The 2023 World Athletics Championships began Saturday with unexpected outcomes — it’s why the meeting is intriguing. The women’s 10,000m provided drama, 25 laps of patience exhibited and metres before the finish line pre-race favourite Sifan Hassan landed on the track with an almighty thud. The fervour continued, as the 4x400m mixed offered excitement too. Femke Bol had the anchor leg in control for gold, but like teammate Hassan landed face-first just metres from the finish. Ryan Crouser came up as big as he stands at 6’7″ and over 300 pounds in the shot put, clinching gold. Alvaro Martin triumphed in the men’s 20km race walk.

Women’s 10,000m

The field was stacked with Ethiopians Gudaf Tsegay and Letesenbet Giday, Sifan Hassan from the Netherlands and American Alicia Monson, and three Kenyans led by Agnes Ngetich to name a few.

The first half of the 25-lap was slow. Tactical and no one, not Giday the world record holder at 29:01.03 or Sifan Hassan the defending World Champion, not Tsegay, who is always in the mix wanted to make a race out of it. The pace continued to be meted out conservatively and really only came down to the final lap. While Monson is currently the fastest American, her personal best is a minute outside of the leaders, yet she was with them in the final lap.

Coming around the final bend, the effort was now, finally, etched on the faces of the top athletes. Giday again wanted to unleash her kick. She has never had one. She has been outsprinted head-to-head in nearly every race when it comes down to it. When she wins, it is about her taking the pace out early and holding fast throughout. Her sitting in the pack in Budapest was a big mistake. Teammate Tsegay took to lane two to go around her in her attempt to catch Hassan who had picked her way through the long single-file line of athletes over the final lap, now she was headed for gold. Tsegay got up on her shoulder, and twice they made contact. The second time caused Hassan to go down and lose out on the medals. both spilling blood, Hassan around the elbow, Tsegay on the knee. Giday galloped in for silver

Hassan was looking for triple gold in the 1500m — she was just seven hours removed from Heat #1 of the 1500m, 5000m and 10,000m — The treble is out the window.

Tsegay won gold, and Ejgayehu Taye from Ethiopia took bronze. Monson finished fifth just behind Kenyan Irine Jepchumba Kimais. The top three times were 31:27.18, 31:28.16 and 31:28.31.

“No (I wasn’t worried I might be DQd), if you are in the front you can do whatever you want. You have to go around me. Even if I were disqualified, I don’t mind. If that happened, I’d say, ‘Oh okay, I’m learning.’ And I’m also grateful as three months ago, I won the London Marathon.”

Mixed 4 x 400m relay

The Netherlands had the lead and just like Hassan, Femke Bol, running the anchor leg fell to the track metres from the finish. This time it was from sheer effort and it appeared she was not upended by her competitor. Alexis Holmes, the anchor for the US was coming up on Bol, but did not appear to make contact. Bol appeared devastated as she lost the baton. Holmes clocked 48.82.

The US won in the world record time of 3:08.80. Great Britain finished in silver medal position with a national record of 3:11.06 and the Czech Republic set a national record in 3:11.98.

The Netherlands had the win in the palm of their hand, however, Bol’s performance was disqualified, so the team’s results were recorded as a DNF. She finished with her hands over her face, distraught. The 400m hurdles specialist appeared to be relaxed and in great form. The fall is a mystery and must simply be related to effort.

Ryan Crouser

The 6’7″ (201 cm and 145kg) 320-pound behemoth would fit right in with the NFL. Powerful, with a blistering 40m sprint, Crouser would also look right with real armaments on the set of Braveheart. As a shotputter, he is the best.

Throughout the day, there was a handful of 22m puts by his competitors, typically one each out of their six attempts. But all three of his first attempts were over 22m and his final was 23.51. He is coming off his world record performance in May in LA at 23.56. Saturday, it wasn’t even close.

Leonardo Fabbri from Italy at 22.34m and Joe Kovacs of the US with his 22.12m best on the day took silver and bronze, respectively. In any other era, the Fabbri and Kovacs performances would have been more impressive looking.

20K Racewalk

Five of the first six athletes recorded new national records. First place, Álvaro Martin of Spain set the world lead at 1:17:32. Here go the utterances from the masses, “I can’t run that fast.” True, the racewalkers are hardly walking, but rather a hybrid of walking and salsa running. Fast, and with the neuromuscular function absolutely unique to this event, attempting it for a minute or so will leave the unprepared breathless. Twenty kilometres at this pace in the heat is amazing.

Martin was just 10 seconds from Spain’s national record which was set in 2002 Paquillo Fernández. Otherwise, it would have been six for six. Canada’s greatest all-time racewalker Evan Dunfee, a specialist over the longer distances did well finishing in fourth place in the time of 1:18:03.

Perseus Karlstrom from Sweden in 1:17:39 and Caio Bonfim from Brazil clocking 1:17:47 took silver and bronze.

20K Racewalk results

1Álvaro MARTÍNESP1:17:32 WL
2Perseus KARLSTRÖMSWE1:17:39 NR
3Caio BONFIMBRA1:17:47 NR
4Evan DUNFEECAN1:18:03 NR
5Christopher LINKEGER1:18:12 NR
6Veli-Matti PARTANENFIN1:18:22 NR
7Brian Daniel PINTADOECU1:18:26 PB
8Declan TINGAYAUS1:18:30 PB
9Samuel Kireri GATHIMBAKEN1:18:34 SB
10Gabriel BORDIERFRA1:18:59 PB

Women’s 10,000m results

1Gudaf TSEGAYETH31:27.18
2Letesenbet GIDEYETH31:28.16 SB
3Ejgayehu TAYEETH31:28.31
4Irine Jepchumba KIMAISKEN31:32.19 SB
5Alicia MONSONUSA31:32.29
6Agnes Jebet NGETICHKEN31:34.83 PB
7Ririka HIRONAKAJPN31:35.12 SB
8Jessica WARNER-JUDDGBR31:35.38
9Grace Loibach NAWOWUNAKEN31:38.17
10Sarah CHELANGATUGA31:40.04 SB

4x400m mixed relay results

World Athletics Championships Budapest 2023 mixed 4x400m relay results.

Go to all results

1Justin ROBINSON 44.47 Rosey EFFIONG50.38 Matthew BOLING 45.13 Alexis HOLMES 48.82USA3:08.80 WR
2Lewis DAVEY 45.18 Laviai NIELSEN 50.45 Rio MITCHAM 44.65 Yemi Mary JOHN 50.78GBR3:11.06 NR
3Matěj KRSEK 45.62 Tereza PETRŽILKOVÁ 51.11 Patrik ŠORM44.85 Lada VONDROVÁ 50.40CZE3:11.98 NR

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