Justin Lagat came from Kenya to Budapest to help us cover the World Championships! This is his contribution for day 1. 

Led by Gudaf Tsegay, Ethiopian women staged a 1-2-3 podium sweep in the penultimate race of the evening to take home all the medals on offer.

Gudaf Tsegay runs the finish out of her competition,  photo by Getty Images for World Athletics

In a dramatic finish, Sifan Hassan sprinted for the line with about 200m to go, and three Ethiopians followed her closely. With about 50m to go, Gudaf Tsegay caught up with her, and Hassan fell in the struggle to maintain the lead. Tsegay won the race in 31:27.18 ahead of Letesenbet Gidey (31:28.16) and Ejgayehu Taye (31:28.31).

Sifan Hassan, World Athletics Championships
Eugene, Oregon, USA
July15-26, 2022, by Kevin Morris

The women’s 10,000m race was the first final on track at the 2023 World Championships in Budapest, happening on a relatively cool and nice evening. At the halfway point, the race that had been strung out in a single file became a crowded pack once more before the two Kenyans, Irine Kimais and Agnes Ngetich.

Tsegay then reacted and went to the front. Soon, three Kenyans and three Ethiopians were in the first six positions. Hassan remained patient at around the thirteenth position. Gidey took her turn at the lead before leaving it to Taye.

The race was won in the last lap as a strong finishing kick determined the winner out of a large pack that was still together at the bell.

Femke Bol, World Athletics Championships
Budapest, Hungary
August 19-27, 2023, photo by Kevin Morris

In the men’s 20 km race walk –which was the first event of the day- Japan’s Koki Ikeda led just from the start, up to the 15km where he was passed at 15km by Álvaro Martim of Spain, who proceeded to win the gold medal.

After winning the heats in a new world-leading time of 3:10.41 in the 4x400m relays, the USA came back to run a World Record of 3:08.80 to win gold. Disaster struck the Netherlands again after Femke Bol fell down just before reaching the finish line after leading on the last lap.

Soufianne El Bakkali, Kenneth Rooks, World Athletics Championships
Budapest, Hungary
August 19-27, 2023, photo by Kevin Morris 

The men’s 3000m steeplechase finals will be on Tuesday 22nd.  All three Kenyans proceeded to the finals. Ethiopia’s Getnet Wale won the first heat. The second heat was won by USA’s Kenneth Rooks –who happen to have spent his time in Eastern Africa as a missionary-  while Lamecha Girma of Ethiopia won the last heat.

Faith Kipyegon, World Athletics Championships
Budapest, Hungary
August 19-27, 2023, photo by Kevin morris

The women’s 1500m protagonists safely sailed through to the semi-finals that will happen tomorrow afternoon. Hassan won the first heat in 4:02.92 ahead of Laura Muir (4:03.50) and Nikki Hiltz (4:03.76). Faith Kipyegon made the second heat even faster, winning it in 4:02.67 ahead of Diribe Welteji (4:02.72) and Sarah Healy of Ireland (4:03.00). Kenya’s youngster, Nelly Chepchirchir won the third heat in an even much faster 4:00.87 ahead of USA’s Sinclair Johnson and Ethiopia’s Birke Haylom who finished second and third in 4:01.09 and 4:01.12, respectively.

A crowded last heat of the women’s 1500m was won by Ethiopia’s Hirut Meshesha in 4:03.47. Jesicca Hull of Australia was second in 4:03.50, ahead of Ireland’s Ciara Mageean in 4:03.52.

Lamecha Girma, photo by Kevin Morris

Jakob Ingebrigtsen led Josh Kerr of Great Britain and Reynold Cheruiyot of Kenya to occupy the top three positions in the first heat of the men’s 1500m. The second heat was a blanket finish, in which eleven runners finished within a second. Mario Garcia of Spain won, while Kenya’s Timothy Cheruiyot finished sixth. Niels Laros of the Netherlands overtook Mahammed Katir just at the finish line to win the third heat ahead of Cole Hocker of the USA. Kenya’s Abel Kipsang won the last heat ahead of USA’s Yared Nguse and Adam Spencer of Australia.