Day 2 recap of the World Athletics Championships in Oregon

July 17, 2022

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Fred Kerley in Nairobi, Kenya for the KIp Keino Classic meeting earlier in the year[/caption]

As though in anticipation of a memorable moment for the USA at the World Championships in Oregon, there was a fly past of two military planes just before the start of the men’s 100m final. Out of the 8 runners on the start line were from the host nation. The crowds were on their feet, in great excitement, as they waited for the special moment.

Seven runners had gone under 10 seconds in the heats; then four, during the semi-finals. It was an indication of the great competition and the possibility of some fast times being run in the final.

From what didn’t look like a great start off the blocks, Fred Kerley fought his way powerfully to edge his fellow countrymen Marvin Bracy and Trayvon Bromell, just before the finish line. 9.86 was the winning time, against 9.88 registered for both Bracy and Bromell in second and third respectively. It was a great moment for the fans in the stadium as they cheered wildly.

The other track final of the day, that had happened in the morning session was the women’10,000m, and what an exciting final it was!

The first 1000m of the race had been crossed in 3:04.80, then the 2000m in 6:08.84 as Ririka Hironaka of Japan did much of the pacing with Eilish McColgan just behind her. The pace quickened a bit as they went into the 3000m mark where they crossed it in 9:11.87.

After the first 5000m that had been controlled by Hironaka was crossed, a huge pack suddenly formed at the front. It was as though everyone was waiting for the halfway mark before making their move.

A trio of Ethiopians then stepped to the front 20 minutes into the race. Kenya’s Margaret  Chelimo and Hellen Obiri hung just behind the Ethiopians, buying their time. Caroline Chepkurui of Kazakhstan was also there in the mix with Sifan Hassan being tugged behind the entire pack of 9 that had broken away from the rest.

Obiri tested the field with about 1000m to go, but Gidey and Taye reacted and she relaxed again into the pack, her time to make a move seemingly not ripe.

The last lap of the race was a frantic kick for the title amongst Hassan, Obiri, Letesenbet Gidey, and Chelimo. At the homestretch, Gidey was slightly ahead, with Obiri and Chelimo coming strongly behind her. It was a close finish among the three. Gidey, whose elbow had connected with Obiri’s neck in the last 10m of the race crossed the line first in a world-leading 30:09.94. Obiri was second in 30:10.02 ahead of Chelimo in 30:10.07, both registering their personal best times.

A number of national records and personal best times were registered behind the medalists.

Rahel Daniel of Eritrea who was 5th ran a national record of 30:12.15. Kazakhstan’s Caroline Chepkoech Kipkirui finished 7th also a national record of 30:17.64, together with Stella Chesang who ran 31:01.04 to finish 14th in a new Ugandan national record.

There were some exciting heats on the track during the day as well.

Norah Jeruto dominated the first heat of the women’s 3000m steeplechase event running the last half of the race some 50m ahead of the rest of the field. A chasing pack of Kenya’s Jackline Chepkoech, Ethiopia’s Werkuha Getachew and USA’s Emma Coburn seemed to be battling for the next available two automatic slots before Tunisia’s Marwa Bouzayani fought her way into the third place towards the end of the race.

Uganda's Olympic Champion, Peruth Chemutai failed to get the automatic qualification after finishing 5th in the second heat of the women's 3000m that was won by Alice Finot of France in a new national record of 9:14.34. However, her early pacing of the race earned her a place in the final list after becoming the third fastest among the losers.

After seeing her fellow Kenyans miss to get the automatic qualifications, Celliphine Chespol made sure she got it right, winning the last heat in 9:16.78. 

The afternoon session began with the women’s 100m heats where seven women ran under 11 seconds. The fastest time came from Dina Asher-Smith in 10.84 followed by Shelly-Anne Fraser-Pryce’s 10.87 and Marie-Josee Ta Lou’s 10.92.

The men’s 100m semi-finals followed and there were some disappointments. 200m Olympic Champion, Adre De Grasse failed to advance to the finals after finishing 5th in the second semi-final. The 100m Olympic Champion, Marcell Jacobs also pulled out of the race due to a lingering injury that has troubled him for a better part of the year. Another big name that could not make it to the final was Yohan Blake of Jamaica who finished fourth in his heat and eventually became the third fastest loser, and the fastest of all the losers who did not get into the final.

The men’s 1500m heats served to show the level of competition in the event with close finishes in all the heats. But, the good news is that all the protagonists in this event made it through to the semi-finals. Timothy Cheruiyot, the defending champion; Jakob Ingebrigtsen, the Olympic champion and Abel Kipsang, the fastest runner this year all got automatic qualifications in their respective heats.

The women’s 1500m final that will happen on Monday will be exciting to watch after Faith Kipyegon and Tsegay Gudaf won their respective semi-finals.

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