World champs gold rush for Lyles, Richardson and Kipyegon
August 27, 2023 10:18 AM
Noah Lyles and Sha'Carri Richardson, the two faces of the World Athletics Championships, won their third and second golds respectively by anchoring the United States to 4x100m relay triumphs in Budapest on Saturday.
On an enthralling night's action Armand 'Mondo' Duplantis and Faith Kipyegon rubberstamped their authority in their events.
Charismatic Swede Duplantis retained his pole vault title, although he fell short of bettering his own world record, whilst Kenyan Kipyegon became the first woman to achieve the 1500 and 5,000m double, when she won the latter.
It was a night of firsts for Canada, who had earlier in the championships swept both the men's and women's hammer titles.
Marco Arop and Pierce LePage became the first Canadians to win the men's 800m title and decathlon respectively.
Olympic champion Damian Warner gilded the lily for Canada in the decathlon, taking silver.
Yet another medal came Canada's way with Sarah Mitton finishing second in the women's shot put.
Mitton lost out to USA's Chase Ealey, who, like Duplantis, retained her title.
Lyles and Richardson, though, stole the show.
Lyles held up three fingers as he raced across the line, a big grin spread across his face as he added relay gold to his 100/200m double.
In achieving the double he became the fifth man to do so and with the treble the first since Usain Bolt in 2015 to sweep the lot.
Bolt, however, did it three times.
"This is the third gold for me here," said 26-year-old Lyles.
"It's sensational, amazing. You can't do better. It's out of control."
Richardson's run over the line ended in less elegant fashion as her momentum carried her into Lyles's teammate Christian Coleman, both of them ending up on the ground.
"Dreams like this come true," said Richardson of her relay gold.
Kipyegon underlined her status as one of the all-time greats of distance running, the 29-year-old once again in these championships outclassing The Netherlands' 5000m Olympic champion Sifan Hassan.
"I have been patient waiting to be able to break world records and win double golds. But my dream just came true, it is amazing," said Kipyegon.
- 'The craziest atmosphere' -
LePage turned silver last year into gold with a fabulous performance on the second day of the decathlon, even more so as he had a problematic hamstring.
"I went all in from this morning and it makes me really proud," said the 27-year-old. "It is nice to share this podium with him (Warner).
"This morning I pulled my hamstring before the hurdles.
"But it is decathlon, we are used to a lot of injuries, you get through it."
Duplantis enjoyed a pretty routine defence of his title, saying: "I'm really happy about all these consecutive golds.
"I don't know where this one ranks but I'm happy to keep winning.
"This was maybe the craziest atmosphere I've ever competed in so it meant a lot to be able to turn on a pole vault show for them."
Arop produced a masterful run, calmly staying at the back of the field until pushing the button down the back straight. The 24-year-old was never in trouble once he hit the front.
"Now it's going to be hard to beat a gold medal," said Sudan-born Arop, who won bronze in last year's worlds.
"I'll just have to repeat it, I guess.
"I'm going to work twice as hard now to make sure I stay on top. I don't want to be known as the guy who can only run one way."
The 4x400m relay finals round off the championships on Sunday with India outsiders for a surprise medal.
They set a new Asian record of 2:59.05 in finishing second behind the USA in their semi-final.