The World Championships just finished day six, and each day has been spectacular. In my Deep Thoughts, I am taking a few minutes to consider the previous nights of Track Nirvana.
Burkina Faso has a gold medalist, and his name is Hughes Fabrice Zango. Powerful, with strong technique, Hughes Fabrice Zango broke the World Indoor record on January 16, 2021, with his 18.07m hop, skip and jump. Zango has won Olympic medals and WC medals, but not gold, and he was not who many expected to win. Jaydon Hibbert had been the talk around the world. Jaydon Hibbert was injured on his first attempt, and U20WR was out of the competition. Lazaro Martinez comes from Cuba, where they learn to triple jump first, then salsa. Martinez jumped 17.41m, one centimeter farther than Italian new TJ stallion Cristian Napoles, who scored a PB of 17.40m for the bronze.
Men’s Discus: Note to self, never bet against the Big Swede, Daniel Stahl. So, the discus had been kind of mundane. Mkyolas Alekna, from Lithuania, where the water makes them big discus throwers, was in bronze position with 68.85m. Stahl was in silver, Kristjan Ceh had been in the lead, and only Ceh and Stahl were left to throw in round six. Ceh goes 70.02m, and that party seems to be over. But Daniel Stahl has other ideas! The HUGE SWEDE just lets er rip, and that ancient sporting implement went 71.46 meters, just once centimer past Stahl’s PB. And now, this is why the throw went viral. On the video, one sees Ceh smiling as Stahl spells out SWEDEN on his shirt and then does this kneeling thing that looks like MC Hammer praying-it was magnificent!
Men’s 110m hurdles. Grant Holloway is focused, and please, do not get him mad. RESPECT. In Tokyo 2021, Grant let up on hurdles 6-10, and Hansle Parchment went by, taking gold. Grant has played that through his head about 30,000 times. But, it has made him better. He won the 2022 World Outdoors, his second WC outdoor title. He had a World Indoor title from 2022 as well. Well, in Budapest, the guy was flawless, and in the final, it was as if no one was in the race, and he ran 12.96 to take his third World Champs outdoors, with Hansle Parchment, Olympic champ, in silver, 13.07 and Daniel Robert, US champ in bronze. Now, Grant is looking to Paris.
Women’s 100m: The rumors were many. Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce was ready, Shericka Jackson was also read, and Marie-Jose Ta-Lou had won 10 races at 100m in 2023. What about Sha’Carri Richardson? Was she ready for the big time? Sha’Carri told the media, ” I am not back, I am better.” Few listened. In the final, running from lane 9, Sha’Carri Richardson moved herself with that tiny but powerful stride, past all of the field, and in the last 30 meters dominated the field, running 10.65, a championship record with Shericka Jackson in silver and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce taking bronze, her 15th WC medal, surpassing Usain Bolt. Watch for Sha’Carri in the 200 meters!
Hungary has delivered! From the magnificent National Athletics Centre, this country of 9 million has provided big crowds, modest hotel prices, modest food prices, and some taxi drivers who take advantage of situations. But, in 99.9 percent of the time, a tourist/fan will truly enjoy a visit to the jewel of Central Europe, Budapest, Hungary.