Complete report from the World Athletics Championships day eight which took place on Friday, July 22 at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon.
Sydney McLaughlin won her first world gold medal in the women’s 400 metres hurdles breaking her own world record by 0.73 with the sensational time of 50.68. McLaughlin added the world gold medal to last year’s Olympic title. She has set three of her four world records at Hayward Field.
McLaughlin holds the world 400 metres hurdles all-time best performances at every age from 14 to 19. The New Jersey native set under 18 record with 54.18 and the world under 20 record with 52.75.
She improved the senior world record for the fourth time in her career in the past 12 months after clocking 51.90 at last year’s US Olympic Trials in Eugene, 51.46 in the Olympic final in Tokyo 2021 and 51.41 at last June’s US National Championships in Eugene.
Sydney McLaughlin: “It’s unreal. I just wanted to run and go for it. I definitely thought 50 was possible, and after this race I think 49 is possible. I think there is always more to improve upon. There is always more that can be shaven off, for sure. There is no such thing as a perfect race, but I don’t think that was a super-clean race. The time is absolutely amazing and the sport is getting faster and faster. Just figuring out what barriers can be broken, I only get faster from here. I executed the race the way my coach Bobby Kersee wanted me to. I knew coming home that if I just kept my cadence and stayed on stride pattern, we could do it and it happened. The level in the 400 metres hurdles is certainly improving. We have a full group that are willing to push our bodies to the next level and we are seeing times drop”.
The world record time set in the Eugene final would put 19th on this season’s top list over the flat 400m list.
Femke Bol from the Netherlands, who holds the third fastest time in history, won the world silver medal in 52.27 one year after her Olympic medal in Tokyo. Bol equalled her seasonal best set in Stockolm on 30 June.
Femke Bol: “I ran against the best in the world. Sydney is just very strong. She was so far in front at the end, so I was always doubting if I really had a good race because it felt very good. Then I saw the time and I was like: ‘It is amazing to be part of it and to come out second in such a race”.
The USA placed four athletes in the top five spots. Reigning world champion Dalilah Muhammad placed third in 53.13 beating Shamier Little (53.76) winning the fifth world medal of her career. Muhammad won the world title in Doha in 2019 with the previous world record of 52.16 beating McLaughlin by 0.07, silver in 2013 and 2017 and now bronze in 2022.
This year’s 400m hurdles NCAA champion Britton Wilson rounded out the top five in 54.02.
Dalilah Muhammad: “I am having mixed emotions, to be honest. It’s great to get a medal but I came into these championships on the strength of having always got a medal at any championships, despite any injuries. As a competitor, you always want more”.
Women’s 400 metres final:
Shaunae Miller Uibo won the first world outdoor gold medal of her career in a world-leading time of 49.11 adding this title to her collection that included two consecutive Olympic gold medals in Rio de Janeiro 2016 and Tokyo 2021, the world indoor gold medal in Belgrade 2022, the world under 18 title in Villeneuve d’Asq 2011 and the world under 20 gold in Barcelona 2012. At the World Athletics Championships the Bahamian star also won two silver medals in Beijing 2015 and Doha 2019 and finished fourth in London 2017. With her three world medals she tied Allyson Felix, Ana Guevara, Jean Miles Clark and Lorraine Graham Fenton.
Shaunae Miller Uibo: “It has been a long time coming and the main thing for us this season was the world championships and a gold medal. That’s one thing we were missing, so I ran a very tactical race to go out with the gold. I am very proud”.
Miller Uibo will now focus on the 200 metres with the plan to run over this distance at the 2024 Olympic Games.
“That’s for it for me running the 400 metres. The plans for me are the 200 metres, which has always been my first love, and get back into that”, said Miller Uibo.
Marileidy Paulino from Dominican Republic won the silver medal in 49.60 repeating the same result she achieved at last year’s Olympic Games. Paulino won the first medal over this distance for her country in the history of the World Championships. Paulino had come into these World Championships with a world-leading time of 49.49 set in La Nucia and started the World Championships with a gold medal in the 4x400 mixed relay. Paulino’s compatriot Fiordaliza Cofil placed fifth in 50.57.
Marileidy Paulino: “I am privileged to be able to represent my country and take it to the highest level. The Dominican Republic is a force to be reckoned with. Fiordaliza Cofil ran very well. This is a huge achievement. I was alone in the Olympic Games and she has now joined me”.
Sada Williams from Barbados won bronze medal in a national record of 49.75. Her previous PB was 50.11. Williams became the first woman from her country to reach the final. The only previous medal for Barbados in the history of the World Championships was won by Ryan Brathwaite in the 110 metres hurdles in Berlin 2009.
Sada Williams: “It’s a very overwhelming feeling. I am super happy about my performance and the national record. It was a great experience. I don’t even want to look at my phone right now, but I can only imagine how happy they are”.
Dutch record holder Lieke Klaver placed fourth in 50.33 ahead of Stephanie Ann McPherson from Jamaica (50.36).
Men’s 400 metres final:
Michael Norman finally won his first individual 400 metres world gold medal in 44.29. Norman pulled away from the field in the final straight and overtook 2011 world and 2012 Olympic gold medallist Kirani James in the final 80 metres. Norman became the first US world champion in the 400 metres since Lashawn Merritt in Moscow 2013.
James placed second in 44.48 completing a full set of world medals after winning gold in Daegu 2011 and bronze in Beijing 2015.
Michael Norman: “It’s an amazing feeling for sure. Just to come out on a home track, and pull out with an individual gold medal, it’s going to be memorable. I want to remember what took me here and I am just thankful to everybody who supported me throughout the whole career. The moment here is going to be remembered forever, so I wanted to make sure that all the people who are the closest to me, who understood what my objective was this year, will never try to get me out of my path of success and will never doubt myself. I went back to basics in training last winter under my coach Quincy Watts. It took a lot of work to get where I was. Obviously last year was not good for me, so I had to do a lot of hard work just to get back to where I was”.
Matthew Hudson Smith won bronze medal in 44.66 reaching the first podium for Great Britain in the 400 metres since Roger Black’s silver in Tokyo 1991.
Matthew Hudson Smith: “I was ready to get a medal and got it. That is what matters. I just looked forward. I just kept going. I could feel someone but I just did not know who it was. I just went and finally got a medal.
Hudson Smith held off Champion Allison and two-time world champion Wayde Van Niekerk in the final straight. Allison, who clocked a PB of 43.70, finished fourth in 44.77 ahead of Van Niekerk, who placed fifth in 44.97.
Wayde Van Niekerk: “Hopefully next time I am on the podium”.
Women’s javelin throw:
Australia’s Kelsey Lee Barber became the first woman to win back-to-back world javelin titles. Lee Barber won a bronze medal at the Olympic Games in Tokyo last year.
The Australian thrower set a world-leading mark and the second best performance of 66.91m in the third round.
Kelsey Lee Barber: “I am just really soaking up the moment. I got to experience winning at the 2019 World Championships in Doha. It was a world of emotions. I am cementing my place as one of the world’s best throwers in the world and I want to keep building on that”.
Thirty-six year-old US thrower Kara Winger moved from fifth place into silver medal with 64.05m in the sixth round winning the first US medal in the women’s javelin in the World Championships. Winger has taken part in four editions of the Olympic Games and six World Championships.
Kara Winger: “I just had so many opportunities and so much support from the local crowd. To grab a medal almost at home at Hayward Field, is what I dreamed about. I am still in disbelief that it actually happened”.
Japan’s Haruka Kitaguchi threw the javelin to 63.27m on the sixth attempt to win the bronze medal.
Haruka Kitaguchi: “I made history. My goal was to get to the top eight in the final. I did not think about the medal before”.
Olympic champion Lyu Shiying threw 63.25m to take fourth place ahead of Australia’s Mackenzie Little (63.22m).
Women’s 35 km walking race:
Kimberly Garcia from Peru claimed the first ever women’s 35 km walking race in the history of the World Championships in Eugene one week after winning the gold medal in the 20 km.
Garcia won both walking race gold medals at a global championship emulating Polish walking race legend Robert Korzeniowski, who won the 20 and the 50 km races at the Olympic Games in Sydney 2000.
Garcia crossed the finish-line in a South American record of 2:39:16. She improved her lifetime best by four minutes.
Katarzyna Zdzieblo from Poland crossed the finish-line in 2:40.03. China’s Qieyang Shije won the bronze medal setting the Asian record of 2:40:37.
Antigoni Ntrismpioti placed fourth improving a national record of 2:41:58 beating Raquel Gonzales from Spain (PB 2:42:27) and another Spanish Laura Garcia Caro (PB 2:42:45).
Garcia increased her lead to 15 seconds at the 28 km and to 21 seconds when she went through 30 km in 2:17:05.
The Peruvian walker is coached by Ecuador’s 2015 Pan American champion Andreas Chocho, who will compete in the men’s 35 km race on Sunday.
Kimberly Garcia: “I have always dreamed of making a sport I am so passionate about and that I have been practicing since the age of five. After my 20 km win, I tried to stay well hydrated, to eat well to get ready for the 35 km. I trained to finish strong in the last kilometres. I can’t wait to celebrate with my family when I arrive and reset to start preparing for the next World Championships and the Panamerican Games in 2023”.
Women’s 800 metres semifinal:
Olympic champion Athing Mu, Keely Hodgkinson and Mary Moraa won their respective semifinals. Front-runner Moraa won the first semifinal in 1:59.65 ahead of World Indoor champion Ajée Wilson (1:59.97).
Olympic silver medallist Keely Hodgkinson launched her final kick to win the second semifinal in 1:58.51 holding off Jamaica’s Natoua Goule (1:58.73). Olympic bronze medallist Raevyn Rogers advanced in third place as non-automatic qualifier with 1:58.77.
Athing Mu won the third semifinal setting the fastest time of the three semifinals with 1:58.12 edging Diribe Welteji, who improved her PB to 1:58.16. Former 400m Slovenian specialist Anita Horvat set her PB of 1:59.60 to get through to the final as non-automatic qualifier.
Men’s 4x100 relay heats:
The US team formed by Christian Coleman, Noah Lyles, Elijah Hall and Marvin Bracy won the first heat with the fastest time of 37.87. Great Britain finished second in 38.49 ahead of Ghana (38.56) claiming the second and third automatic spots. Japan and Nigeria were disqualified for changing the baton outside the zone.
Jimmy Vicaut anchored the French team to win in the second heat in 38.09 ahead of Canada (38.10) and South Africa (38.11). Jamaica advanced to the final as non-automatic qualifier with 38.33. Brazil finished fifth and advanced to the final on time with 38.41. The Olympic gold medallists from Italy di not advance with the 10th fastest overall time of 38.74.
Women’s 4x100 relay heats:
Great Britain (Asha Phillip, Imani Lansiquot, Ashleigh Nelson and Darryil Neita) won the first heat with 41.99 beating Great Britain (42.37) and Germany (42.44).
The US quarter formed by Melissa Jefferson, Aleia Hobbs, Jenna Prandini and Twanisha Terry took the win in the first heat with 41.56 beating Spain, who broke the national record with 42.61. Nigeria secured the third automatic qualifying spot of 42.68. Italy advanced to the final with a national record of 42.71 beating Switzerland, who got through to the final on time with 42.73.
Men’s pole vault qualifying round:
World record holder and Olympic champion Armand Duplantis cleared 5.65m and 5.75m in his first attempts to easily advance to the pole vault final. Olympic silver medallist Christopher Nilsen and Oleg Zernikel from Germany were the only other jumpers able to qualify with a clean-sheet until the qualifying height of 5.75m. Thiago Braz Da Silva from Brazil had a scare when he needed three attempt to clear 5.65m but he secured his qualifying spot by clearing 5.75m at the first time of asking.
Armand Duplantis: “If I am able to jump high, that would be nice, but the gold medal is the most important thing for me. I managed to save some energy for the final. I am feeling good. I cannot complain and I am ready for the final”.