After twelve years of working with him, I finally got to meet Justin Lagat. Just as warm and friendly as I expected. We then considered how great the World could be for Africa, and this column game out of that!
Justin is one of our team from #RunBlogRun covering the World Champs on site, and we look forward to his commentary each and every day!
The action begins tomorrow (19th August) at the Athletics Centre in Budapest. Having had a chance to move around the streets of the capital city of Hungary and around the stadium, I can see excitement is already building up into what promises to be one of the best-ever world championships events.
Here are some of what will be unique and interesting to watch at Budapest 23
The potential of the first African to win a 100m race at the championships
Will we finally see the first-ever African win a 100m race at the World Championships? African men are the main protagonists in the 100m event. According to the World Athletics rankings, Kenya’s Ferdinand Omanyala and South Africa’s Akani Simbine are ranked at positions one and two. Botswana’s Letsile Tebogo is ranked 3rd in the 200m, and will be the other big name in the event.
We could witness slow heats in the distance events.
World Athletics recently announced new rules, and it will be interesting to see the effects of doing away with the time qualifications in the distance events on the track. The runners will know whether they have qualified for the next round just after crossing the finish line. Unlike when they would wait till all the heats were done to see if they were the next fastest losers to get qualifications.
Larry Eder and Justin Lagat, Budapest, Hungary, August 18, 2023
Knowing that they won’t be risking a chance to proceed to the finals because of their times, will the runners now run a little slower to ensure they make it to the finals by finishing in the qualifying positions? Will they run any differently?
More participation at the Championships by the average runners
Runners who run for other reasons besides winning medals will have their day on the last day of the World Championships. For the first time, a mass 10K race will run on the same course as the marathon. The race will happen on the 27th following the men’s marathon event.
Lovers of running will get to watch their favorite runners run and have a chance to run at the same World Championships.
Budapest 23 Championships have been tailored to attract the general public
The fun will happen outside the stadium as well. There is a fan zone in downtown Budapest with exciting challenges, comfortable couches, good music, and cold drinks for the general public who don’t have tickets to enter the stadium.