sweep in the final of the men’s 100 m at the World Athletics Championships in Eugene. The U.S. got a second gold from women’s shot star Chase Ealey and China took a shocking long jump gold on the second day.
Attendance was much better on Saturday evening, although not completely full, but the crowd at the new Hayward Field was loud and appreciative. Here’s what happened:
● Women/100 m heats ● Seven heats, with the all-Jamaica Tokyo podium sweeping the first three.
Tokyo bronze medalist Shericka Jackson won heat one in 11.02 (wind: +0.7), four-time World Champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce cruised – now 35 – to a 10.87 win in heat two (-0.2) and double Olympic champ Elaine Thompson-Herah took heat three in a very relaxed 11.15 (+0.2).
Lots of stories in heat four, as Marie-Josee Ta Lou (CIV) came on late to edge American TeeTee Terry 10.92-10.95 (+0.8), with the fourth Jamaican, Oregon star Kemba Nelson, third in 11.10. South Africa’s Carina Horn was one of those with visa trouble, but got to Eugene and was fourth in 11.29.
Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith ran away with heat five in an impressive 10.84 (+1.2), just 0.01 from her lifetime best! Aleia Hobbs of the U.S. won heat six easily in 11.04 (+0.1) and Swiss star Mujinga Kambundji won heat seven in 10.97 (-0.1), with American Melissa Jefferson second in 11.03. Four Jamaicans and three Americans all advanced.
It didn’t impact the semifinals, but there was an important subtext to heat three, as Saudi sprinter Yasmeen Aldabbagh lined up next to, and ran against, Israeli Diana Vaisman. It wasn’t close, as Vaisman was fifth in 11.29 and Aldabbagh was seventh in 13.21, but there was a time not long ago where Saudi authorities would never have permitted one of their athletes to compete head-to-head with an Israeli. The Iranians still don’t. So a small, but noteworthy, show of co-existence on the track in 2022.
● Women/Shot Put ● World leader Ealey of the U.S. threw first and put the field on notice with the no. 2 throw of the year at 20.49 m (67-2 3/4), with defending World and Olympic champ Lijiao Gong (CHN) responding with a 19.58 m (64-3) to move up to second.
Ealey reached 19.82 m (65-0 1/2) to start the second round, but Gong got closer at 19.84 m (65-1 1/4) and hunted Easley with a third-round 20.23 m (66-4 1/2) in round three. Neither improved in round four, then Gong got into her fifth round toss at 20.39 m (66-10 3/4), closer, but still second.
But Gong could not improve in the sixth round and after Ealey’s foul, the American celebrated a world title based on her first-round throw. It’s Gong’s seventh Worlds medal, after two golds in 2017 and 2019 (now 2-2-3) across 13 years.
Jessica Schilder (NED) moved to third with a national record of 19.77 m (64-10 1/2) in the second and fifth rounds. Canada’s Sarah Mitton also got out to 19.77 m in the sixth round, but was fourth since Schilder did it twice.
American Jessica Woodard was eighth at 18.67 m (61-2) and teammate Maggie Ewen finished ninth at 18.64 m (61-2).
● Men/Long Jump ● Olympic champ Miltiadis Tentoglou (GRE) stomped on the field in the second round at 8.30 m (27-2 3/4), and appeared to be cruising in the lead. World leader Simon Ehammer – the Swiss decathlete – jumped up to second at 8.16 m (26-9 1/4) and then Cuba’s Maykel Masso reached 8.15 m (26-9) for third. Tentoglou stretched to 8.29 m (27-2 1/2) in round three to consolidate his lead, with American Steffin McCarter fourth (8.04 m/26-4 1/2) and teammate Marquis Dendy (8.02 m/26-3 3/4) fifth.
Tentoglou got to 8.24 m (27-0 1/2) in round four and then extended his lead at 8.32 m (27-3 3/4) in round five. But then China’s Jianan Wang dropped a bomb with a season’s best of 8.36 m (27-5 1/4) finale, improving from 8.03 m (26-4 1/4) in the third and fifth rounds.
Tentoglou was strong on his final jump, but got only to 8.20 m (26-11) and had to settle for silver, with Ehammer third. Masso, McCarter and Dendy finished 4-5-6.
● Men/1,500 m heats ● Three heats with the top six to go through and six more on time, with Ethiopia’s two-time World Indoor Champion Sam Tefera leading at the bell and passing Charles Grethen (LUX) on the home straight to take the lead before being passed late by Ollie Hoare (AUS), 3:36.17-3:36.35. Defending champ Timothy Cheruiyot (KEN) qualified in fourth, but American Cooper Teare was 13th (3:41.15).
Norway’s Olympic champ Jakob Ingebrigtsen was the headliner in heat two, and he settled in behind Stewart McSweyn (AUS) in the early going. McSweyn towed the field through the bell and won just ahead of Charles Philbert-Thiboutot (CAN) and Ingebrigtsen, 3:34.91-3:35.02-3:35.12. American Johnny Gregorek was a qualifying sixth in 3:35.65.
World leader Abel Kipsang (KEN) was the focus of the final heat, but the race was controlled by Britain’s Josh Kerr, who took the bell and then led all the way around to win in 3:38.94. Kipsang, New Zealand’s Sam Tanner and Spain’s Mohamed Katir were 2-3-4 coming into the final straight, but American Josh Thompson stormed up on the inside to get second at 3:39.10, then Kipsang (3:39.21) in the mass finish with William Paulson (CAN: 3:39.21), Tanner (3:39.33) and Katir (3:39.45).
● Women/1,500 m semis ● World Indoor Champion Gudaf Tsegay (ETH) tired of the slow pace in the first half of semi one, then moved to the lead and was never headed on the way to a 4:01.28. Behind her, Britain’s Olympic silver medalist Laura Muir and Australia’s Jessica Hull cruised home 2-3 in 4:01.78-4:01.81. American Cory McGee ran into an auto-qualifying fifth on the final straight in 4:02.74, but Elle St. Pierre was 11th in 4:09.84.
All eyes were on Olympic champ Faith Kipyegon (KEN) in semi two, and she went to the front right away, only to be passed from frontrunner Nozomi Tanaka (JPN). Kipyegon got serious with 500 m to go, with American Sinclaire Johnson and Ethiopia’s Hirut Meshesha trailing. Kipyegon led at the bell and was unchallenged, winning in 4:03.98, with Meshesha and Johnson qualifying comfortably in 4:04.05 and 4:04.51.
● Men/100 m ● The semifinals saw South Africa’s Akani Simbine just edge American Trayvon Bromell, with both in 9.97 (+0.3) in the first race, then a U.S. 1-2 in semi two with Christian Coleman starting well, but then passed by Kerley in the last 40 m, 10.02-10.05 (+0.1). Olympic champ Lamont Marcell Jacobs (ITA) withdrew from semi three due to injuries; Jamaica’s Oblique Seville won in 9.90 to 9.93 for Marvin Bracy (USA; wind -0.1), placing all four U.S. entries in the final.
Bracy was in lane three, Kerley in four, Coleman in seven and Bromell in eight, with Simbine in five and Seville in six. Off the gun, Coleman got the best start – as expected – but Kerley and Bracy moved best in mid-race and Bracy had the lead at 70 m and 80 m. But Kerley closed and then moved hardest in the final 5 m and just edged Bracy at the line, timing 9.86 to 9.88.
Meanwhile, Bromell was revving in lane eight and moving toward the lead at the tape and got third (9.88) by 0.002 to Bracy. Seville was fourth in 9.97; Coleman finished sixth in 10.01.
It’s the first U.S. sweep at the Worlds since 1991, when Carl Lewis, Leroy Burrell and Dennis Mitchell took the medals in Tokyo. Wow!
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