Below you will find men's track events preview for the World Athletics Championships Eugene 2022. For the first time in history the United States is hosting the World Athletics outdoor championships held in Eugene, Oregon from July 15 to July 24.
Olympic 100 metres silver medallist Fred Kerley starts as the favourite for the world title on the Hayward Field track in Eugene after winning the men’s 100 metres at the US Championships in the same venue. Kerley set three of the four fastest times in the world this year clocking 9.77 in the final, 9.76 in the semifinal and 9.83 in the heats at the US Championships. Kerley also won the 100m in the Rome Diamond League meeting in 9.92 and finished second in Nairobi in 9.92 and in the Prefontaine Classic in 9.98.
Kerley will chase his fourth world medal after winning the silver in the 4x400 relay in London 2017, the bronze in the 400m and the gold in the 4x400 relay in Doha 2019.
Trayvon Bromell also showed very good form this year by winning the 100 metres at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene in 9.93 beating Kerley. Bromell finished third in the US Championships in 9.88 after setting his seasonal best of 9.81 in the semifinal.
Marvin Bracy Williams finished second at the US Championships equalling his PB with 9.85 and clocked a wind-assisted 9.80 in Montverde. Bracy won the world indoor bronze medal in the 60 metres in 6.44 in Belgrade.
Christian Coleman set a seasonal best of 9.81 in the semifinal of the US Championships missing his PB by 0.05, but he did not run the final, as he has the wild card as defending champion from Doha 2019.
Marcell Jacobs won the world indoor title in the 60 metres Belgrade 2022 in a European record of 6.41 beating Coleman in a very close photo-finish. This summer a muscle injury slowed his preparation for Eugene. He only ran twice in Savona in a wind-assisted 9.99 and at the Italian Championships in Rieti in 10.12 into a headwind of -0.9 m/s. Jacobs pulled out of the Stockolm Diamond League meeting due to a little pain in his glute muscle. According to his coach Paolo Camossi the situation is under control, but it would have been too risky to run in the Swedish capital.
André De Grasse is lined up for the 100m, 200m and the 4x100 relay with the goal to add more medals to his trophy cabinet, which includes six Olympic and four world medals. Last year the Canadian sprinter won the bronze medal at the Olympic Games equalling his PB of 9.89. This year he took the win in the Oslo Diamond League meeting in 10.05.
The Jamaican team features Yohan Blake and rising star Oblique Seville. Blake, world 100m champion in Daegu 2011, returned to his best form by claiming the Jamaican title in Kingston in 9.85. Blake ran under the 10 seconds barrier in his last three individual races and is tied for the third fastest time in 2022.
Seville, who is coached by Glenn Mills (former trainer of Usain Bolt), improved his PB to 9.86 on 21 May and finished second to Blake at the Jamaican Championships in 9.88.
Ferdinand Omanyala is looking to become the first Kenyan sprinter in history to reach the World Championships final. Omanyala clocked 10.00 in the Olympic semifinal in Tokyo and improved the African record to 9.77 in the Continental Tour in Nairobi last year. This season Omanyala won again in Nairobi in 9.85 beating Kerley and won the African title in a wind-assisted 9.93 and the Kenyan Trials in 10.03.
European silver medallist Reece Prescod has returned to his best form improving his PB to 9.93 at the Golden Spike in Ostrava and finished second in Oslo to André De Grasse in 10.06, in Stockolm to Akani Simbine in 10.15 and at the British Championships to Jeremiah Azu in a wind-assisted 9.94.
The men’s 200 metres race is shaping up as one of the highlights of the entire World Championships programme. The US quartet features defending champion Noah Lyles, Erryion Knighton, Fred Kerley and Kenny Bednarek.
Lyles will be seeking his second consecutive 200m world gold medal three years after his triumph in Doha 2019. The 24-year-old US sprinter won two 200 metres in the Continental Tour Gold meeting in New York in 19.61 and in the US Championships final in Eugene in 19.67 beating Erryion Knighton by 0.02. He is ranked fifth in the world all-time with his PB of 19.50 set in Lausanne.
Knighton set the fourth fastest time in history clocking 19.49 in Baton Rouge on 30 April and finished second at the US Championships in Eugene in 19.69. The 18-year-old talented sprinter improved Usain Bolt’s world under 18 world record to 20.04 in the heats of the 2021 US Olympic Trials in Eugene and then the world under 20 world record held by Bolt clocking 19.88 in the semifinal and 19.84 in the final. He went on to finish fourth in the Olympic final in 19.93.
Kerley won the 200m race at the Continental Tour meeting in Walnut in 19.80 last April and finished third at the US Championships in Eugene in 19.83.
Bednarek won the Olympic silver medal improving his PB to 19.68 and won the Diamond League final in Zurich in 19.70. This year he won two back-to-back Diamond League races in Rabat and Rome and finished fourth at the US Championships in 19.87.
De Grasse won the Olympic gold medal in Tokyo improving his Canadian record to 19.62 and finished second in the Diamond League final in 19.70.
Joseph Fahnbulleh from Liberia made a major breakthrough last year when he finished fifth in the Olympic final in Tokyo in 19.98. Fahnbulleh scored the double win in the 100 and 200 metres at the NCAA Finals in Eugene last June clocking 10.00 and 19.83 respectively. The American-born sprinter was born in Hopkins (Minnesota) to Liberian parents.
Luxolo Adams from South Africa finished second in Rome in 20.03 and won the first Diamond League race of his career in Paris Charlety in his lifetime best of 19.82.
The other names to follow are Canada’s Aaron Brown, sixth in the Olympic final in 20.20 and national champion in 20.03 in Langley, Alexander Ogando from Dominican Republic, who set his PBs of 20.03 in the 200m and 44.68 in the 400m in Chorzow, and Jerome Blake from Canada, who clocked 20.04 in Walnut.
Michael Norman will chase the first global individual title of his career. He did not get through to the final at the World Championships in Doha 2019 due to an injury problem and finished fifth at the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2021.
Norman won the Prefontaine Classic in 43.60 and the US Championships final in 43.56 in Eugene breaking the Hayward Field record. The versatile US sprinter is one of the three sprinters in history to run under the 10 seconds in the 100m, under the 20 seconds in the 200 metres and under 44 seconds in the 400 metres.
The only other 400 metres specialist with a seasonal best under the 44 seconds barrier is Champion Allison, who finished second to Norman at the US Championships in 43.70. Allison was also runner-up at the NCAA Championships in 44.41 on the same Eugene track.
Randolph Ross qualified for the World Championships by finishing third at the US Championships in 44.17. Ross won both NCAA titles indoors (44.62) and outdoors (44.13). The son of former 110 metres hurdler Duane Ross broke the 44 barrier seconds for the first time in his career clocking 43.85 at the 2021 NCAA Outdoor Championships.
Michael Cherry will compete in Eugene with a wild card as winner of last year’s edition of the Diamond League. Cherry improved his PB to 44.03 in Brussels and won the Diamond League final in Zurich in 44.41.
Grenada’s Kirani James will chase his third world medal after winning the gold in Daegu 2011 in 44.60 and silver in Beijing 2015 in 43.78. James started the 2022 with two Diamond League wins in Rome in 44.54 and Oslo in 44.78 and finished second in Eugene in his seasonal best of 44.02.
Matthew Hudson Smith broke Iwan Thomas’ British record clocking 44.35 at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene and could threaten the European record held by Thomas Schoenlebe since 1987 with 44.33.
Wayde Van Niekerk has made his come-back by winning the 400m in 44.58 at the Stars and Stripes meeting in Marietta. The two-time world champion and 2016 Olympic gold medallist had pulled out the South African Championships and pulled up during a 200 metres race in Trieste due to injury problems.
Olympic champion Steven Gardiner has withdrawn from the World Championships due to a tendon inflammation.
The US 4x100 team features three of the five fastest sprinters in 2022. Fred Kerley is the only sprinter to run under 9.80 this season. He broke this barrier twice on the same day clocking 9.76 in the semifinal and 9.77 in the final at the US Championships. Kerley will be joined by Trayvon Bromell (seasonal best 9.81), Marvin Bracy (SB 9.85) and Elijah Hall (SB 9.90). The goal for the home team is to repeat the world gold medal won in Doha in 2019 with 37.10. Last year the US team was eliminated in the semifinals. This time they are determined to bounce back from last year’s disappointment with a great performance In front of their home fans.
The Italian team formed by Lorenzo Patta, Marcell Jacobs, Fausto Desalu and Filippo Tortu won a surprising Olympic gold medal setting the Italian record, the second fastest European time and the fifth fastest time in the world in history with 37.50. Italy will be aiming to win their first medal at the World Championships since 1995. The four Olympic champions will be joined in the team by rising star Chituru Ali, who improved his PB to 10.15 in Madrid and placed second to Jacobs at the Italian Championships in Rieti in 10.16, 200m Italian champion Diego Pettorossi, 19-year-old European Under 20 bronze medallist Matteo Melluzzo and Wanderson Polanco.
Great Britain features European 100m champion Zharnel Hughes, third at the British Championships in the 100m, Nethaneel Mitchell Blake, who anchored the British team to the world gold medal in London 2017, European 100m silver medallist Reece Prescod and Jeremiah Azu, European Under 23 champion in Tallin 2021 and British 100m champion in Manchester in a wind-assisted 9.90.
Jamaica is aiming to the podium in a global championship after finishing fourth at last year’s Olympic Games. The Caribbean team features Yohan Blake, who won three 4x100 relay gold medals at the Olympic Games in London 2012 and Rio 2016 and at the World Championships in Daegu 2011, Oblique Seville, who smashed his PB to 9.86 this year, Ackeem Blake, who placed third at the Jamaican Trials with his PB of 9.93, Kemar Bailey Cole, Conroy Jones and Jelani Walker.
Canada features André De Grasse, Aaron Brown, Jerome Blake and Brendon Rodney, who won the Olympic silver medal behind Italy in 37.70. De Grasse suffered from a foot injury and had to pull out from the Canadian Championships at the end of June due to Covid.
Japan is aiming to finish on the podium after winning the bronze medal in the past two editions. Abdul Hakim Sani Brown, who won the 4x100 bronze medal in the previous edition of the World Championships in Doha 2019, will team up with Yuki Koike, Ryuchiro Sakai, Ryota Suzuki and 200m Japanese champion Koki Ueyama.
The US team won the Olympic gold medal in 2:55.70 in Tokyo last year with a team formed by Michael Norman, Raj Benjamin, Michael Cherry and Bryce Deadmon. This year Norman, Cherry and Deamon will be joined by Randolph Ross, Champion Allinson and Elija Godwin.
The Netherlands finished second in 2:55.70 with just one athlete, who had broken 45.5 last year. Their top athlete Liemarvin Bonevacia placed eighth in the individual 400m final last year in Tokyo and set a national record of 44.48 in Berne last year.
The other major contenders are Botswana and Belgium, who finished third and fourth clocking 2:57.27 and 2:57.88 respectively in the Olympic final last year, Jamaica, who won the world bronze medal in Doha 2019, Trinidad and Tobago, who won the world title in the 4x400 ahead of the USA in London 2017, led by world indoor 400m champion Jereem Richards, Dominican Republic, who includes Alexander Ogando and Lidio Feliz, Italy, who finished seventh in the Olympic final in Tokyo in a national record of 2:58.81, and South Africa with 2016 Olympic champion Wayde Van Niekerk.
110 metres hurdles:
The US team will be formed by a competitive quartet that includes Grant Holloway, Devon Allen, Daniel Roberts and Trey Cunningham.
Holloway will defend his world outdoor title won in Doha in 2019. Last March Holloway equalled his world indoor record in the 60 metres hurdles with 7.29 in the semifinal of the World Indoor Championships in Belgrade before winning the gold medal in 7.39 in the final. Holloway holds the second fastest time in history with his PB of 12.81 set in the US Olympic Trials last year one month before winning the Olympic silver medal in Tokyo. Holloway won the semifinal at last month’s US Championships in Eugene in 13.03. but he skipped the final as he had a bye into the World Championships as defending champion.
Allen set the third fastest time in history with his PB of 12.84 in the Continental Tour Gold meeting in New York beating Grant Holloway. The 27-year-old from Arizona missed Aries Merritt’s world record by 0.04.
Allen won three US titles in 2014, 2016 and 2018 and reached two consecutive Olympic finals finishing fifth in Rio de Janeiro 2016 and fourth in Tokyo 2021. He won the Diamond League final in Zurich 2021 and became the 13th hurdler to break the 13 seconds barrier. In the build-up to the World Championships in Eugene Allen won two consecutive Diamond League races in Oslo (13.22) and Paris (13.20) and beat Jamal Britt by 0.003 to finish third in the US Championships in 13.09 in Hayward Field just a few days his father Louis passed away. Last April the Philadelphia Eagles signed Allen as a wide receiver and he will start his American Football career in the NFL with a training camp just nine days after the World Championships in Eugene.
Roberts won his second US title last June in 13.03. Cunningham won both the NCAA indoor and outdoor titles clocking 7.38 in the 60m hurdles and 13.00 in the 110 metres hurdles and finished second at the US Championships In 13.08.
The Jamaican contingent is formed by Tokyo Olympic gold medallist Hansle Parchment, who won the Birmingham Diamond League race in 13.09 and the National title in Kingston in 13.14, Rasheed Broadbell and Orlando Bennett, who finished second and third at the Jamaican Championships in 13.20 and 13.28 respectively.
The French team features world indoor silver medallist and reigning European outdoor champion Pascal Martinot Lagarde and world under 20 champion Sasha Zhoya, who won the national title clocking a PB of 13.17.
The other names to watch is Rafael Pereira from Brazil, who set a PB of 13.17 this year, Jason Joseph, Swiss record holder with 13.12 and European under 23 champion in 2019, and Damian Czykier, Polish indoor and outdoor record holder.
400 metres hurdles:
Olympic bronze medallist Alison Dos Santos is unbeaten this year in the 400m hurdles and set four of the five fastest times in the world this year. The Brazilian hurdler won four Diamond League races in Doha (47.24), Eugene (47.23), Oslo (47.26) and Stockolm with the fastest time in the world this year with 46.80, missing his South American record of 46.72 by just 0.08.
Karsten Warholm won the Olympic gold medal breaking the world record with a sensational time of 45.94, but he sustained a harmstring injury in the Rabat Diamond League meeting. The Norwegian star has not finished a race since the Diamond League final in Zurich, where he won in 47.35. He holds two of the three fastest times in history and four of the top 10.
Raj Benjamin won the Olympic silver medal in Tokyo setting the second fastest time in history with 46.17. This year Benjamin placed second to Dos Santos in Doha in 47.49 and won the US Championships in Eugene In 47.04 after a bout of Covid and tendonitis in his upper harmstring.
Trevor Bassitt and Khalifah Rosser will join Benjamin in the US team. Bassitt won world indoor silver in the 400 metres in Belgrade and placed second to Benjamin improving his previous PB by almost a second to 47.47. Rosser finished third at the National Championships taking half a second off his PB with 47.65.
Olympic finalist Rasmus Magi smashed his national record to 47.82 at the Paavo Nurmi Games in Turku and finished second to Dos Santos in Oslo in 48.51.
Yasmani Copello from Turkey won the Olympic bronze medal in Rio de Janeiro 2016 and equalled his national record with 47.81 to finish sixth in the Olympic final in Tokyo. Copello won the gold medal at the Mediterranean Games in Oran (Algeria) in a seasonal best of 48.27 this year.
Kyron McMaster finished fourth in the Olympic final in 47.08 in Tokyo and showed his improving form this year by placing third in Stockolm in a seasonal best of 48.58.
Jaheel Hyde clocked 48.51 to win the Jamaican title in Kingston last June.
The men’s 800 metres race is shaping up as one of the most unpredictable events of the entire programme of the World Championships in Eugene.
British 800 metres rising star Max Burgin set the world seasonal lead clocking 1:43.52 at the Paavo Nurmi in Turku. The 2018 European Under 18 champion also finished third in the Ostrava meeting and won the British Championships in Manchester running the same time of 1:44.54 in both races.
Wycliffe Kinyamal won the Kenyan Trials clocking the second fastest time in the world this year with 1:43.54. The Kenyan athlete won the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast in 2018 and five Diamond League races in his career (Shanghai and Rome in 2018, Lausanne in 2019, Doha and Paris in 2021.
The Kenyan team also features Emmanuel Korir, Olympic gold medallist in Tokyo and Diamond League champion in Zurich last year, Emmanuel Wanyonyi, world under 20 champion in Nairobi 2021, and 18-year-old Noah Kibet, who won the world under 20 bronze medal in Nairobi last year and the world indoor silver medal in Belgrade last March. Wanyonyi won the Diamond League meeting in Rabat in 1:45.47 and finished second at the Kenyan Trials in 1:44.04.
Marco Arop set a seasonal best of 1:43.61 in Edmonton. The Canadian athlete of Sudanese origin reached his first world championships final in Doha 2019 and won three Diamond League races (Eugene and Lausanne in 2021 and Birmingham 2022).
The other potential candidates for a spot in the final are Peter Bol from Australia, fourth in the Olympic final in Tokyo and second in this year’s Paris Diamnd League meeting in 1:44.00, Benjamin Robert, who won the Paris Diamond League race in his PB of 1:43.75, Mohad Zahaf from Morocco, who clocked 1:43.69 in Gainesville, Djemal Sedjati, who improved his PB to 1:43.69 in Strasbourg, and Tony Van Diepen, second in Paris Charlety in 1:44.14, Olympic finali Gabriel Tual from France, who improved his PB to 1:44.23 in Paris, Slimane Moula from Algeria, second in Ostrava in 1:44.19 and winner in Stockolm in 1:44.60.
Jakob Ingebrigtsen will be looking to complete his collection of medals at major international events after winning gold medals in the 1500 and 5000 metres at the European Championships in Berlin 2018, the Olympic gold medal in the 1500 metres in Tokyo with a European record of 3:28.32 (the eighth best performance in history) and three European Indoor titles (3000m in Glasgow 2019 and in the 1500m and 3000m in Torun 2021). The Norwegian star broke the world indoor record clocking 3:30.28 in Liévin last March and won the Bowerman Mile in Eugene in 3:49.76 and the Dream Mile in Oslo in 3:46.46 missing Steve Cram’s European record by just 0.14.
Ingebrigtsen will renew his rivalry against Timothy Cheruiyot. The Kenyan runner won the world title in Doha in 3:29.46 and finished runner-up to Ingebrigtsen in the Olympic final in 3:29.01. He is the seventh best performer in history with his PB of 3:28.28 set in Monaco in 2021.
Abel Kipsang set the fastest time in the world this year with 3:31.01 in the Continental Tour meeting in Nairobi and won two consecutive Diamond League races in Doha and Birmingham, the African Championships gold medal and the Kenyan Trials.
Jake Wightman will be chasing his first world medal after finishing fifth in the World Championships in Doha 2019 in 3:31.87. The Scottish athlete won the European bronze medal in Berlin and the Commonwealth silver in Gold Coast in 2018. This year Wightman won his first Diamond League race in Rabat in 3:32.62.
Kenyan runners Nicholas Kimeli Kipkorir and Jacob Krop finished first and second in the super fast 5000 metres race at the Rome Diamond League setting the seventh and the ninth fastest time in history with respectively 12.46.33 and 12.46.79.
Joshua Cheptegei will chase the third world championships medal after finishing second in London 2017 and first in Doha 2019 in the 10000m. The Ugandan athlete won the gold medal in the 5000m and the silver in the 10000m at the Olympic Games in Tokyo and set the world records in the 5000m with 12:35.36 in Monaco and in the 10000m with 26:11.00 in Valencia in 2020.
The Ethiopian team features a very strong quartet that includes two-time world champion Muktar Edris, who will use his wild card entrance, Berihu Aregawi, who won the 5000m in the Diamond League final in Zurich last year and set the third fastest time in the world this year with his PB of 12:50.05 at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, World 10000m world silver medallist Yomif Kejelcha and 2019 Ethiopian champion Telahun Bekele, who finished fourth at the 2019 World Championships in the 5000m in Doha.
The other major contenders for a medal are Mohamed Ahmed from Canada, who won the world bronze medal in Doha 2019 and the Olympic silver in Tokyo 2021 in the 5000m, and Thierry Ndikumenayo from Burundi, who broke Venuste Nyongabo’s national record clocking 12:59.39 in Rome.
Ethiopia’s Selemon Barega will aim at adding the world title to the Olympic gold medal he won in Tokyo last year. Barega won the world indoor title in the 3000m and the Ethiopian Trials race in the 10000m in 26:44.33 in Hengelo. He will be joined by 3000m world under 20 champion Tadese Worku and Milkisa Mengesha, who clocked 26:45.91 and 27:00.24 respectively at the Ethiopian Trials.
Grant Fisher leads the world seasonal list with his North American record of 26:33.64 set in San Juan Capistrano and won the 5000m at the US National Championships in Eugene in 13:03.86.
Mohamed Ahmed is entered with the second fastest time in the world this year with his Canadian record set in 26:34.14 in San Juan Capistrano.
3000 metres steeplechase:
Ethiopia’s Lemecha Girma will go head-to-head against Morocco’s Souifiane El Bakkali in a battle for the gold medal.
Girma broke the 8 minutes barrier three times in just 10 days clocking 7:58.68 in Ostrava, Rabat in 7:59.24 and Rome in 7:59.23.
The other Ethiopian runners in the line-up are Getnet Wale and Hailemariyam Amare. Wale holds a PB of 8:05.21 in the 3000m steeplechase and clocked 7:24.98 in the 3000 metres. He finished fourth in the World Championships in Doha and in the Olympic final in Tokyo and third in the Rome Diamond League in 8:06.74. Amare set a lifetime best of 8:06.29 in Rabat.
El Bakkali beat Girma in the final sprint to win the Olympic gold medal in Tokyo last year. The 26-year-old Moroccan runner beat Girma in Rabat again setting the world lead with 7:58.28.
Reigning world champion Conseslus Kipruto and Benjamin Kigen from Kenya are the other candidates for a medal. Kipruto beat Girma by 0.01 in a thrilling photo-finish at the World Championships in Doha 2019. Kipruto finished fourth in the Rome Diamond League meeting in 8:08.76 and qualified for the World Championships in Eugene with her third place at the Kenyan Trials. Kipruto leads 11-8 in his head-to-head races against El Bakkali.
Kigen won the Olympic bronze medal in Tokyo and the Diamond League final in Zurich in 8:17.45. The Kenyan team also features Leonard Bett, world under 18 champion in the 2000m steeplechase in Nairobi 2017 and second at the World Under 20 Championships in Tampere 2018, and 2018 Commonwealth Games silver medallist Abraham Kibiwott, who finished second in Rome in 8:06.73.
Kenya has won 13 of the 15 world gold medals since 1991, when Moses Kiptanui won the first of his three world titles. Kenyan-born Saif Saeed Shaheen won the other two titles in Paris 2003 and Helsinki 2005, representing Qatar.
US steeplechaser Evan Jaeger made his come-back from a series of injury problems by finishing second in 8:17.29 to Hillary Bor at last month’s US Championships. Jaeger trains in Portland, a two-hour drive from Eugene.
Bor finished seventh in the Olympic final in Tokyo 2021 and eighth in the World Championships in Doha in 2019.
Italy’s Ahmed Abdelwahed will carry Italian hopes after a successful season highlighted by his sixth place at the Golden Gala in Rome in a PB of 8:10.29. Another athlete to watch is 2019 Asian Championships silver medallist Avinash Mukund Sable from India, who improved the national record to 8:12.48 in the Rabat Diamond League meeting.