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.
The Men’s High Jump brought Gianmarco Tambieri his gold medal, and all of Italy rejoiced! The competition was tremendous, and it came down to Mutaz Essa Barshim, World leader and 3 time World Champion, JuVaugh Harrison, USA, this amazing, brilliant athlete who can High Jump and Long Jump with the best in the world, and the half beard of Italian Gianmarco Tamberi. Mutaz bowed out at 2.33m, and it was Tambieri and Harrison both clearing 2.36m and coming oh so close to 2.38m. Both tired, Tamberi tried half-heartedly at 2.40m. How did they choose a winner? Tambieri had a miss at 2.25m. Harrison did not miss until 2.36m, which took two attempts, and that was it. But the fans who watched the High Jump were boisterous and loved the jumpers.
Women’s Discus: As Yogi Berra said, “It is not over until it is over.” Valerie Allman, AR holder at 71.46m, looked solid for gold, a two-medal improvement from Eugene. US thrower Laulauga Tausaga then lets her fifth throw and improves FOUR METERS. I am not making this up to 69.49m, just 26 centimeters ahead of Valerie Allman. Valerie Allman responded with a fine 68.61m throw, but the damage had been done. Tausage threw 68.31m, her second-best throw ever on his sixth. The US goes gold and silver, and defending champ Bin Feng, CHN was bronze in 68.20m.
Women’s 1,500m: Faith Kipyegon is the best 1,500m in the universe. Sifan Hassan is a Beastmaster. Faith Kipyegon took the pace through 65.4 at 400m and 2:11 at 800 m. She had begun to pick it up and ran the last 800m in 1:59.83! Kipyegon won gold in 3:54.87. Sifan Hassan, who had already run 10,000m, rushed Diribe Welteji,and Welteji took silver in 3:55.69 with Sifan Hassan in 3:56.00. Ireland’s Ciara Mageean ran 3:56.61 NR for 4th and was heartbroken. It was hot and humid. Humans were not meant to race 1,500m in those conditions.
Men’s Steeplechase: Athletes honor each other by going all out. El Bakkali and Girma dueled. The pace was okay, 2:50 for 1k, 2:45 for 2k, and 2:28 for the final kilometer. In fact, El Bakkali and Girma broke away with 300 meters, with Girma pushing and El Bakkali waiting. Using his spectacular barrier form, the Moroccan built five meters on Girma just on the last water jump. Running like a man possessed, Soufianne El Bakkali took gold in 8:03.33, Lamencha Girma, ETH, 8:05.44, and Abraham Kibiwot, KEN, 8:11.38 for bronze.
The fans here at World Champs are from all over the world! Strong fan groups from Greece, Italy, Ireland, the UK, and the US are seen, along with a huge Hungarian sports fan base. Why? Tickets, hotels, and meal prices were not usurious. The fans cheer, scream, and roar with great competitions; each day has great competition!