Budapest World Championships - Day 3

by Jim Spier

Budapest 2023 – Day 3

My brother, John, arrived at 11:30am and I met him at the airport (there was no morning session so he was lucky I was available!)  We came back to the apartment, he took a nap, I did some catching up, and off we went to the stadium.

I met the Cockrell family (Anna’s parents and brother Ross, an NFL player, now a free agent).  They, of course, were cheering on their daughter, as we were.  Seeing them reminded me of the 2015 Caribbean Scholastic Invitational in Cuba where, besides Anna, Noah Lyles and Grant Holloway competed!  In that meet, Cuba’s Cristian Napoles, who won the bronze in the triple jump this evening, was second there.  Both Anna and Grant placed third in their events a the CSI  that year, and Noah was a winner.  There were all high school juniors at the time.

There was a post meet party at the 2016 CSI hosted by Olympic champ Alberto Juantorena.  After it was over, Anna asked to speak to the crowd.  She thanked her hosts in impeccable Spanish.  I asked her where she learned it.  She said she had been studying it since 6th grade.  And she was fluent by the time she was 17!

Anna (USC/Providence Day, Charlotte, NC), who was third in the 2015 NSAF NBNO 400m hurdles behind Sydney Mc Laughlin,  easily qualified for the semis, finishing second in her heat.  The first four in each heat automatically qualified for the next round.

In the pole vault, all four Americans advanced to the final, including high schooler Hana Moll, the 2023 .  Hana jumped 15-03, breaking her own high school record by 3”.  Hana was perfect through four  heights, then made here 15-03 qualifying mark on her second attempt.  She looked cool and collected out there.

The 400 Meter Hurdles saw some highs and a low.  CJ Allen (Washington State U/North Mason, Belfair, WA) was third in the first heat where the top 2 automatically advance the final.  He had to wait until after the third semi to see if he made it as a time qualifier.

Rai Benjamin (USC/Mt. Vernon, NY), the 2015 NSAF NBNO champion, had no problem in winning his semi, running 47.25.  Trevor Bassitt (Ashland/Bluffton, OH), 12th in the 2017 NSAF NBNO Emerging Elite 400m Hurdles, ran the race of his life, finishing third to Olympic Champion Karston Warholm (Norway), running a PB 47.38.  Bassitt became a time qualifier.  The last time qualifier was at 48.39.  Missing out were Alessandro Sibilio of Italy at 48.43 and CJ Allen at 48.44.  Oh so close!

Although Will Claye (Oklahoma/Mountain Pointe, Phoenix, AZ) got a seasonal best (55-8).  He could only manage 7th.  Chris Benard (Arizona State U/Santiago Corona, Corona, CA) was 9th in 55-6.25),  The winner was the 2020 Olympic silver medalist, Hughes Zango of Burkina Faso.  He took over first with a fifth round jump of 57-10.25. (Burkina Faso is a land locked country in West Africa with a population of 20,000,000.  It borders the Atlantic Coast countries of Ghana, Benin, Ivory Coast and Togo, and Mali and Niger to its north and east.   It was known as Upper Volta until 1984).

In the 110 Meter Hurdles, Cordell Tinch (Pittsburg State U/Bay Port, Suamico, WI) just missed making the finals, running 13.31.  Enrique Llopis (Spain) clocked 13.30 to become the first non qualifier.  Jason Joseph (Switzerland) was the last time qualifier at 13.25.

But the other hurdlers did quite well, especially Grant Holloway (Florida/Grassfield, Chesapeque, VA), third at the 2016 NBAF NBNO, who won his third consecutive world title in 12.96, a season’s best.  Daniel Roberts (Kentucky/

Hampton, VA), 2nd in the 2015 NSAF NBNO,  got the bronze, and Freddie Crittendon (Syracuse U/Utica, MI) the 2013 NSAF NBNI 60m Hurdle champion, finished 4th in a seasonal best 13.16.

Track and Field News had predicted the top 3 as:  1) Kristjan Ceh (Slovenia; 2) Daniel Stahl (Sweden) and 3) Mykolas Alekna (Lithuania).  They were correct until the 

final throw of the competition.   The next to last thrower, Ceh, took over the lead from Daniel Stahl with a throw of 229-8’. 

Stahl is defending World and Olympic Champion.  This would be his third World Championship victory if he could throw better than 229.  And, of 

course, he did!  By almost 5 feet: 234-05!  It is amazing how the great ones find a way to remain great. Daniel Stahl is all business.  He never cracked a smile after he won; he just strode confidently around the track with the Swedish flag draped around his shoulders.

Talitha Diggs (Florida/Saucon Valley, Hellerton, PA), the 2019 NSAF NBNO 100 meter runnerup, qualified for the final by virtue of a second place (auto) qualifier in heat 2 (50.86).  Had it been a time qualifier, she would not have made it.  Lynna Irby-Jackson (Georgia/Pike, Indianapolis, IN), the 2017 NSAF NBNO champion, actually ran faster (50.71) but was the third fastest non-qualifier – and they only take 2.

Sha’Carri Richardson (LSU/Carter, Dallas, TX) had the third fastest time in the semis (10.84) with the second worst reaction time (.222 seconds).  Since it was not an auto qualifier, she got relegated to lane 9.

In the finals, the Jamaicans Shericka Jackson and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce were in the center of the track, certainly not expecting a challenge from the outside lanes.  Sha’Carri Richardson this time had the third slowest reaction time (.156) to win from lane 9.  Shericka Jackson’s reaction time was actually slower (.166). Jackson was second and Fraser-Pryce third.  Richardson’s time of 10.64 was a meet record.  Brittany Brown (Iowa/Claremont, CA) was 7th (10.97!) and Tamari Davis (Oak Hall, Clermont, FL), the 2018 NSAF NBNO 100m Champion, was  9th (11.03).

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