Day 4 of the 2023 World Athletics Championships: Emotions for all tastes

On a new day of the Budapest tournament, those who wanted surprises had surprises, those who wanted ratification had ratification and those who wanted drama had drama.

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The Hawaiian couldn't contain her emotion after achieving her best throw of the season; the same one that awarded her the world title
The Hawaiian couldn't contain her emotion after achieving her best throw of the season; the same one that awarded her the world title

Sometimes, those of us who are fans of shows like the World Athletics Championships sit in the grandstand or in front of the TV waiting for a surprise. Sometimes, desiring the ratification of the hegemony of a great champion. Sometimes, celebrating the human drama of major sports competitions.

With all the highlights of the first three days of competition, the fourth day in Budapest met all the requirements.

With the surprise, it represented the unimaginable triumph in the disc throw by the North American Laulauga Tausaga, who nailed her personal best in the fifth round of the final and made the party bitter for her compatriot, Olympic champion Valarie Allman.

It can be strange to include as a surprise that an Olympic champion is also a World champion. However, after a difficult year and a half in terms of his performance, the Italian Gianmarco Tamberi, Olympic co-champion with Mutaz Barshim, won his first world title by null difference against the North American JuVaughn Harrison. I can’t imagine that many of his euphoric companions in the stands of the National Athletics Center in Budapest imagined something like this at the beginning of the day.

Moment of madness. True to his style, Tamberi put on a great show, even as he celebrated winning the gold medal. c
Moment of madness. True to his style, Tamberi put on a great show, even as he celebrated winning the gold medal. c

Tamberi secured gold with a jump of 2.36 meters in his first attempt, surpassing Harrison, who needed one more jump to pass that height. This is how he brought the first gold medal for Italy in this World Championship and he celebrated it by throwing himself into the 3,000-meter with obstacles water pit, together with the winner of that race, the Moroccan Soufiane El Bakkali.

Ratification was the closure gift on the Hungarian night. Faith Kipyegon, by far the best middle distance runner and long-distance runner today, won her third world title -Siffan Hassan repeated Tokyo’s third place in the distance- and made it clear that, for her too, there are days when it’s important to look for the record and there are days like today when all that matters is crossing the finish line first. The Kenyan hasn’t lost a 1500 meter race since June 10, 2021 and will now go for the 5000 meters. Faith aspires to achieve a historic double. She recorded a time of 3.54:87, followed by 3.55:69 by the Ethiopian Diribe Welteji, and by the 3.56:00 by the Dutch Sifan Hassan.

The final of the 3000 meters with obstacles promised to be a real fight, with two athletes above the rest, at least as far as the times anticipated: the brand new Ethiopian world record holder, Lamecha Girma, and the last Olympic champion, the Moroccan Soufiane El Bakkali. However, the latter put on a real show. After 2,800 meters of running alongside the world record man, he passed first in the last water pit and crossed the finish line, confirming his hegemony, which encompasses the Tokyo Olympic title and the 2022 Oregon World Championship title.

Faith Kipyegon's absolute dominance in the 1500 meters. At just 29 years old, she is already a two-time Olympic champion and a three-time world champion. A true legend.
Faith Kipyegon's absolute dominance in the 1500 meters. At just 29 years old, she is already a two-time Olympic champion and a three-time world champion. A true legend.

And the drama spread through almost all the tests on this day. She had her outstanding appearance in the distance of 400 meters with women’s hurdles because the North American Dalilah Muhammad will not even be present in the final and because not only did Wayde van Niekerk enter through the narrow window of the best times, but another favorite, the Bahamian Olympic champion Steven Gardiner, ended up defeated by the muscles of his right leg and scattered on the track 100 meters from the finish.

Tomorrow, the 5th, the Hungarian competition will begin to return to its second half. If we were to repeat what has already happened, we will be in the presence of one of the best world championships in history because, in the absence of phenomenons such as Carl Lewis or Usain Bolt, there is hardly any discipline in which something extraordinary does not happen.