(While much of America was rehashing Beyonce's big announcement at the VMA's last night, WTS social media director Lesley Higgins was up early this morning watching another big event taking place on the other side of the world. For track & field fans, the IAAF World Championships are like the Olympics and Academy Awards all rolled into one ~js)
It was an exciting Monday morning for me, rising relatively early (though not as early as my compatriots on the west coast), to catch the evening competition in Daegu, South Korea.
The first women’s final on the schedule, but the last to finish on Universal Sport’s live internet feed was the shot put. This event was particularly exciting for me, as my fellow New York Athletic Club teammate, Jillian Camarena-Williams was in the thick of things. Jillian is a graduate of Stanford, and has been a member of the club for the last five years. I got to know her last year while spending a week in France, and have to say she is one of my favorite athletes in track & field.
She started the competition kind of slow, and was in sixth place when the field was cut down to the final eight after three rounds. On her fourth round throw, she popped her furthest shot, 20.02 meters, which propelled her into second place. She ultimately got bumped down a notch by a 20.05 meter throw by Nadzeya Ostapchuk in the fifth round. The win went to a rocket of a throw of 21.24 meters by Valerie Adams in the last round, though she had already sealed the gold with her fourth round throw.
Jillian’s bronze medal is the first outdoor World Championships medal by a US shot-putter (though we do have an Olympic medal from 1960). Below is a full video recap of her performance in Daegu:
Of course, this whole time the Heptathlon is also going on, which has been great for those of us who don’t regularly follow the event. It’s getting very prominent coverage between major finals. I have to say, if I could chose another life for myself, the ability to be a heptathlete is up there on the list. These women all have athletic prowess that I sometimes imagine I have, but in reality cannot even fathom. The seven events are (in order)
- 100m hurdles
- high jump
- shot put
- long jump
- javelin throw
Day 1 is now compete, with a lead change halfway through. USA’s Hyleas Fountain was leading after the first two events, but Jessica Ennis is the leader coming out of the first day (four events completed).
The first final on the track on this third evening of competition was the end of Allyson Felix’s quest to win gold in both the 400m and 200m events. She definitely didn’t let go without a fight, getting out of the blocks hard, finding herself at a deficit with 100m to go, and almost clawing her way back for the win. In the end, however, she was defeated by just 0.03 seconds by Botswana’s Amantle Montsho, who set a national record in the process. Both athletes ran personal bests, which is what every track fan wants to see in championship competition. The two other US athletes in the race finished fourth (Francena McCorory) and seventh (defending World Champion Sanya Richards-Ross). Allyson will be back on the track on September 1st for the first heat of the 200m.
The final event of the evening was the women’s 100m. Unlike the men’s 100m, there were really no surprises here. The winner was also the favorite, USA’s Carmelita Jeter. She was followed by an impossibly close finish between 2-3-4, each athlete finishing in a 0.02 second span. The order was determined to be Jamaica’s Veronica Campbell-Brown, Trinidad and Tobago’s Kelly-Ann Baptiste and Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce.
Don’t forget to tune in tonight for tomorrow morning’s action (I love saying that). Besides the Heptathlon, you should be excited about the women’s 5000m heats (featuring Molly Huddle, Amy Hastings and Lauren Fleshman) and the first round of the men’s 1500m.
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