World Champs: Best of the Best
Jamaica's gold medalllist Shericka Jackson (right) and silver medallist Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce celebrate after the women's 200m final during the World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon, on Thursday, July 21, 2022. (Photo: AFP)

The 10 days of excellent track and field at the long-anticipated 18th World Athletics Championships ended a week ago at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon. While there is still argument about whether it was the "best ever", there is no doubt there were some outstanding performances.

Three world records, all coming in the last three days of the competition, the big finale, must have been a delight for the television networks and the fans.

While the world records in the women's 400m hurdles, the 100m hurdles and the men's pole vault will all long be remembered, there were other great performances as well and we will choose the 10 best, in our opinion, here.

100m hurdles

No one can truthfully say they saw this one coming. There was an audible gasp in the stadium when Nigerian Tobi Amusan stopped the clock at 12.12 seconds in the semi-finals, a full eight hundredths of a second under the 120.20 seconds set by Kendra Harrison who was second in the race.

Amusan had a decent season and came into the championships as a medal contender, albeit in one of the deepest fields in all of the disciplines over the 10 days.

Her performance including a wind-aided 12.06 seconds in the finals, over the just under two hours between both races on Sunday, had to be the most outstanding.

Women's 400m hurdles

It was only a matter of how fast American Sydney McLaughlin was going to run if we are to be honest but no one expected 50.68 seconds a time that would see her placing sixth in the 400m final in Eugene.

McLaughlin has six of the 10 fastest times ever run in the event and the three fastest; in the finals of the Olympic Games she ran 51.46 seconds to take the gold medal and then lowered that to 51.41 seconds at Hayward Field, almost a month earlier.

The final turned out to be three different races, Sydney against the clock, the race for the other two medals between Holland's Femke Bol and two other Americans and then the rest of the field.

Men's pole vault

Another record that given favourable conditions was expected to go, but as dominant as Sweden's Armond Duplantis has been, it still takes tremendous physical ability and mental strength to go where no man had gone before.

Duplantis, who also owns the Indoor World Record, was breaking the record for the third time in two years and moved the height from 6.16m, to 6.21m, a height that could cause nose bleed for some people, mere mortals that is.

Women's 200m

That primal roar that Jamaica's Shericka Jackson bellowed as she crossed the finish line in 21.45 seconds, a championship record, summed up the emotions for most fans of the event as she atoned for her mental error in the first round a year earlier in Tokyo, Japan.

Jackson's 21.55 seconds at the Jamaican Trials, three weeks earlier, had set a warning of things to come at Hayward Field but 21.45, the second fastest ever and a new national record, were icing on the cake for the former 400m runner turned sprinter after she had failed to get out of the first round in Tokyo where she was a medal favourite.

Her execution, especially a blazing fast curve after her personal best 10.73 seconds for silver in the 100m four days earlier, has many media practitioners wondering if she could break the 34-year-old record 21.34 seconds.

This was also Jackson's first global individual medal and she has now won medals at the highest levels in the 100m, 200m, 400m, 4x100m and 4x400m.

Women's 100m

The 'repeat sweep' was on the cards after Tokyo and while everyone saw it coming, no one could do anything to prevent it and Jamaica's sprint divas duly obliged.

The 35-year-old Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce proved age was nothing but a number as she won her fifth World Championship 100m gold, running 10.67 seconds, a championship record, for the third time this year.

Shericka Jackson upgraded her bronze medal from Tokyo, to silver with a spanking new personal best 10.73 seconds and despite not been in her best form, two-time Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah ran 10.81 seconds for the bronze, her first 100m medal in the World Championships.

Men's javelin

It could be a Caribbean bias but Grenada's Anderson Peters was in a class by himself in the men's javelin final as he defended his title from Doha in fine style.

Three throws over 90.00m with the longest 90.54m coming on the final throw after he had already taken the gold medal.

The many-times Carifta Games champion led the competition from the first round and easily beat Olympic Champion Neeraj Chopra of India.

Men's shot put

Easily one of the most competitive event of the 10 days with the lead changing hands on several occasions and was one of the medal podiums swept by the hosts USA.

Four men went over 22.00m and it took 20.93m to get into the top eight.

Ryan Crouser eventually won with a championship record 22.94m coming in the fifth round, beating Joe Kovacs' season best 22.89m with Josh Awotunde throwing a personal best 22.29m to cement his third place, also coming in the fifth round.

Women's triple jump

Jamaica had three athletes in the women's triple jump, the most by any country and Shanieka Ricketts' silver medal made up for her third place at the Olympics last year.

Indoor Championships bronze medallist Kimberly Williams was seventh and 20 year-old Ackelia Smith, a freshman at the University of Texas was 12th but not before she jumped a persona best 14.36m in the preliminary to book her spot in the final.

Ricketts who had also won silver in Doha, Qatar, in 2019, had set a world leading 14.89m with her first jump and that seem to ignite the short wick in Venezuela's superstar Yulimar Rojas who then reeled off a series of massive jumps, the shortest being 15.39m and the longest 15.47m, fifth best all times.

Men's high jump

Any men's high jump with a healthy Qatar's Mutaz Essa Barshim is guaranteed box office and he did not disappoint at the World Championships with a masterclass of jumping.

He joined the competition at 2.24m and needed just one attempt at the next five heights and having won with 2.37m, passed 2.39m and after failing once at 2.42m decided to take his gold medal and end the competition.

Korea's Sanghyeok Woo, kept the competition alive up to 2.30m, failed twice before clearing 2.33m and after equalling his national record 2.35m settled for silver.

Heptathlon & Decathlon

It would be an insult to exclude the Heptathlon and Decathlon from any list and both events held their own with outstanding performances.

An injury to Olympic champion Damion Warner on the first day of the Decathlon put a damper on the event but the final medals were not decided until the end of the 1500m.

France's Kevin Mayer defended his title with 8816 points, just ahead of Canada's Pierce Lepage- 8701 points and the USA's Zachery Ziemek taking third with 8676 points.

Grenada's Lindon Victor was fifth with 8474 points and Ken Mullings of the Bahamas was 17th with 7866 points.

In the seven event Hep, Belgium's Nafissatou Thiam proved she was still the queen of the multies, winning her fourth gold medal in the last five World Championships/Olympic Games cycles with one a second in Doha, spoiling her streak.

Her 6947 points scored in Eugene was the most for her in the World Championships, beat Anouk Vetter of Holland's 6867 points and the USA's Anna Hall's 6755 points.

Paul Reid

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at


  1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper; email addresses will not be published.
  2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.
  3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.
  4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.
  5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed:
  6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email:
  7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy