After an incredible 10 days of competition that drew nearly 150,000 ticketed persons to Eugene, OR, the World Athletics Championships (WAC) for track and field concluded in dramatic style on Sunday, July 24. The final session of the event both began and ended with new world records being set on the premises of the University of Oregon’s renovated Hayward Field.
The final day of the event started off with a bang as Tobi Amusan of Nigeria broke the world record in the women’s 100m hurdles semifinals. Two lanes over, running next to Amusan during the heat, was the event’s previous world record holder, the United States’ own Kenni Harrison. Amusan replaced the previous women’s 100m hurdles records of 12.20 with the new world best of 12.12.
A couple of hours later, Amusan went on to comfortably win the gold medal in the final in an even faster, wind-aided time of 12.06 (+2.5). The world record of 12.12 continues to stand, however, as the tailwind assist in the final race was more than the legal amount allowed during a world record bid (the limit allowed being an advantage of 2 meters per second). Filling out the women’s 100m hurdle winner’s podium was silver-medalist Britany Anderson (Jamaica), who ran a time of 12.23, and bronze-medalist, the event’s defending Olympic champion, Jasmine Camacho-Quinn (Puerto Rico), who ran an identical time Anderson save the separation of just 0.005 seconds.
The evening of July 24 ended in a fashion that was just as exciting as the one in which it had begun: with Sweden’s Mondo Duplantis leaving his peers behind in the men’s pole-vaulting competition to obtain a new world record. Duplantis achieved the staggering vault of 6.21m. It is the fifth time he has improved the world record in this track and field event, but the first time he has done so during an outdoor competition. Chris Nilsen of the U.S. won silver after clearing 5.94m. The bronze medal earned by Ernest Obiena, also in 5.94m, represented the Philippines’ first-ever medal earned at WAC.
The Team Trophy was awarded to the United States, which ended the competition with 33 medals (13 gold, nine silver, 11 bronze). This total broke the record for the number of medals earned at a World Athletic Championships by a single country, and it was made all the sweeter for Team USA because it happened on home soil.