This is an end-of-the-year article by Deji Ogeyingbo about the Best Moments in Track & Field in 2022! I am sure many will love them and also many will find their own favorites! Let us know!
Best moments in Track and Field in 2022
As the 2022 athletics calendar rolled on, fans hailed new heroes, saluted the latest champs, and bid farewell to some illustrious stars of the sport. But no matter the period of the year, our greeting was clear: we cheered on each moment that highlighted what has been an eventful year in the world’s oldest sport.
Here are the top 10 moments in athletics in 2022.
1. Emotional Yaroslava Mahuchikh wins High jump Gold for Ukraine as war ravages her country
There is a reason sport, in this case, athletics, brings us together. As Russia invaded Ukraine and the war started, it had so many ripple effects. But not so much for Ukrainian jumper Yaroslava Mahuchikh.
Yaroslave Mahuchick clears 2.05m for the WL! photo by Diamond league AG
Shortly before the World indoor championships started, it took Mahuchikh three days by car to escape her country. On her way out, Mahuchikh heard gunfire and could sometimes see shells raining down miles away. Though her hometown of Dnipro was far from the front lines of the Russian invasion, she could never shake the fear that when she said goodbye to her mom, dad, grandfather, and sister, it might have been for the last time.
But, despite having her world turned upside down and the tortuous journey to reach the competition, the 20-year-old still managed to win high jump gold at the World Indoor Championships in Belgrade, Serbia. She jumped a world-leading height of 2.02m to claim the title.
“I realized that on the track and jumping, I could show the power and strong spirit of the whole Ukrainian nation,” she said. “I could show worldwide that we will fight until the end. Until we win.”
2. Allyson Felix bids farewell to the sport
After announcing she planned to retire at the end of last season, USA’s Allyson Felix decided to race in one last World Championships – in front of a home crowd in Oregon.
The 36-year-old leaves the sport as a proper legend with another gold medal around her neck. And although sports don’t always give us the swansong we want for our greats (Usain Bolt in 2017), Felix got more than she would have bargained for.
Allyson Felix gets her 19th WC Medal in the Mixed Relay, World Athletics Championships
Eugene, Oregon, USA
4×400 mixed relay, Felix, USA, photo by Kevin Morris
Her final international race was set to be the 4x400m mixed relay final at the start of the meet, where the USA won bronze. But after answering a mid-meal call to compete in the women’s 4x400m competition, having already traveled home, Felix hopped on a plane back to the Worlds.
In typical fashion, Felix was on the winning team in the 4x400m heat, running her leg in 50.61 seconds. And when her teammates claimed victory in Sunday’s final, the USA legend added another gold – the 14th of her career – to her collection as part of the winning team at Hayward Field.
It was a fitting end to what has been an illustrious career for Felix.
3. Akani Simbine vs Ferdinand Omanyala
Was 2022 the year we finally got the rivalry we have been longing for in African sprinting?
Both Akani Simbine and Ferdinand Omanyala, these sprinters, gave us a rivalry for the ages. Although they met in three major finals this season, it was at the African Championships in Mauritius in which they turned on the after-burners.
Ferdinand Omanyala and Akani Simbine, African Champs, photo by Deji Ogeyingbo
Having gone through the motions in the rounds, both sprinters lined up in the 100m final at the Cote D’ Or stadium on the Island of Port Louis. In what was a keenly contested race, Simbine and Omanyala were nip and tuck for the most part of the race, and when they crossed the line, there was very little to separate them.
In the end, Omanyala was given the nod as he took the win in 9.93s, three-thousandths of a second better than Simbine who lost his African title to the Kenyan.
4. Jake Wightman wins men’s 1500m Gold with his father, Geoff announcing it at Hayward field
Some sporting moments are best played in the head; even if they happen, they are like unicorns. It comes in a lifetime. When British runner Jake Wightman started running as a kid with his father taking him to the track in those early days, there must have been those moments where they thought, “I will announce you wining a race”.
However fleeting that thought was, the chances of it happening was very minuscule. But it happened. And in an incredible manner.
Jake Wightman battles for the WC 1,500m with Jakob Ingebrigtsen, photo by World Athletics
At the world championships this year, the 28-year-old became the first 1500m world champion from the UK since Steve Cram 39 years ago with a stunning last 200m surge at Hayward Field, while his dad Geoff was commentating on his stunning victory.
With emotions running high following Jake’s breathtaking display, Geoff told the thousands in attendance at Hayward Field: “That’s my son. I coach him. And he’s the world champion.”
Geoff did well to keep his emotions in check throughout the event, and he said: “Running, it’s coming home. Wow. That’s my son, I coach him, and he is the world champion. Jake Wightman has just had the run of his life.”
“When I’m retired, fat, and enjoying life a little bit, I can look back on this and feel very proud that I did everything I could do get to this point. It’s all worth it. “The dream scenario has come off. How often do you become a World champion? “It hasn’t sunk in it. It will be days, maybe months, until I actually feel this is what’s happened. Jake said after the win.
5. Sydney McLaughlin obliterates (another) world record
If USA’s Sydney McLaughlin retires from athletics now, she will be well within her rights to do so. There is no stopping her at this point as she broke the world record
After winning gold at Tokyo 2020 in 2021 by running a world record women’s 400m hurdles time, the 22-year-old lowered that mark at the US trials to qualify for the World Athletics Championships in Oregon.
Sydney McLaughlin takes gold at the 400m hurdles! World Athletics Championships
Eugene, Oregon, USA
But nobody could have expected a run like this in the main event.
In front of an ecstatic Hayward Field crowd, the American proved she is a league of her own by setting a new world record of 50.68 seconds, a full 0.73 seconds less than her previous best. Incredibly, her time would have put her in the seventh position in the World Championships final of the women’s 400m flat.
6. Kara Winger bows out in an astonishing manner
After so many years of near misses and heartbreaks, the universe contrived to ensure Kara Winger became a world champion. The Javelin thrower competed in her final championships in Oregon this year.
Kara Winger uncorks a big one to take silver in Javelin for the USA! photo by Kevin Morris.
The American became the most accomplished women’s javelin thrower, a career that has spanned three decades. But the 36-year-old Winger, competing in her final global championship, had one more box to check.
Winger saved her best for the final attempt, uncorking a throw of 64.68m to take the silver medal. It was Winger’s first-ever medal at worlds or the Olympics.
7. Marathon Runner Gets Lost And Still Wins
After the World Championships in Oregon, the Commonwealth Games was the next stop for most of the world stars, and it wasn’t short of drama. Perhaps, the biggest of them came in the men’s marathon.
In the grand rankings of having a ‘mare.’ taking a wrong turn when you are moments away from Commonwealth glory surely ranks up there. As Ugandan marathon runner Victor Kiplangat was nearing the end of an epic race, he accidentally went the wrong way during his final kilometer. He was
Victor Kiplangat takes the 2022 Commonwealth Games, photo by BSN Agency for NN Running team
forced to turn back, much to the horror of the BBC’s commentators. Luckily, he’d built up a large enough lead to secure the gold medal anyway – what a comeback.
8. 800-meter madness from Mary Moraa.
How often do you see an 800m runner take on a race in an unorthodox manner, atypical of what is expected? Kenya’s Mary Moraa showed us that there is more than one way to skin a cat.
Mary Moraa upsets Keely Hodgkinson, CG 800 meters, photos by Bobby Gavin/Scottish Athletics.
The 22-year-old Moraa led at the race’s opening but dropped at the bottom of the group and went straight into the lead in the opening lap.
However, she strangely dropped to the bottom of the group consisting of home girl Keeley Hodgkinson, Jamaican Natoya Goule, 500m specialist Laura Muir of Scotland, and four others. She moved back through the field but was still fourth going into the home straight, but a stunning late burst saw her claim a remarkable win in one minute 57.07s.
9. Letsile Tebogo reprises Usain Bolt’s 100m winning race in Cali
The beauty of sport is that it always craves the next superstar, and whenever something distinctly looks like what had brought us joy in the past, we cling to it. That’s what Letsile Tebogo did on his way to defending his world U20 title in Cali, Colombia.
The Botswanan attracted comparisons to Usain Bolt after showboating his way to the under-20 100m world title in a record time with a scorching run in Colombia on Tuesday.
Letsile Tebogo, Botswana, 100m gold, photo by Marta Gorczynska for World Athletics
The 19-year-old Botswanan clocked 9.91s to improve the junior world record of 9.94 he set in the heats of the senior world championships last month but clearly could have gone even faster.
Tebogo made a blistering start at Cali’s Pascual Guerrero Stadium and coasted through the final 20m, turning to gesticulate at silver medallists Bouwahjgie Nkrumie with a huge smile on his face as he cruised to the line.
The early celebrations were a deliberate echo of Bolt’s when the Jamaican great won the first of his eight Olympic sprint gold medals in a world record time of 9.69 at the 2008 Beijing Games.
10. Eliud Kipchoge breaks the marathon record in Berlin
If before this year there was a debate about who the greatest marathoner is, there will be no such debate again after Eliud Kipchoge reached new heights as he lowered his own world record in the marathon.
Eliud Kipchoge, 2018 BMW Berlin Marathon, 2:01.39 WR, photo by NN Running team
Kipchoge’s new world record of 2:01:39s was an astonishing achievement, even by his own lofty standards. It was 30s faster than his previous record (also set in Berlin in 2018) and the second-largest lowering of the world record since 2003 (Kipchoge himself has the largest margin).
Is Kipchoge well on the way to breaking the elusive sub-2 hour marathon barrier official after his exploits this year?