This is David Hunter’s piece on Day 6, which was an amazing day and night of track & field. 

WC / Day Six: Something For Everybody

2023 World Athletics Championships
Budapest, Hungary
August 24, 2023

Looking back, Day Six of the World Athletics Championships had it all: prelims; semis; finals; potential countbacks; damaged golf carts that forced start time changes; redemption for athletes who earlier had underperformed; partisan fans cheering loudly for their countrymen (and countrywomen!); upset winners; disappointed favorites; airhorns; and even festive celebratory bear hugs. It was all there. I hope you found the ones you like.

Miltiadis Tentoglou won gold at Budapest only Championships he did not have a gold from! All Greece rejoices, photo by Kevin Morris

mLJ – Final: This was a riveting contest between two accomplished athletes. Jamaica” ‘s Wayne Pinnock gave notice in the preliminary round with an eye-popping jump of 8.54m/28′ 1/4″, signaling to others that he was ready to roll. The final proved to be a two-man shootout between Pinnick and reigning Olympic champion Miltiadas Tentoglou. Both notched early jumps of 8.50m/27’10’ 3/4″, a stalemate that, as the event droned on, might require a potential count back. As it turned out, the count back was unnecessary when, on his final attempt, Tentoglou unfurled a magnificent leap of 8.52m/27’11 1/2″ to take the sole lead. Pinnock made a valiant effort on his final throw – 8.38m/27’6″ – but it was not enough. Tentoglou got the gold; The silver went to Pinnock, and Jamaica’s Tajay (8.40/27, a former World Champion, earned the bronze. Americans Will Williams (8th) and Marquis Dendy (12th) earned points for the USA.

Oh Canada! Camryn Rogers takes gold in the Hammer Throw! photo by Kevin Morris

wHT – Final: Canada’s Camryn Rogers set the tone with a massive 1st round heave of 77.22/253’4″ – a winning mark she rode all the way to the end of the competition. The USA went 2-3 in this event as Janee Kassanavoid (76.36/250’6″) captured the silver, and DeAnna Price (75.41/247’5″) took the bronze. Price, the World Champion in Doha, later celebrated with bear hugs for all of her competitors.

Danieel Williams, 100m hurdle WC, 2015 and now, 2023! photo by Getty Images for World Athletics

w100m Hurdles – Final: Jamaica’s Danielle Williams pulled off a big upset in the women’s 100m hurdles final, ringing up a season’s best and clocking a winning time of 12.42 while out-racing a star-studded field to the finish line. Reigning Olympic champion Jasmine Camacho-Quinn (12.44) captured the silver, with former world record holder and world leader USA’s Kendra Harrison (12.48) taking the bronze. Current world record-holder Tobi Amusan finished 6th. Nia Ali (12.78) – #2 on the world list – finished last.

Antonio Watson led an incredible upset in the Men’s 400m, photo by Kevin Morris

m400m – Final: The 400-meter finalists were casualties to yet another upset. Jamaica’s Antonio Watson ran a great race, crossing the line in 44.22 and burying a strong field. Mathew Hudson-Smith finished 2nd in 44.31 for the silver medal, while USA’s Quincy Hall (44.37) earned the bronze. USA seasoned veteran Vernon Norwood was only .02 seconds away from the podium when in finished 4th in 44.39; Two former Olympic champions had puzzling races: former Olympic champion Kirani James got out quickly but later was DQ’d for a lane violation. And 400m world record holder Wadye Van Niekerk finished 7th in 45.11.

Femke Bol, photo by Kevin Morris

w400m Hurdles: It was a night of redemption for the Netherlands’ Femke Bol. The bad taste left over from the 4x400m mixed relay final (when a wobbly finish and baton drop in the final doomed the Netherlands) was completely gargled away when Bol, the world leader in this event and #2 on the all-time list, dominated from starting gun to the finish line. Out quickly, Bol sped to an early lead that allowed her to lock into her regular rhythm all the way to the tape, finishing in 51.70. Finishing powerfully for the silver was USA’s Shamier Little. The former Texas A&M star, #2 on the world list and #5 on the world all-time list, clocked in at 52.80. Capturing the bronze was yet another Jamaican – Rushell Clayton – who crossed in a personal best of 52.81.

Trackside Tidbits

m5000m – Prelim: Separate bunched finishes featured the athletes moving on to Sunday’s final. Spain’s Mohamed Katir won Group One 13:35.90. Other qualifiers included Eithiopia’s Hagos Gebrhiwet; and Norway’s Jakob Ingebrigtsen, rebounding from his silver medal performance in the men’s 1500m. The two Americans – Abdiramid Nur and Paul Chelimo – also qualified. The 8 qualifiers in Group One all finished within a span of less than 70 seconds. Group Two was much the same, with Luis Grijalva grabbing the win in 13:32.72. Other notables included Ethiopia’s Yomif Kejelcha and Canada’s Mohammed Ahmed. The Group Two qualifiers all finished within less than 80 seconds. The 16 finalists will race for the medals on Sunday’s closing day.

w200m – Semi: Of the 26 semi-finalists, 8 will advance to Friday’s final. The strongest quintet (and their semi-final times) appear to be Gabby Thomas (21.97); Shericka Jackson (22.00); Julien Alfred (22.17); Sha’Carri Richardson (22.20); and Marie-Josee Ta Lou. Any three of that group (and in no special order..) could well be on the podium Friday night.

m200m – Semi: Unlike the upcoming women’s furlong, the men’s 200-meter final has a standout performer: Noah Lyles. He looked terrific in the semi: roaring around the curve with speed like no other and controlled speed on the homestretch. The outcome: 19.76. A performance like that has some whispering about whether or not Lyles could break Bolt’s world record of 19.19. Good luck, Tebogo, Bednarek, De Grasse, Knighton and others. But I think you may be racing for silver and bronze.

m800m – Semi: Canada’s Marco Arop certainly appears to be the standout. In his semi, he made his 1:44.02 look easy. Kenya’s Emmanuel Wanyonyi, #2 on the world list, had the fastest time in the semi, and he looks ready to go. Algeria’s Slimane Moula ran an impressive race and had the second-fastest time at 1:43.38. Bryce Hoppel, who ran 1:44.04 to just make the final, will be the lone American in Saturday’s final. / Dave Hunter /