The top ten storylines from the World Track and Field Championships, the sport’s most prestigious competition outside of the Olympics:
10. American learns valuable lesson
Molly Huddle made the mistake of celebrating too early in the 10,000m. As she approached the finish line, she eased up and raised both of her arms. This allowed fellow American Emily Infeld to pass her on the inside and claim the bronze medal by .09 of a second (video here).
“I feel like it kind of slipped through my fingers,” Huddle told Universal Sports’ Lewis Johnson afterwards.
9. Emergence of Dafne Schippers
A lot has changed for Schippers of the Netherlands in the last two years.
At the 2013 Worlds, she was the bronze medalist in the heptathlon. This year, she established herself as a sprinting sensation. She won the 200m in 21.63 seconds, becoming the third fastest woman ever in the event (video here). She also claimed the silver medal in the 100m.
When asked about her future, Schippers told BBC Radio, “Now I’m a sprinter. I’m sure.”
8. Allyson Felix makes it look easy
Felix, the Olympic 200m champion, decided to focus on the 400m in Beijing. She easily won the one-lap race, clocking a personal best 49.26 seconds (video here). She has now won more Worlds gold medals than any other American.
Felix also claimed silver medals in the 4x100m and 4x400m, giving her 13 career Worlds medals.
7. Britain’s “Super Saturday” stars overcome adversity
August 4, 2012 is known as “Super Saturday” in Great Britain, as the nation won six Olympic gold medals in a single day, including three in track and field. All three of those track and field athletes overcame adversity to win gold medals at the 2015 Worlds.
Jessica Ennis-Hill, competing in her first global championship since 2012 after giving birth to her baby son, won the heptathlon title.
Mo Farah swept the 5000m and 10,000m, despite dealing with a sore hamstring and the distraction of having his coach, Alberto Salazar, accused of violating medical and anti-doping rules with his athletes.
Greg Rutherford leaped 8.41m to claim his first World Championship. Critics had dismissed his 2012 Olympic title as a fluke, citing that his victory jump of 8.31m was the shortest since 1972.
6. Sprinting’s future superstars
The 100m final featured the much-anticipated showdown between Usain Bolt and Justin Gatlin, but it also provided a glimpse of the next generation of sprinters.
American Trayvon Bromell and Canadian Andre De Grasse tied for bronze at 9.92 seconds. Both are only 20 years old. Bromell won the 2014 NCAA 100m title for Baylor, while De Grasse won the 2015 NCAA 100m title for USC.
5. Well-rounded success for Kenya
Kenya is known for middle-distance running, but the nation triumphed in other events in Beijing.
Nicholas Bett won the 400m hurdles title to become the first Kenyan athlete to win a Worlds race shorter than 800m.
Julius Yego, who learned to throw the javelin by watching YouTube videos, became the first Kenyan to win a Worlds medal in a field event.
4. Ashton Eaton is back
Eaton did not show any rust in his first decathlon since 2013, easily winning the gold medal.
He needed to run 4:18.25 or better in the final event, the 1500m, to break his own world record. He did just that, clocking 4:17.52 (video here).
3. Aries Merritt’s inspirational performance
Despite racing with kidney function at less than 20 percent, Merritt claimed the 110m hurdles bronze medal (video here). The 2012 Olympic champion is scheduled to have a kidney transplant on Tuesday.
“This bronze medal is going to shine brighter than my gold,” Merritt told media in Beijing.
2. Mixed results for Team USA
Track and Field News predicted that the U.S. would finish with 31 medals. The U.S. topped the medal table with 18 total medals, its smallest medal haul at a World Championships since 2003.
The U.S. claimed six gold medals. Only Jamaica and Kenya went home with more.
1. Usain Bolt dominates
Bolt proved that he is still the world’s fastest man, conquering Gatlin in the 100m and 200m. He also helped Jamaica claim gold in the 4x100m.
The only thing that could take Bolt down? A Segway.