This is the first column by Stuart Weir on the World Athletics Championships, which I missed in the posting of our coverage. My apologies to Stuart Weir for the delay.
So Oregon 22 is underway, albeit a year late. The first three medals have been awarded. The day started slowly but ended with a bang. Geoff Wightman as lead commentator throughout the day maintained his usual balance of fun and seriousness. We await a starter showing a green card to a group of athletes so that Geoff can inform them that they may now legally work in the USA!
In the morning, we had qualifications for men’s and women’s hammers, men’s high jump, and the preliminary round of the men’s 100m. In the evening prelims of men’s and women’s shot, men’s long jump and on the track women’s 1500, men’s steeplechase and 100m. The narrative of the day is supposed to be that all the favorites progress happily to the final, where the real action starts, but it doesn’t always happen like that!
The preliminary round of the 100m saw 28 athletes (from 28 countries) who lacked the qualifying standard battling for 14 places alongside Kerley, Coleman et al. Emmanuel Archibald of Guyana was fastest in 10.31. While performances in the heats don’t mean anything, Fred Kerley (9.79) and Trayvon Bromell (9.89) made their intentions clear! Seven men dipped under 10 seconds.
In the high jump, both the joint Olympic Champions qualified for the final but by different routes. Mutaz Essa Barshim needed just three jumps, whereas Gianmarco Tamberi needed three attempts at 2.25 and a further three at 2.28.
Kimberley Garcia Leon won the women’s 20k walk to make Peru the first nation to win a gold medal. Toshikazu Yamanishi won the men’s race for Japan.
The shock of the evening was Tajay Gayle of Jamaica, the reigning World Long Jump Champion, exiting the competition with three fouls.
The Dominican Republic were surprised winners of the Mixed Relay – see separate post.
The crowd was enthusiastic and loud, but the stadium was far from full. Katie Nageotte and Sandi Morris both told me that the atmosphere was awesome and surpassed their expectations. And that was only day 1!