What a race!
Everyone was watching Ewa Swoboda, but she had a rough start. Mikiah Brisco and Marybeth Sant Price were dueling it out on the inside. On the outside, all by here lonesome, Mujinga Kambundji had won the race before anyone, including her, knew she had won.
We have observed the Swiss star, who has come up in the ranks and has a quite athletic family. Switzerland is rejoicing with her victory in Belgrade tonight. This piece is from Stuart Weir.
The women’s 60m final, look at Kambundji in lane 8! photo by Getty Images for World Athletics
Mujinga Kambundji wins the WA Indoor 60m! photo by Getty Images for World Athletics
The women’s 60 m
The women’s 60 m always looked an intriguing race. Three rounds in the day. The favorite on paper was Ewa Swoboda, the only person in the field to have gone under 7 seconds – but only just with a 6.99. Then there were the two Americans – Mikiah Brisco and Marybeth Sant-Price, relatively unknown on the world stage but with 2022 PRs of 7.03 and 7.04 respectively. Then there were two Jamaicans – arguably the wrong two Jamaicans – the 19 year old Briana Williams and Tokyo medallist Shericka Jackson. When she ran in Birmingham last month, Elaine Thompson-Herah said she was undecided about the world indoors. And Shelly-Ann also told me last week that she had thought seriously about it. Wouldn’t it have been fun to see those two in Belgrade?
Be careful what you wish for. Mujinga Kambundji seems surprised with her victory! photo by Getty Images for World Athletics
The semi-finals saw Swoboda and Brisco running 7.03, Sant-Price 7.05 to claim the middle Lanes and with six athletes at 7.08 or better.
The final was even better with five of the first six running a PR. Sant-Price, Swoboda, Williams and Jackson all stopped the clock at 7.04. The bronze medal for Sant-Price with the other three fourth to sixth. Mikiah Briscoe run a second PR in the evening but the surprise winner, from the outside lane was from Switzerland.
1 Mujinga Kambundji 6.96
2 Mikaiah Brisco 6.99
3 Marybeth Sant-Price 7.04
4 Ewa Swoboda 7.04
5 Briana Williams 7.04
6 Shericka Jackson 7.04
Mujinga Kambundji, the surprised winner of the 60m, photo by Getty Images for World Athletics
Kambundji commented: “To become the world champion – that sounds beautiful. I am not really thinking now, I did not even realize that this happened and what time I have just run. At the first sight, I was a bit disappointed with lane 8 because usually, I like to run in the middle. To feel the other opponents. But I told to myself, OK, it is how it is. Then I just focused on myself and tried to do my best race and I think I did. The summer season will be exciting and this result gives me a lot of self-confidence that I can have a really good championship also outdoors. I had a good indoor season and I was able to build on it. I was thinking that the gold medal was going to be sub 7 seconds but I did not know what time I could run. I was ready for a PB but I did not expect it so fast. It was so crazy today. The girls were showing great performances already in the morning and I also have to congratulate to them. I knew I was able to put everything right in the right moment and was just looking forward to the race, I was very nervous. Just wanted to see how fast I can run”.
Mujinga Kambundji, the pride of Switzerland, photo by Getty Images for World Athletics
Brisco commented: “I thought I had it because everybody came and gave me a hug. I was like ‘Oh my gosh. And I saw 6.95 pop up and I thought I can’t really have run that. But I’m happy with 6.99. Can you believe that’s the time I wrote down as my target to run this season?”
Mujinga Kambundji just made the whole country of Switzerland smile! photo by Getty Images for World Athletics
Kambundji is 29 but in the form of her life. Remember that she was sixth in the Olympics and ran 10.94 in the Diamond League final. I believe that there is more to come.
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