This is Sam Fariss’s first piece on the 2023 World Outdoor Athletics Championships for day one, which is August 19, 2023.
Budapest WACs 2023 Day 1: Ethiopia sweeps the women’s 10,000
BUDAPEST – The first day of the Budapest World Athletics Championships was filled with disappointing falls and great successes. Four finals took place, including the men’s race walking event, men’s shot put, the mixed 4×400 meter relay, and the women’s 10,000 meters. Ethiopia came out in dominant fashion sweeping the top three spots of the race.
In the 10,000m, the finish was rather dramatic, as the nearly full stadium witnessed three Ethiopians kicking madly to catch Sifan Hassan, who was attempting to triple at the Budapest 2023 Champs. She came within 50 meters of winning her first medal; however, as Gudaf Tsegay charged along Hassan, the Dutch star collapsed and finally got across the lane eleven places later.
Gudaf Tsegay, 26-year-old Ethiopian and now two-time world champion, crossed the finish line first, just seconds ahead of her compatriots. Tsegay finished in just 31:27.18, two minutes shy of her personal best in the event. She was closely followed by Letesenbet Gidey and Ejgayehu Taye, who finished at the 31:28.16 and 31:28.31 marks, respectively.
Gidey’s finish was a season-best for the 25-year-old, who came in first in the race at last year’s world championships in Eugene. Taye, just 23 years old, has yet to earn gold on the world stage but has previously represented her country in both the Olympics and the Indoor World Athletics Championships as well.
In fourth place, Irine Jepchumba Kimais earned a season-best of 31:32.19 and was only 0.10 seconds ahead of United States’ Alicia Monson, who earned fifth. Monson’s American teammate Elise Cranny, who finished first at the USATF championships, came in 12th place, just two spots ahead of fellow American Natasha Rogers.
“I just tried to keep putting myself in it,” Monson said. “I was there with a lap to go, which was my primary goal… and I fought for every spot, so I’m proud of it.”
Rounding out the top eight places were Kenya’s Agnes Jebet Ngetich, Japan’s Ririka Hironaka, and Great Britain’s Jessica Warner-Judd. Ngetich was accompanied in the top 10 by Kenyan Grace Loibach Nawowuna, who came in 9th place. Uganda’s Sarah Chelangat landed in 10th with a time of 31:40.04, her season best.
Sifan Hassan, World Champs 2019, photo by Getty Images for World Athletics
Looking at other notable competitors in the field, track fans must applaud Sifan Hassan, a Dutch athlete, who competed in the qualifying rounds of the women’s 1500 meters just six and a half hours ahead of the 10,000. Hassan fell short of her goal to medal in the 10k, landing in 11th place. She has also entered the women’s 5000 meters which will take place during the afternoon session of the eighth day.
To highlight the other finals that occurred on the first day of competition, Spain’s Alvaro Martin earned gold in the men’s 20,000-meter race walk with a world-leading time of 1:17:32, followed by Sweden’s Perseus Karlstrom, and Brazil’s Caio Bonfim who each earned national records.
In the men’s shot put field, fans are unlikely to be surprised by Ryan Crouser’s 23.51-meter throw for gold. Italian Leonardo Fabbri and compatriot Joe Kovacs joined him on the podium. Crouser’s toss earned a meet record, while Fabbri’s best for the day was his personal best.
Lastly, the mixed 4×400 meter relay did not lack excitement, even in the last fifteen meters of the race. The United States seemed destined for victory, but Netherland’s Femke Bol kept the competition tight before leaning just slightly too much and falling only moments ahead of the finish line. Team USA was composed of Justin Robinson, Rosey Effiong, Matthew Boling, and Alexis Holmes.