The World Championships just finished day six, and each day has been spectacular. In my Deep Thoughts, I am taking a few minutes to consider the previous nights of Track Nirvana.
These are the big observations that we made on day 2, with some consideration:
Women’s Long Jump: The long jump is a very volatile event in the sport of athletics. The Serbian superstar has been dangerous in every championship she has competed in. This writer saw her win the 2017 European Indoor in Belgrade with a superb series, ending with a PR of 7.24 indoors. In Budapest, Ivana cleared 7.05m, then, BOOM! 7.14m, a PB outdoors, and a gold medal in the World Outdoor! Tamara Davis-Woodhall, US, one of the new stars, took the silver in 6.91m, and Alina Roturu Kottoman (ROU) took the bronze in 6.88m. The big observation was how many global stars were flat in Budapest.
Men’s Hammer Throw: The hammer throw is like baseball in Hungary. Hungarians know throws, the javelin, and the hammer are well known. Imre Nemeth took gold for Hungary in 1948 in the hammer, and Miklos Nemeth, the 1976 Olympic javelin star and gold medalist. So, when Bence Halacz took the lead on the second throw, with a mighty 80.82m, the 30,000 fans in the National Athletics Center went crazy. Wjociech Nowicki then took the lead by one centimeter, and then, Ethan Katzberg set a second NR for Canada, with his mighty 81.25. Nowicki improved to 81.02m to keep silver and Bence Halacz gave Hungary its first medal in this champs on Saint Stephens Day, almost the Magyar fourth of July!
The Heptathlon was down to the 800m. In the medal chase, Anna Hall needed almost 3 seconds to be ahead of Katerina Johnson-Thompson. KJT stayed within 1.5 seconds and Katerina Johnson Thompson took gold, in Anna Hall the silver, 6740 points to 6720 points. Anouk Vetter took the bronze with 6501, and in 4th was Hungary’s Xenia Krizan, who was hoped to be in top ten. The crowd of mostly Hungarian fans went wild with Xenia’s spirited competition, only 22 seconds behind bronze (6479 SB)
Men’s 10,000m: Note to self, don’t try to kick with Joshua Cheptegai. The Ugandan has WRs in 5,000m and 10,000m. He had been around the track 25 laps before. And with the slow pace, 14;24 for 5,000m, and second in a modest 13:26, and using a 53-second last lap to take his third straight WC at 10,000m.
Men’s 100 meters: It is Noah Lyles’s world, and we just live in it. Noah Lyles did not make a mistake in three rounds. By the semi-finals, Fred Kerley and Marcell Jacobs were out. Noah had an adequate start in the final, but his next 99 meters were stunning, and his 9.83 equaled the World Leader. Letsile Tebogo took silver, and Zharnel Hughes took bronze, but it was all Noah Lyles all the time after that race. The 200-meter final will be epic!