Modern Athlete Magazine Issue 161 September 2023 | Page 16

Modern Athlete ’ s coverage of the 2023 World Athletics Championships is brought to you by PUMA South Africa , who sponsored the travel and accommodation costs of our two journalists at the meet , Karien Jonkheere and Norrie Williamson , as well as this post-event coverage .

What a World Champs !

( Just not for South Africa …)

The 2023 World Athletics Championships took place in Budapest , Hungary in the last week of August , and what an incredible meet it turned out to be ! We saw nine days of World Records , Championship Records , Area Records , National Records , season bests and personal bests , watched enthralling competitions and incredible moments of sporting camaraderie , and basked in what was one of the best World Champs meets of all time . ( OK , it wasn ’ t so good from a South African perspective , but that aside , it was a great meet .) Modern Athlete had two reporters at the event , courtesy of PUMA South Africa , doing daily coverage and interviews , and now it ’ s time for a look back at some of the highlights of wonderful week of athletics action . – BY SEAN FALCONER & WORLD ATHLETICS

The World Athletics Championships Budapest 23 will live long in the memory of track and field fans . A record total of 2100 athletes from 195 countries ( plus the Athlete Refugee Team ) descended on the Hungarian capital , and they were watched by more than 400,000 ticketed spectators from 120 countries , plus millions around the world watching on television or livestreaming . The athletes responded by producing one World Record , one World U20 Record , seven Championship Records , 11 Area / Continental Records and 73 National Records .

The heightened competitiveness provided enormous drama in the field events in particular , where 13 athletes across eight events recorded their best mark in the final round of competition to improve their positions , five of them clinching the gold medal with their new PB jump or throw . Meanwhile , US sprinters Noah Lyles and Sha ’ Carri Richardson , Kenyan middle distance star Faith Kipyegon , Dutch 400m hurdles specialist Femke Bol and dominant Spanish walkers Alvaro Martin and Maria Perez emerged as multiple title winners .
Standout Performers
Lyles claimed the men ’ s 100m and 200m double and anchored the USA men ’ s 4x100m relay team to victory , for a haul of three gold medals , while Richardson
set a Championship Record of 10.65 seconds to win her first global title in the women ’ s 100m , took the bronze medal in the 200m , then anchored the USA team to a second Championship Record in the women ’ s 4x100m relay . Bol completed a drama-filled nine days by anchoring the Dutch women ’ s 4x400m team to a last-gasp victory in the final event , having fallen within metres of the finish line in the 4x400m mixed relay on the first night , and in between that she won her first individual World Title in the 400m hurdles .
Kipyegon clinched a historic double , becoming the first woman to win both the 1500m and 5000m at the World Athletics Championships after breaking the World Records over both distances this year . Spanish race walkers Martin and Perez recorded an unprecedented gold medal sweep by one country , as they won both the 20km and 35km race walk events for men and women respectively .
Venezuela ’ s Yulimar Rojas won her fourth World Title in the triple jump , after just scraping into the final round of jumps and then clinching the gold medal with her last jump after looking out of the running , while Lyles ( 200m ), Kipyegon ( 1500m ), Joshua Cheptegei ( 10,000m ), Grant Holloway ( 110m hurdles ) and Karsten Warholm ( 400m hurdles ) all claimed a third World Title in their core event .
World Champs Firsts
These World Champs also delivered a number of remarkable firsts in terms of the history of the World Athletics Championships :
• Neeraj Chopra won India ’ s first gold medal , in the men ’ s javelin .
• Hugues Fabrice Zango won Burkina Faso ’ s first gold medal , in the men ’ s triple jump .
• Ivana Vuleta won Serbia ’ s first gold medal , in the women ’ s long jump .
• First shared gold medal at the World Championships – Katie Moon ( USA ) and Nina Kennedy ( AUS ) in the women ’ s pole vault .
• First shared bronze medal at the World Championships in the in the men ’ s pole vault – Chris Nilsen ( USA ) and Kurtis Marschall ( AUS ).
• Botswana ’ s Letsile Tebogo ( bronze ) became the first African man to win a medal in the 100m .
• Haruka Kitaguchi became the first Japanese athlete to win the women ’ s javelin – and she ’ ll have the opportunity to defend her title before her home crowd in Tokyo in 2025 .
• Canada won both men ’ s and women ’ s hammer throw titles , and four gold medals in total , for the first time .
• Ernest Obiena ’ s silver in the men ’ s pole vault is the best result for the Philippines at the World Championships .
• First medals for Pakistan ( Arshad Nadeem ’ s silver in the men ’ s javelin ) and
Images : Christian Petersen / Getty Images , Stephen Pond / Getty Images
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