Each day, I will provide five deep thoughts on the day of the World Championships, this is for August 19, 2023, day 1. 

Five Deep Thoughts on Day 1 of the World Champs

1. The championships started out with some rain and lightning. Mother Nature was telling us that, even in Hungary, weather can have an impact. The rain cleared up, and it was a bit humid and hot, but evenings are cooling down.

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

2. The 20k race walk was the first medal event. Alvaro Martin, ESP, took gold in 1:17.32 WL. Race walking is a big deal in Spain. The big Swede, Perseus Karlstrom (love the name Perseus) took silver, setting an NR of 1:17.39, and Caio Bonfim, BRA, took the bronze in an NR Of 1:17.47. Athletics is a global sport, reminder #1.

The 20k Men’s medalist in Race walk, photo by Getty Images for World Athletics

3. The Men’s shot put was incredible drama. WR holder, indoor and out, Ryan Crouser, also an accomplished bass fisherman, had 2 clots develop in his legs in last month. So, what does he do? Takes the lead from the first throw, 22.68m, then 22.98m, CR, then, on the final throw, 23.51m! Leonardo Fabbri, IT, who had suffered COVID twice and lost most of his bulk, threw 22.34m, a huge PB for silver, and he was the last qualifier for the final! And Joe Kovacs, with his lovely wife and two young children (twins), won the bronze, which I believe is his fifth WC medal in the shot. When Seb Coe was asked about his favorite events, he mentioned the Men’s shot put in the pre-event presser.

Ryan Crouser broke the Champs record twice in the Men’s Shot Put final! Photo by Kevin Morris


4. The Women’s 10,000m came down, after a slow, brooding pace, to Sifan Hassan coming up from dead last to battle with Gudaf Tsegay, 2022 Champ Letesenbet Gidey, and Ejgayehu Taye. It came down to a painful last 50 meters, where Sifan Hassan, who was drifting out to the third lane, fell, and Tsegay charged on to gold in 31:27.18, Letensebet Gidey, silver, 31;28.16, and Ejgayehu Taye, 31:28.31, with Hassan getting up and finishing 11th. Sifan had run a 1,500m round earlier in the day. Alicia Monson, US, continues to impress, moving into fifth.

What a dramatic 10,000m last night! Full out sprints at the very end! Sifan Hassan went from gold medal contender to 11th as she dropped on the track! Sifan has two more events in which to compete in #budapest2023! pic.twitter.com/SkcGGKDmrN

— RunBlogRun (@RunBlogRun) August 20, 2023

5. The final event of the night was surreal. In the Mixed 4x400m, The Netherlands and the US ran neck to neck for three entire laps. Femke Bol anchored with Alexis Holmes of US threatening. Alexis came up on Femke Bol’s shoulder with 30m to go, and as Femke Bol tried to respond, she collapsed as Alexis Holmes went by. USA won in WR of 3:08.80, GBR in silver, 3:11.06 NR, and Czech Republic took bronze in 3:11.98! Femke Bol has two more events to run.

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