Happy Friday! I hope everyone had a wonderful week!
If you weren't able to watch the 2019 Track and Field World Championships, no worries because I am going to talk about a few key highlights that you missed over the last two weeks! There are so many HUGE performances that happened in Doha that I won't be able to touch on them all, but I do want to bring attention to a few stories in particular and share my thoughts.
If you are new to the track world, or don't know exactly how professional track and field works, I'm here to help! As I mentioned in my last blog post, my goal with starting these blogs Is to hopefully bring more attention and recognition to track and field. It is a sport that rarely gets media attention or coverage - and when it does, 99% of the time you have to pay a crazy subscription to even access it. Every once in awhile, normal cable channels will provide a brief highlight on the NCAA championships or Pre Classic. However, as you probably know, field events in particular get no love... Hopefully that will change soon.
Anyways, DOHA! Let me begin by saying that I'm not sure you can pick one performance that was the most impressive. With that being said, my short list of highlights will be in no particular order.
The first event that I want to talk about is the Women's 400m Hurdles. In my opinion, I believe this is one of top performances of the entire meet. Americans Dalilah Muhammad and Sydney McLaughlin went 1-2 in this race with Muhammad taking gold in a time of 52.16 and McLaughlin trailing close behind in 52.23. These times were a personal best for both women, and they both were faster than the previous World Record. However, since Muhammad took the win, her time of 52.16 gets the title for the World Record. And as if that isn't amazing enough it itself, that is Muhammad's SECOND world record... breaking her own WR that she set earlier this year. There is no doubt in my mind that we will see many more records fall as we watch these two women go head-to-head for several years to come.
The next event I want to cover is the Men's 110m Hurdles. It should be noted that I want people to understand just how monumental these American performances are, and to recognize that we are living in the days of the best track and field athletes to ever exist. I personally was not surprised to see Grant Holloway take home the win for Team USA in this race. My last few years spent at Auburn University, I have watched Grant light up the track (and the long jump runway) for the Florida Gators time after time. There is something electric about the way he competes and I would encourage anyone who has never seen him compete to do so - whether that's on YouTube or in-person. I have never seen someone as consistently dominant as he is at every level. Grant took the gold at the World Champs with an extremely respectable time of 13.10.
Wrapping up on the field event side of things, Mutaz Barshim from Qatar had another impressive bout in the Men's High Jump, taking the win with a huge jump of 2.37m (7'9.31"). If you follow professional track and field, you likely know that Barshim has been at the top of the ranks for years. However, after suffering a severe injury in 2018 that required surgery, he has spent many months on standby while rehabbing back to health. Previous to his injury, Barshim was taking legitimate attempts at the World Record. I remember watching him clear 2.41m at the 2015 Pre Classic in Eugene and then he proceeded to scratch the rest of him jumps in the competition. If you aren't aware, 2.45m is equivalent to 7'10.75"... I never understood why he didn't go for the world record (2.45m 8'.46") that day, and probably never will. What I do know is that Barshim is back and I truly believe we will see him break the Men's High Jump World Record that was set in 1993 within the next 4 years.
Again, by no means are these the only important stories from Doha. I chose to bring recognition to these 4 athletes because I believe they are going to change the sport of track and field.
Thanks for reading and I hope everyone has a great weekend!