To win a world title in Eugene on the sprint events, is it better to be an American or Jamaican athlete. And this geographical observation proves almost as true with regard to the places of medalists.
So when a champion – the Brazilian Alison dos Santos in the 400 meter hurdles last Tuesday – or a champion – like this Friday, the Bahamian Shaunae Miller-Uibo on the lap of the track – supplant the formidable sprinters and sprinters of the United States and the Jamaica, it is natural to emphasize performance.
It’s simple, since the start of the Worlds in Oregon, after the two 100 meters, the two 200 meters, the 110 meters hurdles, the two 400 meters hurdles and the two 400 meters, the team made in the USA has won thirteen medals and Jamaica, five. That is 18 medals out of a provisional total of 27 charms. In individual events, only the 100 meter hurdles remained to be run during the last weekend of competition.
The women’s 400 meter event has therefore made it possible to reshuffle the cards of this overwhelming domination. No American athlete (eliminated in the semi-finals) or Jamaican (two present in the final) managed to slip onto the podium. A first since July 16. Three other Caribbean nations stood out: the Bahamas, the Dominican Republic and Barbados.
We expected an epic battle between Miller-Uibo and the Dominican Marileidy Paulino, the first finally never trembled, having the luxury of finishing by releasing. It was the competitor from Barbados, Sada Williams, who took the bronze medal. The two Jamaican riders entered in the final finished 5e and 7e.
No American or Jamaican sprinter on the women’s 400m podium
Shaunae Miller-Uibo, double Olympic champion, had never won the world title. She had failed twice, silver medalist in 2015 and the last time in 2019, beaten in Doha by Bahrain’s Salwa Eid Naser. The latter had achieved a stunning time of 48.19 seconds in the final, almost a second better than her best performance at the time.
The Bahamian had learned a few months after her second place that her rival had failed three times in her whereabouts obligations in the context of the fight against doping. And even a fourth time after the Worlds… Eid Naser was first suspended, then cleared, before finally being suspended for two years in 2021.
« My concern is for World Athletics and the IAU (Athletics Integrity Unit) and the role they playMiller-Uibo was indignant, The recent turn of events, with their many errors, in my opinion, opens the door to many questions: what took them so long to make this information public? How is it possible that this case lasted until the 2019 World Championships? »
This time, Shauna Miller-Uibo took her revenge on a regular basis. She asserts herself as the worthy successor of Marie-José Pérec, double Olympic and world champion in the 400 meters and still holder of the Olympic record for the distance.
Before the Worlds, the two champions met in Paris through the team. “Everyone who does the 400m is a fan [de Pérec] ! She’s my favorite athlete, I always had her as a role model, I watched her races and we have a lot in common, height, speed, the 200m and the 400mhad confided the Bahamian, Hopefully I can be as strong as her. »
At 25, Marileidy Paulino, corporal in the Dominican Air Force, once again earned military honors with a second individual silver medal. The first woman from her country to win an Olympic medal in athletics in Tokyo last year – she had brandished her spikes and… the Bible after her first silver medal.
✅Marileidy Paulino🏃 🔹Dos medallas de plata en atletismo de Tokyo 2020: 400 my relevos mixtos 4×400 m 🔹Es la muje… https://t.co/zEFcIwyCcX
At the opening of the Worlds, a week ago, the mixed relay team, of which she is a centerpiece, had won the title in Eugene. Perhaps in 2023, the Dominican will rise in rank, on the track and militarily: with a gold medal in the 400 meters and why not a rank of captain or lieutenant.
An already legendary world record
After this incongruity, things returned to “normal” – much to the delight of the local public – in the finals of the men’s 400 meters and the women’s 400 meters hurdles. The terror of the 400 meter hurdles, Sydney McLaughlin even pushed her own limits, thanks to one more world record, her fourth since June 27, 2021 and her second in a month. She is the first woman to go under 51 seconds.
The next two world champions were both members of the United States team. Michael Norman was the fastest in 44.29 seconds, thanks to a magnificent final stretch that put him ahead of Grenadian Kirani James, 44.48 seconds. Briton Matthew Hudson-Smith finished third.
The inevitable Sydney McLaughlin, world record holder, was merciless to her opponents. At the cost of a daunting performance, a new world record in 50.68 seconds, she crushed the Dutch Femke Bol (52.27 seconds) and her compatriot Dalilah Muhammad (53.13 seconds). In many respects, this world record resembles that achieved in Tokyo in the Olympic final by Norwegian Karsten Warholm, who was the first 400m hurdles runner to go below 46 seconds.