Relay starts strong for Oregon 2022
Dominican Republic spoils United States’ mixed 4x400m party, while Fred Kerley sets extraordinary milestone in Eugene
The Dominican Republic surprised with a brilliant last-minute win in the 4x400m mixed relay to cap off a turbulent opening day of the World Championships in Athletics in Eugene.
Just when it looked like the host nation would taste victory and with the home crowd on their feet at Hayward Field, Fiordaliza Cofil impressively shook off United States leader Kennedy Simon, while Femke Bol’s stunning lap of 48.95 saw her take silver for Netherlands right on the line.
It was the shortest of wins – the gold medalists with a time of 3:09.52 against the Dutch national record of 3:09.90 as the USA clocked 3:10.16 – but it was just kind of tight and engaging competition that these championships really needed to generate early momentum.
Oregon 2022’s first big cheer came when Allyson Felix, a contender for the final major championships of his storied career, took over on the first transfer in the lead. She was hounded and overtaken by the next change after a brilliant 48.47 run from Marileidy Paulino, but the home country had restored their lead before the final lap through Vernon Norwood.
Cofil stuck to her task, however, and rose to the occasion as she began to feel Kennedy fading. It may not have been the gold, but the bronze means Felix has a total of 19 World Championship medals.
“It was very special to be able to race in front of a local audience for my last race,” said Felix. “It was so cool. My daughter was in the stands. It was a night I will treasure. I have such great memories. I know it’s time and these guys will continue in the future. I am at peace entering this next stage and I have immense gratitude for this sport.
America’s sprinters look grimly strong
It doesn’t look like it will be long for Team USA to wait for their first victory celebration if the men’s 100m qualifying heats are up to snuff. Olympic silver medalist Fred Kerley set an incredible scorer taking advantage of perfect sprint conditions to clock 9.79 (0.1) in the second run.
Fellow countryman Trayvon Bromell also impressed with 9.89 (0.6) in the third set and defending champion Christian Coleman crossed the line in 10.08 as he secured his passage safely, while Olympic champion Marcell Jacobs was progressing after a run of 10.04 (0.2).
There was also a U20 world record of 9.94 (1.1) from Letsile Tebogo as the Batswana finished fourth overall, just ahead of Briton Zharnel Hughes (9.97), who ran in the same sleeve than Kerley. There was an early exit, however, for European silver medalist Reece Prescod.
The walkers win the first medals
Kimberly Garcia León achieved several firsts on the opening day of the competition. Not only did the Peruvian become the first gold medalist of these championships by winning the women’s 20km race walk, but she also made history by becoming her country’s first-ever medalist at the World Championships, not to mention her first champion.
To top off his unforgettable day, León’s winning time of 1:26:58 was also a national record and the second fastest performance of the year.
Second-placed Katarzyna Zdzieblo (1:27:31) became Poland’s first medalist in the event, while China’s Qieyang Shenjie finished third (1:27:56) to claim the third medal of her career at the World Championships .
In the men’s 20km walk, Japan’s Toshikazu Yamanishi successfully defended his title with a scorching finish in the scorching heat of Eugene, covering the last kilometer in 3:41 (he clocked 19:10 for the 5km closing) to win in 79:07 by seven seconds behind compatriot Koki Ikeda. Sweden’s Perseus Karlström became the first Scandinavian medalist in the 20km walk, finishing third in 79:18.
Bradshaw’s exit is a blow to Britain
Team Great Britain suffered a major blow when Olympic bronze medalist Holly Bradshaw opted out of the women’s pole vault qualifier ‘as a precaution’ after falling when her pole vaulted is broken in the middle of the jump during the warm-up.
“The last jump of the warm up, my pole snapped in half and then I kind of landed in the box,” she said. “It’s a bit of a blur for me because I was spinning and landed quite high on the back of my neck.
“I didn’t land on the floor, but I slid and did a little number on my back. At first I had pain in my wrist from the vibrations from the breakup then something happened with my hamstring that I was striding [at] 70% okay, but when I tried to increase the intensity to over 80% I couldn’t. »
On the track, Tokyo silver medalist Laura Muir and Katy Snowden advanced to the women’s 1500m semi-final, but Melissa Courtney-Bryant’s championships are over.
Britain’s throwers also had mixed fortunes, as Commonwealth champion Nick Miller advanced to the fourth World Championship hammer final of his career with a season-best 77.13m, while Sophie McKinna, Amelia Strickler and Scott Lincoln made early exits from their respective teams. shot put qualifying competitions.
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