This is the first piece by Sam Fariss on the World Athletics Championships. She will be doing a daily column on the World Championships.
Off to the final races
By Sam Fariss
At 9:05 a.m. in Eugene, Oregon, the World Athletics Outdoor Championships kicked off with the first group of men’s hammer throw qualifications. With a crisp 62º start to the day, the weather forecast looked stunning for everything from the field events to the mixed 4×400 meter relays to the race walks unfolding throughout the day.
With only three finals occurring on day one of the ten-day affair, many people were setting their focus on the last event of the day; the mixed 4×400 meter relay final set to start at 7:50 p.m., which, if Team USA qualified, was going to be Allyson Felix’s final lap around the historic Hayward Field track.
Felix, turning to Instagram, shared a collection of photos with the caption, simply trying to put words to feelings, which said, “There have been more tears than celebrations, more doubt than confidence, more prayer than trash talking….”
As the minutes leading up to the race passed, the world of track fans turned their televisions to watch Felix, the most decorated track and field athlete of all time.
Felix rounded the final 200-meter curve with a good distance to go, and the Hayward Field fanbase erupted. The fans love Felix, and you could see the appreciation in her face.
Thirteen golds, three silvers, and three bronze in the World Championships
“I felt the love tonight; the support has been incredible” that was all Felix needed to say as she represented her nation well one last time.
The United States finished third in the relay with a time of 3:10:16, a season-best for the nation – Felix’s 400-meter split was an incredible 50.15 seconds.
Outside of the mixed 4×400 meter relay race on the opening day of the international meet, there were many athletes that deserve more than a round of applause.
With the incredible victory for her country in the women’s 20-kilometer race walk, Kimberly García León earned a gold medal for her home country at a time of 1:26:58 – a national record for Peru.
Secondly, in the men’s 20-kilometer race walk was the victorious Japanese race walker, Toshikazu Yamanishi, who finished in an astounding 1:19:07, which was his season best for the year.
With nine days remaining in the international meeting, it is set for there to be more surprises, more upsets, and most certainly more medals remaining.