Marcel Jacobs dethrones Christian Coleman, photo by Getty Images by World Athletics
Deji Ogeyingbo writes a column a day during the World Indoor Championships, and on day three, he will write two columns. This is his observations on day two.
Jacobs dethrones Coleman over the 60m by the finest of margins, Miller-Uibo still remains the queen of the one-lap event and a shock loss for Olympic Champion Crouser
Day 2 of the World Indoor Championships in Belgrade provided us with some interesting subplots with the men’s 60m the climax, one that saw Italian Marcel Jacobs emerge victorious. Meanwhile, Shaunae Miller-Uibo went about her business with so much ease as she claimed the 400m title while Ryan Crouser suffered a rare loss.
Larmont Marcel Jacobs proves his Olympic 100m title wasn’t a fluke with a win in the men’s 60m final
Marcell Jacobs, photo by Getty Images for World Athletics
Lamont Marcel Jacobs had once proved to the world that he is capable of rising up to a challenge when the odds are stacked up against him by snatching up the opportunity when he won Olympic Gold. Seven months later after so much talk about him not competing afterward, he has shut the mouth of his critics by storming to gold at the World Indoor Championships in Serbia.
It didn’t come easy. Those long moments of waiting after he crossed the line at the same time as Christian Coleman must have brought huge trepidation in his heart. Did he beat me? What would people say? Am I a one-season wonder? Pretty sure some of those thoughts would have crossed his mind as he and the American’s eyes were fixated on the screen inside the stark arena.
6.41s popped up, then Marcel Jacobs followed. What a relief. He celebrated with his hands up in the air. Although casually, deep down, it meant more to him. He had just dethroned the World Indoor and Outdoor Champion by a thousand of a second in a new Personal Best and World-leading time whiles also becoming the first reigning Olympic 100m champion to claim the world indoor 60m crown.
Christian Coleman, USATF 2022 Indoor, photo by Kevin Morris
What does this mean for Coleman? He was seen as untouchable over the 60m. He was the only athlete in the entire field to have run inside 6.4s prior to the championships, yet he was beaten by a man, who until last year’s European indoor win in Torun was still viewed by the wider audience as a Long Jumper.
If you fall on the bandwagon to look at a glass cup as half full, rather than half-empty, it’s worth noting that he has just raced four times this year prior to the World Champs and he’s still getting into form. To run 6.41 still doesn’t look bad, and is one that you can still build your momentum going outdoors.
Regardless, for the neutrals, this just reignites a rivalry over the shorter sprints that we want for the sport. We had Usain Bolt vs Justin Gatlin in the last decade, and now, we might have just seen the start of a Coleman vs Jacobs rivalry.
Shaunae Miller-Uibo comes out tops in the battle of styles in the women’s 400m final
Shaunae Miller-Uibo, photo by Getty Images for World Athletics
We all know Shaunae Miller-Uibo is special. She went into the World Indoor championships with no form at all, but that didn’t count when it matters most, because she has a knack for rising up when the occasion is loudest, especially over the 400m. These are the moment she was made for and she delivered a performance for the ages. Easy peasy.
In what was a battle against Dutch Femke Ball’s endurance ability, most observers were certain Miller-Uibo will get across the halfway point in front. What was in doubt was if she could handle the endurance of Bol’s finishing ability, considering the peculiarities of indoor track, too.
All of that didn’t matter in the end. The Bahamian was in cruise control from start to finish. Poetry in motion as she clocked a new Season’s Best of 50.31. Now she would set her sights outdoors, hoping to right the wrong of Doha 2019 where she got beat by Salwa Eid Naser.
Femke Bol on her part is on an unbelievable trajectory to glory even though she came up short against a better athlete on the night as she took Silver in a modest 50.57s. After yesterday’s semis in which she lost to Jamaica’s Stephanie Ann McPherson and said “”My legs just went”. “I’m just not used to being pushed at the end, there was a strong inclination already that she was going to come up short in the final.
What the hell happened to Ryan Crouser?
Ryan Crouser explains it all, Belgrade 2022 pre-event presser, by Getty Images for World Athletics
Who was going to stop Ryan Crouser was the question on everyone’s lips going into the shotput final in Belgrade? Brazil’s Darlan Romani had the answer as he launched his implement to a Championship Record of 22.53m to take the men’s Shot-Put title in Belgrade.
The winning mark was never going to be less if you were to dethrone an enigma like Crouser. Romani had played fourth fiddle to the big-three of Tom Walsh, Joe Kovacs, and Crouser for the better part of the last four years. It was his time to shine.
But back to Crouser. How did he suffer such a rare loss? For the past two years, the world record holder and Olympic champion has been unstoppable in the last two years. He also broke the indoor world record with 22.82m, the outdoor world record with 23.37m, and won all 14 events he contested. Surprisingly, it was his first appearance at a World Indoor Championships.
Crouser was only able to manage a 22.44m throw, one that at the stage of his career looks like what he would reach in trained. He just wasn’t able to pull himself together. Maybe the aftermath of the failed recording device at the Millrose games was still playing in his mind? We can never tell. But one thing is certain, he buckled under the pressure and he needs to make amends for it outdoors in Oregon.
Ukraine’s Yaroslava Mahuchikh brought tears to our eyes
Yaroslava Mahuchikh, photo by Getty Images for World Athletics
It was an emotional victory for Ukraine’s Yaroslava Mahuchikh, who despite the war going on in her country, as she stormed to gold in the women’s high jump with a first-time clearance of 2.02m. It was a moment that must have brought a tear down the eyes of people watching. Weeks back, she was fleeing out of her country after hearing sounds of bombings, and now, she’s a world Champion.
That’s the beauty of our sport. It can transcend barriers. One which it did inside the Stark Arena on Saturday.