I don't know what more we could have asked for at the World Championships in Budapest...well, some world records, but the competition had lots of drama - spills, thrills, and plenty of huge disappointments.
Never have I ever seen the last qualifier in a sprint final at the World Championships - let alone at any meet, win the overall title, Sha'Carri Richard's victory in the 100m an impressive PR. Her energy lit up my TV Monday night.
Ryan Crouser went into the shot competition with two blood clots in his calf, opening up the afternoon with a shaky toss - and yet he still won - only 5cm (2") from the World Record! It's unique. All of you old men on blood thinners take heart.
Or how about two athletes from the same country (Netherlands), on the same day, falling only feet from the finish line when a probable victory was at hand. In just seconds Sifan Hassan and Femke Bol went from what look like a gold medal...to nothing.
Never have I ever seen the runner-up - Tara Davis-Woodhall in the long jump, get the crowd behind her more than the winner. Tara is a joy to watch. Any company who doesn't use her in their marketing is missing an opportunity. We need to replicate her!
Noah Lyles is one cool cucumber. Odds be damned, almost no one picked the 100m wannabe, yet he showed what a great work ethic and a bit of confidence can do. He's the reason why young people will follow the sport.
Anyone who didn't bet on Joshua Cheptegei, Faith Kipyegon, Mondo Duplantis, and Daniel Stahl to win in Budapest proved that a fool and his money are soon parted. I'm selling some swampland in Florida so...
Never have I ever seen such a clueless pair of US runners in the men's 800. In the first round (the prelims!) Clayton Murphy and Isaiah Harris - athletes with PRs of 1:42.93 and 1:44.42, ran 1:47.06 and 1:48.00. What? A fifty-four second first lap should have been the first hint. Ever heard of Icarus?
In years past many males would have claimed women's performances weren't as exciting as men's, or that these females didn't possess enough toughness. Anna Hall proved the naysayers wrong. She could have taught the two athletes above about toughness, and on how to run the 800 correctly - fast from the start!
In the late 70's, back when my younger brother jumped 2.24, the world record in the HJ was 2.28 (7'5.75") the mark it took just to be a finalist in the men's competition in Budapest. Wow! Unbelievable! This field was the deepest ever!
Never have I ever seen a pair of ties in the women's and men's PV - both by competitors from the same two countries - American Katie Moon and Australian Nina Kennedy for first place, two days later Chris Nilson and Kurtis Marschall for the bronze medal. What are the odds?
Heard of Laulauga Tausaga-Collins? The winner of the women's discus, the former Hawkeye (go Hawks!) breaking her PR by almost 4 meters. She was in last place on the first toss, moving into 11th, and then 5th place on subsequent throws - on her penultimate spin in the circle jumping into 1st place, defeating the consensus pick to win. Wow!
Despite the lack of world records at the World Championships, this meet was action-packed, unpredictable, and gut-wrenching - think Sha'Carri Richardson, Femke Bol, and the semi of the US women's 4x400. If you missed even one day you probably missed some of the most exciting competition...ever!
Never have I ever...
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