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World Championships Flashback!


2022 WC McLaughlin

Sydney McLaughlin sets new WR of 50.68 in 400m hurdles, World Athletics Championships Eugene, Oregon, USA July 15-26, 2022, photo by Kevin Morris

July 22nd, 2022

These 2022 World Championships have provided exciting competitions on the track and on the field on a daily basis. But many track & field buffs have had this Day Eight circled on their calendars for a while. They have waited for the women’s 400-meter hurdles final. It has been seen as a terrific rematch among the top three Tokyo Olympic medalists: The Netherlands Olympic bronze medalist Femke Bol; USA’s Olympic silver medalist Dalilah Muhammad; and USA’s Olympic gold medalist and world record-holder Sydney McLaughlin. As the Eugene global gathering approached, many sensed that such a final would be a hard-fought, tooth-and-nail battle for the gold medal in these World Championships.

 2022 WC McLaughlin 2

Sydney McLaughlin takes 400m hurdles in 50.68 WR. She has set WR at 400m hurdles 4 times in last year! photo by Kevin Morris

But Sydney McLaughlin saw it differently.


The Hayward Field crowd was hushed as the eight finalists, 7 of whom are ranked in the world’s top 9, got into their blocks. As the race got underway, McLaughlin, in lane 5, immediately went to work, quickly making up the stagger on Muhammad in the first 100 meters. By the middle of the backstretch, the Olympic champion was all alone, had a commanding lead, and the race was essentially over. Flying by the 200-meter mark in 24.25, McLaughlin continued her relentless drive. The cheering crowd, knowing they were witnessing something very special, was on their feet as McLaughlin powered over the remaining hurdles, her eye on the finish line. Shortly after McLaughlin hit the finish line, the crowd roared as the Experience board flashed the winning time: 50.68 – a jaw-dropping 0.73 improvement of the 51.41 world record that McLaughlin set on this same track last month. How stunning are McLaughlin’s gold medal performance and new world record time? Sydney’s one-lap race over hurdles was faster than the clockings of 2 of the 8 finalists in the women’s hurdle-less 400-meter final held earlier in the evening.

 2022 WC McLaughlin 3

Sydney McLaughlin, WR holder (4 times now), 400m hurdles, photo by Kevin Morris

Left behind, the rest of the field still jousted for the remaining two medals. Bol, with a personal best of 52.27, earned the silver while Muhammad (53.13) got up for the bronze with USA’s Shamier Little (53.76) crossing in 4th.

The new world champion was poised and candid in addressing the media. “The time is absolutely amazing, and the sport is getting faster and faster,” declared McLaughlin. “Just figuring out what barriers can be broken. I only get faster from here. I executed the race the way (coach) Bobby (Kersee) wanted me to. We knew warming up that it was going to be one of those days. We were ready and tried and go out there and execute. I knew coming home that if I just kept my cadence and stayed on stride pattern, we could do it and it happened. It’s very special to push boundaries for myself, focusing on the 10 hurdles and to be able to improve upon that; what else could I ask for?”

 2022 WC Miller Uibo

Shaunae Miller-Uibo, BAH, takes gold in the W 400m! photo by Kevin Morris.

The final of the women’s 400-meter final was, as expected, a showdown between Bahamian Shaunae Miller-Uibo (#2 on the 2022 world leader board) and Dominican Republic athlete Marileidy Paulino (#1 on the world leader list). At the opening gun, Miller-Uibo, the 2-time Olympic champion, got out quickly and was making up the stagger and sailing by her opponents, crossing 200 meters in a fast 23.24. Shaunae curved into the homestretch with a meaningful lead, followed by Barbados’s Sada Williams and Paulino who, at last, was closing quickly.

 2022 WC Miller Uibo 2

Shaunae Miller-Uibo smiles after her gold medal performance at 400 meters, photo by Kevin Morris.

Miller-Uibo hit the line first in 49.11, her best time of the season, and is now #1 on the 2022 world leader board. Paulino’s (49.60) strong stretch drive earned her the silver while Williams grabbed the bronze. Williams’ 49.75 was a lifetime best clocking for her, and that mark also set a new Barbados national record.

 2022 WC M. Norman

What a Men’s 400m final! Norman in gold, James in silver, Hudson-Smith in bronze! World Athletics Championships
Eugene, Oregon, USA
July 15-26 2022, photo by Kevin Morris

The men’s 400-meter final featured the top three 2022 world leaders as well as the world record holder. As the race began, Grenada’s Kirani James pulled away quickly to gain the early lead, with USA’s Michael Norman in close pursuit. James, the 2011 world champion, raced past 200 meters in an eye-popping 20.95, closely followed by Norman and Great Britain’s Mathew Hudson-Smith. Entering the homestretch, Norman was closing on James, and his 80-meter extended drive to the line paid off as the American, arms extended, crossed first to win the gold medal in 44.29.

 2022 WC M. Norman 2

Mathew Hudson-Smith, bronze, Michael Norman, gold, Kirani James, silver, Men’s 400 meters, photo by Kevin Morris

James captured the silver in 44.48, and the Brit got up for the bronze in 44.66. Different viewpoints were expressed in the mixed zone. “It is an amazing feeling for sure. Just to come out here, on let’s say a home track and pull out with a gold individual medal,” revealed Norman. “It is going to be a memorable one. I want to remember what took me here, and I am just thankful to everybody who supported me throughout my whole career. without those people.” Silver medalist Kirani James: “I knew it was always going to be a battle with Michael. I thought I had a good advantage in beating him to see him in front of me. But catching him, it is never going to be easy.” The Brit: “I think the European record will go now; that is the next thing. I was ready to get a medal and got it.” World recorder holder Wayde Van Niekerk: “World record holder, this is where I belong. This is what I need to fight for. I need to make sure that I do whatever it takes to patiently get myself back to the place where I belong, and that is on the podium.”

 2022 WC Kely Lee Barber

Kelsey Lee-Barber takes gold in javelin for Australia!!! photo by Kevin Morris

Australia”s Kelsey-Lee Barber was the gold medal winner in the women’s javelin with a 3rd-round mark of 66.91m/219’6”. But the dramatic conclusion of the women’s javelin really came from USA’s Kara Winger and her buzzer-beater finish in this event. Winger, who is planning retirement after this season, stood in 5th place with the best mark of 62.17m/203’11” as she prepared to take her 6th and final throw.

 2022 WC Winger

Kara Winger uncorks a big one to take silver in Javelin for the USA! photo by Kevin Morris.

Always a gamer, Winger composed herself on the runway and proceeded to uncork a majestic throw of 64.05m/210’1” – a mark that vaulted her into 2nd place and earned her the silver – her first global medal. Japan’s Haruka Kitaguchi (63.27m/207’7”) captured the bronze. Afterward, the athletes shared their thoughts. “Today was always the goal,” explained the Aussie victor. “I am quite pleased with the way I performed tonight. It feels like dreams come true.” A delighted silver medalist offered her take on the competition. “I really just wanted to improve my performance in front of the home crowd, and here we are: 64.05,” offered Winger. “To grab a medal here almost at home, at the Hayward field, it is what I dreamed about, but I am still in disbelief that it actually happened.”

Trackside Tidbits

 2022 WC Nilsen

Chris Nilsen, USA, advances to final in the pole vault, photo by Kevin Morris

mPV /Prelim: 12 vaulters all cleared 5.75m/18’10¼” to advance to Sunday’s final. Notable advancers include Sweden’s world record holder Mondo Duplantis, USA’s Chris Nilsen, Brazil’s Olympic gold medalist Thiago Braz, and France’s multiple-time global medalist and former world record holder Renaud LaVillenie. Poland’s Piotr Lisek was an unexpected casualty. Americans Luke Winder and Andrew Irwin failed to advance.

 2022 WC 4x1 Relay

Team Italy, w 4×1–m World Athletics Championships
Eugene, Oregon, USA
July 15-26, 2022, by Kevin Morris

w4x100 / Prelim: The United State’s first-round women’s quartet (Melissa Jefferson leading off; Aleia Hobbs; Jenna Prandini racing the curve, and Twanisha Terry on the anchor) ran very well in Heat Two of this opening round with good run-ups and crisp exchanges. The USA’s Heat Two winning time of 41.56 is a new world-leading clocking. Have the USA sprinters been practicing? Notable opponents in the final include Great Britain (41.99), Jamaica (42.37), and Germany (42.44). While there will be personnel decisions that will have to be made for the final, a structured USA foursome will compete at the conclusion of Saturday’s evening session. Twanisha Terry: “It felt comfortable to get the stick around, and the conditions were great.”

 2022 WC 4x1 Relay 2

USA men’s 4x100m, heats,
World Athletics Championships
Eugene, Oregon, USA
July1 5-26, 2022, photo by Kevin Morris

m4x100 / Prelim: Perhaps inspired by the USA women’s clean relay performance, the USA men had their own top-flight preliminary race. With the red, white, and blue foursome of Christian Coleman leading off, 200m gold medalist Noah Lyles on the straight, Elijah Hall on the curve, and Marvin Bracy on the anchor, the USA men’s squad looked impressive, winning their heat in a world-leading time of 37.87. Notable rivals for Saturday’s final include France (38.09); Canada (38.10 with Andre De Grasse on the anchor); South Africa (38.31 with Simbine on anchor); and always-competitive Jamaica. Marvin Bracey afterward: “Tomorrow it is about the win so we will try to put some more effort and energy and try to come out with the American record.”

 Rogers Raevyn SFst Worlds22

Raevyn Rogers, W 800 semi-finals, World Athletics Championships
Eugene, Oregon, USA
July15-26 2022, photo by Kevin Morris

w800m / Semi Final: To advance to the final in this event, an athlete had to run under 2:00.00. Sunday’s final is shaping up as a showdown between Great Britain’s Keely Hodgkinson (1:58.51) and USA’s reigning Olympic champion Athing Mu. The 8-person final is a dandy one with middle-distance athletes such as USA’s Raevyn Rogers and Ajee Wilson, Ethiopia’s Diribe Welteji, and Jamaica’s Natoya Goule, all capable of surprising. The two favorites candidly shared their thoughts: “It felt like a final., said Mu in the mixed zone. “I got a chance to see what it would be like running a final race with a fast pace, having someone else to run with you. I am happy that I got to experience that. I felt pretty good. I feel there’s a lot left in the tank. I felt really comfortable.” Said Keely Hodgkinson: “I felt good tonight. It was about getting the job done and safely through the semi-final. I am really happy. I cannot wait for the final. I think Athing is going to be strong; she is a good competitor. But I do not think that the gold medal is already on anyone’s neck. There are a good five of us battling for the medal. So it is going to be a very stormy race.”


 Legend sign Worlds22

“World records are my favorite food,” from Legend, the wacked-out mascot of Oregon 22! , photo by Kevin Morris

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Dave Hunter

Dave HunterDave Hunter is a track & field journalist, announcer, and broadcaster.  Dave reports on the premier track & field gatherings around the globe, frequently serves as an arena or stadium announcer for championship events, and has undertaken foreign and domestic broadcast assignments in the sport.


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