This is the second part of Deji Ogeyingbo’s feature on the Top 10 Female stand-out performances from the outdoor season in each event, number 5 to number 1. Deji has spent a lot of time putting these performances together, and it gives us some time to show a bit more respect to the amazing season that was 2022.
Top 10 Female stand-out performances from the outdoor season in each event – (5-1)
Last time out, we started our countdown to the top 10 female performances of the outdoor season in 2022, highlighting the biggest races that put these women on the global map in track and field.
The list isn’t exhaustive, but using criteria such as the competition ranking, ranking points accumulated by the athlete, and broken records, we were able to draw up this list to give a better perspective on their stand-out performances this year.
5. Eilish McColgan (Women’s 10,000m at the Commonwealth Games)
How does one compete against the Ethiopians and the Kenyans at the elite level in distance running? It’s an age-old question that very few athletes have been able to find answers to. But one performance that stands tall in the grand scheme of things with regard to this question was when Scottish runner Eilish McColgan upset the apple carts to win Gold over the 10,000m at this year’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
In the final, the 31-year-old from Dundee took the title with a masterclass in long-distance running, setting the pace for much of the race before being overtaken by the Kenyan duo Irene Cheptai and Sheila Kiprotich. However, Kiprotich wilted at the business end, leaving it a straight matchup between McColgan and Cheptai, with the Scot timing her charge perfectly to retake the lead on the final bend and powered to victory.
McColgan’s time of 30:48:60 set a new Games record, easily eclipsing the previous best mark – the 31:27.83 recorded by Kenya’s Salina Kosgei two decades ago. Her achievements are even more impressive given that she has had to deal with Covid and a series of injuries this year prior to the Games. McColgan emulates the Commonwealth Games Gold title won by her mum Liz, who took the crown in Edinburgh in 1986 and Auckland in 1990.
4. Shericka Jackson (Women’s 200m final in Oregon)
After missing out on the women’s 200m semifinals at the Tokyo Olympics by just four-thousandths of a second, Shericka Jackson needed to make amends at this year’s world championships. And all her races were a perfect build-up to this one big moment in Oregon where she produced a performance of poise and gusto.
With a strong start and an even stronger finish, the 28-year-old left a stacked field in her wake, blazing to the second-fastest 200m of all time to get her first individual global gold in an astonishing 21.45s.
Narrowly behind her Jamaican compatriot Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce – the now five-time world 100m champion – at halfway, Jackson found another gear down the home straight. Pulling away in the second half of her race, she was unchallenged as she reached the finish line to an eruption from the Hayward Field crowd, breaking the championship record ahead of Fraser-Pryce in 21.81 and Britain’s defending champion Dina Asher-Smith in 22.02.
This was sweet redemption for the now second-quickest 200m runner of all time, who sits behind only Florence Griffith-Joyner (21.34) in the list of all-time fastest 200m runners.
3. Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce (Women’s 100m at the Monaco Diamond League)
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce ran her second fastest 100m ever as she clocked 10.62 – just 0.02 off the lifetime best she set last year, which moved her to third on the all-time list – in a race of stupendous quality that saw her fellow Jamaican, world 200m champion Shericka Jackson, lower her personal best to 10.71 in second place.
One place behind, the Ivory Coast’s 33-year-old Marie-Josee Ta Lou, who has been running at this level for a dozen years, set an Area record of 10.72, with Aleia Hobbs of the United States equalling her personal best of 10.81 in fourth place.
Since winning her fifth world 100m title in Eugene in July, the 35-year-old Fraser-Pryce ran 10.66, 10.67, and now 10.62 in the space of five days and went on to claim the Diamond League trophy in Zurich. However, this performance in Monaco stands tall amongst them all.
2. Tobi Amusan (Women’s 100mH final in Oregon)
If one race stirred controversy during the World championships, it has to be the semifinals of the women’s 100m Hurdles in which Nigeria’s Tobi Amusan competed. It pitted the Nigerian against former world record holder Kendra Harrison. The immediate aftermath saw Amusan break the world record and clocked 12.12s to win the race. And as expected, many onlookers questioned the legitimacy of the time as there were whispers about the timer malfunctioning.
What was to happen next to Amusan in the next two hours was going to be special. The two-time African Champion pitted herself against her eternal rival and defending Olympic Champion, Jasmine Camacho-Quinn. Harrison was in the mix, too.
The final saw Amusan explode out of the blocks with authority like she did in the semis and left no margin for error, running clear of Harrison after the 4th hurdle. She kept her cool, got off the drive phase, and continued to streak away from the rest of the field to clock a wind-aided 12.06s (+2.5m/s) to win Gold. Jamaican Britany Anderson tried to keep up with the Commonwealth Games Champion and was rewarded for her efforts with the Silver in 12.23s, as Camacho-Quinn settled for Bronze with the same time.
Amusan became Nigeria’s first and only World Champion in Athletics. Following in the footsteps of former African Record (AR) holder Glory Alozie who became the first Nigerian and African to win a medal in the 100m Hurdles at the World Championships.
1. Sydney McLaughlin (Women’s 400mH final in Oregon)
How much faster can Sydney McLaughlin run in the 400m Hurdles? It was the question on everyone’s lip heading into the world championships. Super Sydney made sure the record was broken again. The major challengers were her two major rivals, USA’s former world record-holder Dalilah Muhammad and Netherlands’ Olympic bronze medallist Femke Bol. To be fair, they became spectators in what was a race against time for the 22-year-old.
For the fourth time in her remarkable 400m hurdles career, McLaughlin broke the world record, obliterating her previous best with 50.68 in the final in Oregon, shaving 0.73 from her previous world record, set on the same track less than a month earlier. She left her rivals – including two of the three fastest hurdlers the world has ever seen – with no response as she won her first world title in the event by more than one-and-a-half seconds.
It’s a performance that will be looked at by all other 400m hurdlers, and indeed fans of the sport, as something out of this world, and that’s exactly what it is – to everyone but Sydney McLaughlin.
What have you made of our list so far? Do you think there was a more worthy performance by a female athlete in the outdoor season that should have made the top 10? Let us know in the comment section.
Thanks for reading part 2!
This is part 1 of our two-part piece on Top Ten Female Peformances in 2022.