Over 1700 athletes from almost 200 countries gathered in Oregon to compete at The World Athletic Championships. The weather was optimal for the worlds best track and field athletes to compete. This year the record for the number of countries that won gold was broken with a total of 29 countries winning gold medals.
The United States of America (USA) earned 33 medals in total, breaking the record for medals won at a single championship. An impressive 13 of those medals were gold and the USA achieved medal sweeps in the men’s 100m, 200m and shot-put events.
Sydney McLaughlin, a 22-year-old American track star, broke the 400-meter world record to win the gold medal at the World Athletics Championships. Fascinatingly enough, it was her own record that she broke. McLaughlin sped around the track, flew over 10 hurdles, and coasted across the finish line with a time of 50.68 seconds besting her previous world record time of 51.41. At this rate McLaughlin is truly in competition with herself as she’s broken multiple world records this year alone.
With a time of 50.68, McLaughlin established herself as the first woman to finish a 400m hurdle race in under 51 seconds.
“The time is absolutely amazing, and the sport is getting faster and faster,” McLaughlin said after her race, as reported by the World Athletics website. “Just figuring out what barriers can be broken. I only get faster from here.”
She went on to say, “I executed the race the way Bobby (Kersee, her coach) wanted me to. I knew coming home that if I just kept my cadence and stayed on stride pattern, we could do it and it happened.”
“The level in the 400m hurdles is certainly improving. We have a full group of girls that are willing to push our bodies to the next level and we are seeing times drop,” McLaughlin also added.
During the final event of the World Athletics Championships Oregon22, McLaughlin lent her speed as the anchor to the women’s 4×400 relay team. The team was comprised of national champion Talitha Diggs (50.50 split), Abby Steiner (48.88 split), who ran 57 races this year (nearly triple the number of races on typical runs in a season), Britton Wilson (49.39 split), and McLaughlin (47.91 split).
“I am so proud,” McLaughlin said. “This is the next generation of Team USA stepping up to the plate. We have to continue pushing the boundaries of what we can do. I am grateful for this opportunity. I have become comfortable, and we have a bright future ahead of us.”
Other highlights from the Championship include the women’s 4×100 upset in which the USA team (Jefferson, Steiner, Prandini, and Terry) ran 41.14 to take the gold medal. Noah Lyles won a gold medal in the men’s 200m event, breaking Michael Johnson’s 1996 Olympic record with a time of 19.31. This was a redemptive and important win for Lyles, who has high expectations for himself, after the heartbreak of 3rd place finish at the Tokyo Olympics.
“I was true in form for a world record, but I am OK with the American record,” Lyles explained after the race. “I literally had nothing left after I crossed the finish line.”
Fred Kerley, a 27-year-old Texas native, led the men’s 100m sweep finishing in first place with a time of 9.86. Kerley was followed by Marvin Bracy-Williams and Trayvon Bromell who won silver and bronze.
“We said we were going to do it and we did it,” Kerley said after the win of his first individual global title. “USA baby!”
“All three of us wanted the gold,” Bromell explained. “I’m just happy we could get the sweep at home.”