Fraser-Pryce, Cheptegei, Hollaway and Tola triumph in Oregon

July 18, 2022

The performance of the 3rd day at the world championships in Oregon was arguably Joshua Cheptegei’s spectacular run in the men’s 10,000m final where he defended his title in 27:27.43. 

One would have assumed that Cheptegei was not confident with his finishing kick as he kept stepping to the front occasionally to ensure a fast pace in the early stages of the race. But he was in control in the last two laps where he followed a 60 seconds penultimate lap with a sizzling 53.40!

Kenya’s Stanley Waithaka Mburu, also with an amazing final lap of 53.78 seconds won the silver medal in 27:27.90 ahead of another Ugandan, Jacob Kiplimo who finished in 27:27.97 in the bronze medal position.

USA's Grant Fisher, with the world leading time this year, finished 4th equalling the best finish by a United States runner in the 10,000m by Galen Rupp in 2013.

Then there was the women’s 100m final in which Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, ran a new championship record of 10.67 to win the gold medal becoming the oldest world champion in an individual event on track. This was the third time Fraser-Pryce was running the same time this year after she did it in Nairobi at the Kip Keino Classic in May, repeated it in Paris in June, and did it once more today (17th July) at the World Championship final turning the world leading time into a new championship record. It was a podium sweep by Jamaica with Sherica Jackson coming second in a personal best 10.73 and Elaine Thompson third in 10.81.

Grant Hollaway took the gold medal in the men’s 110mH in an event that was expected to be another possible podium sweep by the USA before Daven Allen did a false start by a thousandth of a second. Hollaway won it in 13.03. Countryman, Trey Cunningham finished second in 13.08 for the silver medal. Asier Martínez of Spain ran a new personal best time of 13.17 to get the bronze medal.

Earlier on, in the morning, Ethiopia's Tamirat Tola had won the men’s world marathon title in a new World Championship record of 2:05:36, demolishing the previous record of 2:06:54 set by Kenya’s Abel Kirui in 2009.

One of the reasons why marathon could be more appealing than track running is the fact that one gets to see a glimpse of the environment and the lifestyle of a city as runners go through the course and the men’s marathon race took athletics fans across the world on a tour of the Eugene City and especially on the green and beautiful landscapes around the University of Oregon. But for Ethiopian fans, it was another glorious day as they bagged another gold medal at the championships.

Shumi Dechasa of Bahrain had made a move to quicken the pace as they approached 20km, but still, about 30 runners kept together in a huge leading pack up to around the 30km point. Obviously, the qualification times set to participate in the World Championship marathon could have been one of the reasons why it was hard to separate the quality field.

For the first time, Kenya’s Geoffrey Kamworor stepped to the front at around 34km, and it seemed to trigger Tola who made a huge move, separating himself from the rest with a 2:40/km pace. The chasing group slowly turned into a single file behind him.

The gap between Tola and a chasing pack of four; Kamworor, Cameron Levins, Mosinet Geremew, and Bashir Abdi, kept stretching as he neared the finish line where he eventually finished over one minute ahead of his next competitor.

In a 1-2 finish for Ethiopia, Geremew finished second in 2:06:44, winning his 2nd consecutive silver medal in the world championships.  Belgium's Abdi came in third to win the bronze medal in 2:06:48, the best finish for Belgium in this event after the 6th place finish by Armand Parmentier in 1983.

Cameron Levins of Canada overtook Kenya’s Geoffrey Kamworor in the last kilometer of the race to finished 4th in a new national record of 2:07:09, and the best finish ever for a Canadian in this event; after Peter Maher finished 10th in 1993.

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