McLaughlin, Duplantis and Amusan incredible with world records | Sunday Observer
World Track & Field 2022:

McLaughlin, Duplantis and Amusan incredible with world records

21 August, 2022
Sydney McLaughlin-Mondo Duplantis-Tobi Amusan
Sydney McLaughlin-Mondo Duplantis-Tobi Amusan

The World Track and Field 2022 in Oregon have come to an end, after an astonishing competition, where the world’s greatest athletes created a highlights reel of unforgettable moments. The state of Oregon welcomed the best the athletics world has to offer right now to feature.

The eighteenth edition of the World Athletics Championships 2022 took place at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon, United States, from July 15-24, 2022. The competition was originally scheduled for August 6-15, 2021 but postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thirteen championship records including three world records have tumbled, world-class performances delivered, jaw-dropping surprises sprung and the sports lovers who throng to Hayward Field have been treated to some of the best athletics accomplishments in recent memory.

The author strives to have a scan over the greatest moments from the World Track and Field 2022 and present a glimpse of the elite athletes who could produce medal winning performances at the upcoming 2023 World Championships in Budapest, and the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

World team champions

The United States, which amassed 33 medals (13 gold, 9 silver and 11 bronze), were crowned “World Team Champions.” The Team USA received 328 points. At the end of Oregon 2022, the United States have won a total of 414 medals along with the most of 183 gold medals.

Jamaica came second with 10 medals (2 gold, 7 silver and 1 bronze) earning 110 points whilst Ethiopia secured 10 medals (4 gold, 4 silver and 2 bronze) and got 106 points. Kenya finished a close fourth also winning 10 medals (2 gold, 5 silver and 3 bronze) but with 104 points.

It was for the first time, that the top three in the all-around points table were awarded with team trophies. The table commonly used in athletics, assign points to the top eight finishers, then aggregate to provide a final team standing. The top eight in each event scored points for their nation, with 8 points going to the gold medallists down to one point for the eighth-place finisher.

World and championship records

Team USA’s Sydney McLaughlin who ran an incredible 50.68 sec in the women’s 400m hurdles recorded her fourth consecutive world record. Swedish Mondo Duplantis took pole vault gold by raising his own global bar to 6.21m. Then, Nigeria’s Tobi Amusan overcome the hurdles to take the tape in 12:12 sec in the 100m hurdles semi-final to establish a new world record.

Along with the three world records, a total of thirteen championship records were established. The men’s records were in the Marathon, 2:05:36, Tamirat Tola (Ethiopia); 400m hurdles, 46.29, Alison dos Santos (Brazil); Shot put, 22.94m, Ryan Crouser (USA); Discus throw, 71.13m, Kristjan Ceh (Slovenia); 35 km walk, 2:23:14, Massimo Stano (Italy)

The women’s championship records were: 100m, 10.67 (+0.8 m/s), Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (Jamaica); 200m, 21.45 (+0.6 m/s), Shericka Jackson (Jamaica); 3000m, steeplechase, 8:53.02, Norah Jeruto (Kazakhstan); Marathon, 2:18:11, Gotytom Gebreslase (Ethiopia); 35 km walk, 2:39:16, Kimberly García (Peru).

Sydney McLaughlin’s dazzling world record

The 22-year American Sydney McLaughlin produced one of the greatest track performances of all time by shattering her own 400m hurdles world record to win the gold. The Tokyo 2020 Olympic champion charged home in 50.68 sec, slashing 0.73 off her previous mark of 51.41 set at the same springy Hayward Field at the US trials on June 25, 2022, to become the first woman to run the event under 51 sec.

After winning her first individual World Championships title, McLaughlin said, “I knew coming home that if I just kept my cadence and stayed on stride pattern, we could do it and it happened.” It was the sixth time in three years that the world record has been broken, after Russian Yulia Pechonkina’s world mark of 52.34 sec had stood for 16 years. In 2019, Dalilah Muhammad improved the world record to 52.20 and 52.16. Then, in 2021, Sydney McLaughlin improved it twice to 51.90 and 51.46 and now in 2022, twice so far to 51.41 and 50.68.

Starting in lane five sandwiched by former world record holder and teammate Muhammad on her outside and the Netherlands’ Bol in lane four, McLaughlin gained on and passed her compatriot in the first 200m. From then on, she was out on her own, entering the final 100m far ahead of her nearest challengers as the crowd sensed that something special was about to take place.

Mondo Duplantis’s stunning world record

Sweden’s Armand ‘Mondo’ Duplantis, 22, entered Oregon with one medal missing from his trophy cabinet: World Championships gold. Last time out in Doha, the indoor and outdoor world record holder in the event won a silver. Then at Tokyo 2020, he showed his immense class with a gold medal-winning performance. His previous four world records include 6.17m in Torun on February 8, 2020; 6.18m in Glasgow on February 15, 2020; 6.19m in Belgrade on March 7, 2022; 6.20m in Belgrade on March 20, 2022.

Yet the World Championship title had so far eluded him. But in Oregon, Duplantis won that coveted gold, with a new world record of 6.21m. “I did not think about the record that much today,” he said after his victory. “Usually, it is always somewhere in the back of my mind but today, I was really focused on the win and I really wanted to win the gold so badly.”

“It was the medal missing, so when I was on this height, it was like everything came together and it happened from there. I love jumping in Eugene and it was amazing here.”

Tobi Amusan’s splendid world record

In the very first track event of Day 10, Nigeria’s 25-year Tobi Amusan won her semi-final of the women’s 100m hurdles, setting her first world record of 12.12 sec. She took a full 0.08 sec off the previous world record of 12.20 sec.

She went on to become the first Nigerian world champion in athletics when she won the gold medal, finishing the final with a wind-assisted 12.06 sec. “It is a strong feeling,” she said. “I wanted to get out and go. I did what I had to do.”

Shericka Jackson’s unique feat

Jamaica’s Shericka Jackson, 28, suffered heartbreak at Tokyo 2020 when she misjudged her 200m heat, slowing at the line and missing out on advancing to the semi-finals by a thousandth of a second. But in Oregon, she dominated a stacked 200m race to win the gold in the second-quickest time in history.

“The fastest woman alive, the national and championships record, I cannot complain,” said Jackson, who now sits behind only Florence Griffith-Joyner on the all-time 200m list. “Finally, I can go back and watch the heats of the 200 at the Olympic Games. I’ve never watched it. I never wanted it to play on my mind mentally to say, ‘OK, it might happen again,’ I just wanted to get past it...” Now that I’m world champion and I’ve bounced back from whatever I’ve been in, I can say, OK then, finally I can go.”

Noah Lyles eclipse American 200m record

Noah Lyles, 25, was the reigning 200m champion heading into the World Athletics Championships, however Tokyo 2020 saw him only winning a bronze. However, amidst the challenges, Lyles stepped up his game to a level never reached by an American before. In the final of the 200m, he dominated to take the gold in a new American record of 19.31 sec, eclipsing the previous best US mark of 19.32 set by the legendary Michael Johnson.

“I was truly in form for a world record, but I am OK with the American record,” Lyles said after the race. “I felt I got the best start I could possibly ask for. The race was basically set up for me. I was given lane six, an outside lane. To be honest, every step was purposeful, going out with intent to win. I’ve given my all. I literally had nothing left after I crossed the finish line.”

Faith Kipyegon’s successive fourth global title

After last year’s heroics in Tokyo where she doubled down on her Olympic gold from Rio 2016, Kenya’s Faith Kipyegon, 28, entered these championships looking to add a second world title to the one she secured three years ago in Doha. Setting a time of 3:52.96, the Olympic record holder crossed the line first to become the first-ever woman to win four 1500m global titles.

“I knew I was the best,” she said after the race, before adding: “I had pressure, because everybody was expecting a special thing from me, everybody was like, ‘Faith, we have faith, we believe in Faith,’ so I had pressure, I was running with a lot of pressure, but I have shown that I am strong.”

Podium sweep in 100m by the United States

Fred Kerley, 27, the Olympic silver medallist in Tokyo, blazed to victory in 9.86 sec to claim his first world championships gold, following his bronze in the 400m at Doha 2019. The last time the USA occupied all three steps of a world championship 100m podium was all the way back in 1991, but all that changed in front of an ecstatic home crowd in Oregon.

Kerley began running the 100m only in 2021. Hot on his heels were Marvin Bracy and Trayvon Bromell who could hardly be separated with both ending the race with a time of 9.88 sec. Bracy was eventually awarded silver and Bromell bronze. Kerley said: “Feels amazing to do it on home soil.” Kerley continued: “We said the USA was gonna do it and we got the job done today.”

Podium dominance by Jamaicans in women’s 100m

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce secured the gold in the most demanding event in track and field. There’s just no stopping the Jamaican phenomenon who now has five 100m world championship golds. It was a podium sweep by the Jamaican women who were in irrepressible mood.

Fraser-Pryce ran a super-quick 10.67 sec to secure the gold, with Shericka Jackson winning silver and Elaine Thompson-Herah, who completed a famous ‘double’ at Tokyo 2020 taking the bronze. “It’s my favourite - the world title in the 100, so it’s definitely special,” Fraser-Pryce admitted. “And I’m doing it at 35. Yes, I said 35. So, I’m thankful for that.”

Mutaz Barshim’s third successive Gold

After delivering one of the greatest moments of Tokyo 2020 when he shared gold with his long-time friend Gianmarco Tamberi, Mutaz Barshim, 31, secured a historic third consecutive world high jump title. Qatar’s Barshim jumped 2.37m to see off the challenge of an impressive Woo Sanghyeok of Republic of Korea, who won silver by clearing 2.35m.

“Winning for the third time, you know in the high jump it’s never been done before,” he said. “So, for me, it’s a great stat to be honest. I always tell myself, ‘How do you want to be remembered?’ I want to do great things, I want to be the high jumper that does stuff that’s gonna [remain] for history and I’ve done that today, so I’m happy about it.”

Yulimar Rojas’s third world title

The women’s world record holder, Venezuela’s Queen of the Triple Jump, Yulimar Rojas achieved a historic victory, winning her third world title in a row. Rojas once again was in unstoppable form, as she leapt 15.47m to secure the gold, 0.58m farther than her nearest challenger, Jamaica’s silver medallist Shanieka Ricketts.

Rojas, the reigning Olympic champion, whose outdoor world record stands at 15.67m, still feels that she has more to do in the sport as she takes aim at the mythical 16m mark. “It’s not the distance I wanted but I am happy,” she said. “It has been a beautiful day, even if it hasn’t been my best day during the event. I think [this title] is a reward for my perseverance, will and believing that I can achieve what I’ve achieved today.”

Feng Bin’s star-studded discus throw

People’s Republic of China’s Feng Bin, 28, was not the favourite to win the women’s discus title at the World Championships, but with her very first attempt in the final, she threw a massive 69.12m to seal the victory ahead of Croatia’s two-time Olympic champion Sandra Perkovic and Olympic gold medallist Valarie Allman of the USA.

“I did not expect this result coming to Eugene, I just wanted to show my best,” she said after her win. “I am very excited about this result and want to share this excitement with my family and my friends. I am surprised by my gold medal but honestly not with the result. I expected the fight like this for the podium and I was sure it was going to be tough. I tried to gain the best shape of my life before the final.”

Jakob Ingebrigtsen’s impressive Gold

Jakob Ingebrigtsen entered these World Championships as the reigning Olympic men’s 1500m champion and was highly favoured to double up on his victory in Tokyo with gold in Oregon. However, things didn’t go to plan. In a race won by Britain’s Jake Wightman, the Norwegian could only finish second, a relative disappointment given the expectations he sets on himself.

But in the 5000m, Ingebrigtsen surging to the front over the last lap before kicking home for a hugely impressive victory. “I have been very very disappointed even though I got the silver medal,” he said. “But within myself, I know that I could have done better so that was the reason why I was disappointed with myself. But today, I felt very good. I have been thinking a lot towards this race to prepare myself in the best way possible and finally, I am a world champion.”

Allyson Felix’s striking farewell

The USA’s Allyson Felix, 36, leaves the sport as a bonafide legend - and with another gold medal around her neck. After announcing her planned retirement, she decided to race in one last World Championships in front of a home crowd in Oregon.

Her final international event was set to be the 4x400m mixed relay final, where the USA won bronze. But after answering a mid-meal call to compete in the women’s 4x400m, having already travelled home, Felix hopped on a plane back to the Worlds.

In typical fashion, Felix was on the winning team in the 4x400m heat, running her leg in 50.61. And when Team USA claimed victory in the final, the legend added another gold as part of the winning team. She leaves quite a big footprint on track as the most decorated sprinter in U.S. history with eleven Olympic and twenty World medals.

(The author is an Associate Professor, International Scholar, winner of Presidential Awards and multiple National Accolades for Academic pursuits. He possesses a PhD, MPhil and double MSc. His email is [email protected])