As the world's eyes turn to Budapest for the upcoming World Athletics Championships, the anticipation for the women's sprints and hurdles events is palpable. These races, the epitome of speed, strength, and precision, will see the planet's swiftest and most agile women go head-to-head, chasing glory on the grandest stage. From seasoned champions defending their titles to young upstarts eager to make their mark, Budapest promises a thrilling showcase of talent and determination. Join us as we preview what to expect from these electrifying races in the heart of Hungary.
Shericka Jackson will aim to win her first world gold medal in the 100 metres one year after finishing second in the previous World Championships in Eugene in 10.73 behind her compatriot Shelly Ann Fraser Pryce. Jackson set the fastest time in the world this year with her PB of 10.65 in the final of the Jamaican Trials in Kingston. She competed in four Diamond League races finishing second in Doha in 10.85, third in Oslo in 10.98, second in Chorzow in 10.78 and third in London in 10.94.
Fraser Pryce won three Olympic gold medals and five world titles in her 100 metres career and set the third fastest time in history with 10.60 in Lausanne in 2021. The Jamaican sprint legend was sidelined by a knee injury and made a successful comeback by winning her first two 100 metres races of the season in Lucerne in 10.82 and Madrid in 10.83.
Sha’Carri Richardson improved her PB to 10.71 in the 100 metres heats at the US Championships in Eugene before winning the final in 10.82. Richardson won two Diamond League 100m races this season in Doha and Chorzow with the same 10.76 time.
The US team will be represented by Britany Brown and Tamari Davis. They finished second and third at the US Championships in Eugene with 10.90 and 10.99 respectively.
Marie Josée Ta Lou from Ivory Coast will chase the third world medal in the 100 metres after winning the silver in London 2017 and the bronze in Doha 2019. The four Diamond League races Ta Lou won this year were in Florence with 10.97, Oslo with 10.75, Lausanne with 10.88, and London with 10.74.
Julien Alfred from Santa Lucia won the NCAA titles in the 60 metres in her PB of 6.94 in Albuquerque and in the 100 metres in a wind-assisted 10.73 in Austin. She made her professional debut with a win in the 100m at the Continental Tour Gold in Szekesfehrvar in 10.89.
Dina Asher Smith finished second improving her seasonal mark to 10.85 at the Diamond League meeting in her home city of London. The British sprinter won European gold in Berlin 2018 and world silver in Doha 2019 in a national record of 10.83.
Darryl Neita won three bronze medals at the European Championships in Munich, at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in 2022 and at the European Indoor Championships in Istanbul. She went under 11 seconds three times this season and improved her seasonal benchmark to 10.96 at the London Diamond League meeting.
Ewa Swoboda won the European Indoor silver medal in the 60 metres in 7.09 and dipped under the 11 second barrier for the first time in her career with 10.94 in Chorzow on home soil last July.
Gina Luckenkemper from Germany won the European gold medal in the 100 metres in 10.99 beating Mujinga Kambundji by five thousandths of a second. The German sprinter won the national title in 11.03 in Kassel last July.
Mujinga Kambundji returned to her excellent form after a foot injury with a win in the 100 metres in 11.05 at the Swiss Championships in Bellinzona. Kambundji won the world indoor gold medal in the 60m in 6.96 in Belgrade 2022. She also won the European Indoor title in 7.00 in Istanbul and the European gold medal in the 200m in Munich.
Former world under 20 champion Anthonique Strachan from the Bahamas finished second improving her PB to 10.92 in Oslo.
Shericka Jackson will defend her 200m world title one year after her win in Eugene in a Jamaican record of 21.45. Jackson set the second fastest time all-time, missing Florence Griffith Joyner’s world record by 11 hundredths of a second. The Jamaican star set the fastest time in the world this year with 21.71 at the Jamaican Trials in Kingston. She won three international races in Rabat with 21.98, Szekesfehrvar in 22.02 and Monaco in 21.85.
Julien Alfred won two NCAA titles in the 200 metres indoors in 22.01 in Albuquerque and outdoors in a wind-assisted 21.73 in Austin. The Santa Lucian sprinter improved her national record to 21.91 in Gainesville. She ran her first professional 200 metres at the Diamond League meeting in Monaco finishing second in 22.08.
Gabby Thomas claimed the US title in Eugene improving her PB by one hundredth of a second to 21.60. Thomas won the Olympic bronze medal in 21.87 in Tokyo.
Sha’Carri Richardson won the 200m at the Continental Tour Gold in Nairobi in 22.07 and finished second at the US Championships in Eugene in 21.94.
Dina Asher Smith will chase the third world medal of her career after winning gold in Doha 2019 in 21.88 and bronze in Eugene 2022 in 22.02. She showed her good form recently improving her seasonal record to 22.23 in Monaco.
Darryl Neita improved her 200m PB to 22.23 in Bydgoszcz and won the British title in Manchester in 22.25.
Marileidy Paulino won two silver medals at the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 49.60 and at the World Championships in Eugene in 49.20 and the Diamond League Final in Zurich setting her PB of 48.99. This year the Dominican Republic improved her lifetime best to 48.98 in Los Angeles and won at the Diamond League in Paris in 49.12, at the CAC Games in El Salvador in 49.95 and finished third in Chorzow in 50.00.
Britton Wilson set the second fastest time on the world indoor all-time list with a North American record of 49.48 in the 400 metres. Wilson improved Athing Mu's NCAA indoor record. Last May Wilson also broke Mu’s 400 metres NCAA outdoor record, clocking 49.51 at the Tom Jones Memorial in Gainesville. She improved her record to 49.13 at the South Eastern Conference in Baton Rouge. Wilson finished second at the NCAA Championships in Austin in 49.64 and at the US Championships in Eugene in 49.79.
Ireland’s US-based Rhasidat Adeleke recently turned professional after setting a national record of 49.20 at the NCAA Championships in Austin. Adeleke won two European under 20 titles in the 100 and 200 metres in Tallin 2021. The Irish athlete missed out on the final by one place at the World Championships in Eugene. He finished fifth at the European Championships in Munich in the 400m.
Sydney McLaughlin was forced to withdraw from the World Championships in Budapest due to a minor knee injury.
Shaunae Miller Uibo from the Bahamas will defend her title in her first 400 metres of the season. This is since she gave birth to her first son Maicel on 20 April. Miller Uibo won two gold medals at the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2021 in 48.36 and at the World Championships in Eugene 2022 in 49.11 and a silver medal at the World Championships in Doha in 48.37. Miller Uibo competed in one heptathlon competition at the National Championships on 6-7 July.
Selwa Naser won the 400 metres world gold medal in Doha in 48.14 beating Miller Uibo. She returned this year after serving a two-year ban due to antidoping whereabouts. Naser dipped under 50 seconds this year finishing first in Huelva in 49.78 and third in Paris Charlety in 49.95.
European bronze medallist Anna Kielbasinska from Poland performed very well on the Diamond League circuit in 2023. She won three races in Florence in 50.41, Chorzow in 49.54 and Monaco in 49.48 (the fifth fastest time in the world on the world all-time list).
The other top European athlete is Lieke Klaver, who won two European indoor silver medals in the 400m behind her training partner Femke Bol in Torun 2021 and Istanbul 2023 and finished fourth at the World Championships in Eugene and sixth at the European Championships in Munich. Klaver finished second in the Chorzow Diamond League meeting in a national record of 49.81 ahead of Paulino and third in Monaco in 49.99.
Nia Ali is in the form of her life now that she is 34 years old. After giving birth to her third child in May 2021 Ali returned to competition last year setting a season-best mark of 12.49 in the semifinal of the US Championships in Eugene. This summer the US hurdler won the US title in Eugene in 12.37 and the first Diamond League competition of her career at the Herculis meeting in her lifetime best of 12.30. Ali performed very well in the other European meetings clocking 12.38 in Chorzow and 12.41 in Szekesfehrvar. During her career Ali won the world outdoor title in Doha 2019 in 12.34, the Olympic silver medal in Rio de Janeiro 2016 in 12.59 and two world indoor gold medals in Sopot 2014 and Portland 2016.
Former world record holder Kendra Harrison finished second to Ali at the US Championships in 12.42. Harrison enjoyed a consistent season winning the New York Grand Prix in a wind-assisted 12.29 and finishing second in Chorzow in 12.35 and Monaco in 12.31.
Olympic champion Jasmine Camacho Quinn is aiming to add a world title to her collection. This includes the Olympic gold medal in Tokyo and the world silver in Eugene. Camacho Quinn beat Harrison in the Olympic final in 12.37 after setting the Olympic record of 12.26 in the semifinal. The Puerto Rican hurdler won two Diamond League races in Doha in 12.48 and Lausanne in 12.40 and set the second fastest time in the world in Los Angeles in 12.31.
Masai Russell finished third at the US Championships in Eugene in 12.46 qualifying for the World Championships for the first time in her career. Russell finished second at both the NCAA indoor and outdoor Championships clocking 7.75 in the 60 metres hurdles and a wind-assisted 12.32 in the 100 metres hurdles.
The strong Jamaican team will be represented by Olympic bronze medallist Megan Tapper, Ackera Nugent and 2015 world champion Danielle Williams. Tapper won the Jamaican title in 12.64 into a headwind of -1.9 m/s. Nugent won the world under 20 gold medal in Nairobi 2021 and the NCAA outdoor title in a wind-assisted 12.25 before finishing second at the National Trials in 12.67. Williams finished third at the National Trials and improved her seasonal best to 12.54 in Memphis in her final race before the World Championships in Budapest.
The best European hurdler on the field is Ditaji Kambundji from Switzerland, who won the European under 23 gold medal in 12.68. Kambundji showed her consistency when she improved Lisa Urech’s national record twice in the same evening clocking 12.51 in the heats and 12.47 in the final at the Citius meeting in her home city Bern. Her time also broke the European Under 23 record. Only Alina Talay has run faster since 2010 among European hurdlers with 12.41.
Ditaji Kambundji: “I had a magical day in Bern. I knew I had fast legs. I did not expect such times as these, even if the feeling was very good during the warm-up. I am particularly satisfied to have stayed calm between these two races."
European outdoor champion Pia Szkzyszowska won the European outdoor title in Munich in 12.53. The Polish hurdler clocked 12.65 in Szekesfehrvar and 12.68 in Monaco and improved her seasonal best to 12.59 in Bern on 4 August.
The other top hurdlers to watch are two-time European indoor champion Nadine Visser from the Netherlands, who set a seasonal best of 12.65, world indoor champion Devynne Charlton from the Bahamas (seasonal best 12.62) and world indoor finalist Sarah Lavin from Ireland (12.67 seasonal best in Bern).
Femke Bol is aiming to add her first world title to her collection that includes the Olympic bronze medal in Tokyo 2021 (52.03), the world silver in Eugene 2022 (52.27), three European outdoor gold medals in the 400m (49.44), the 400 metres hurdles (52.67) and in the 4x400 relay (3:20.87) in Munich.
Last winter Bol broke Jarmila Kratochilova’s European indoor record in the 400 metres with 49.26 at the Dutch Championships in Apeldoorn and won her second consecutive European indoor gold medal in Istanbul in 49.85. She recently won four Diamond League races this year in Florence in 52.43, in Oslo in 52.30, in Lausanne in 52.76 and London improving her own European record to 51.45.
Shamier Little won the US Championships title in 53.34 and performed consistently in the Diamond League. She finished first in Rabat in 53.95, second in Florence in 53.38 and third in London in 53.76.
Dalilah Muhamad is determined to win her fifth world medal after finishing second in Moscow 2013, London 2017, Doha 2019 with a world record of 52.16 and third in Eugene 2022. Muhamad also won the gold medal at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro 2016. She finished second to Sydney McLaughlin in her 51.58 PB in the Olympic final in Tokyo. This year she took second place in 53.53 in the US Championships final in Eugene.
Anna Cockrell qualified for the World Championships with her third place at the US Championships in 54.24. Cockrell set her lifetime best of 53.79 in Madrid.
The Jamaican team will be represented by Janieve Russell, Andreanette Knight and Rushell Clayton. Russell won the National Trials in 53.75 and improved her seasonal mark to 53.65 in Lucerne. Knight took second place in 53.78 and won in Szekesfehrvar in her seasonal best of 53.26. Clayton qualified for the World Championships with her third place at the National Championships in 53.81 and improved her seasonal best to 53.79.
Ayomide Folorunso improved her Italian record to 54.22 at the National Championships in Molfetta in July. Folorunso reached the semifinals at the World Championships in Eugene and finished seventh at the European Championships in Munich.
The other top entrants are Anna Rhyzhykova, Viktoriya Tkachuk from the Ukraine and Gianna Woodruff from Panama, who finished fifth, sixth and seventh at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Jessie Knight from Great Britain, who improved her PB to 54.09 in Oordegem, Viivi Lehikonen from Finland (PB 54.40 in Huelva) and Carolina Krafzik from Germany (European Team Championships winner in Chorzow in 54.47).