Some Reflections of #Oregon22 (World Athletics) Going Forward

World athletics championship 2022 in Oregon was simply terrific.

There were so many outstanding performances by the athletes that it is impossible for me to even pick a top ten. There was the odd controversy such as the false starts and some overseas athletes faced last minute visa hurdles.

But some of the things I took away from the Oregon World Athletics Championship 2022 were

  1. 6 of the 8 women who lined up for 400m final came from the Caribbean with the eventual winner coming from Bahamas, runner up Dominican Republic and Sada Williams became the first Barbadian woman to win a medal (bronze) at the world championship. The Caribbean won 17 medals overall but surprisingly none from Cuba Many others performed admirably well for their respective island nation. Thus the Caribbean cemented itself as a powerhouse in track and field. It about time now the world outdoor championship is held in the Caribbean. Seb Coe (World Athletics president) is correct when he says that for Jamaica to host a world championship it has to build a new stadium.
  2. When Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce won her first 100m world title in 2009 her prize money was $US60,000. When Fraser-Pryce won the 100m world title for the 5th time last week she received $US70,000. Scandalous. [First round prize money for the US tennis Singles Open in 2022 is $75,000 ($19,000 in 2009)] World Athletics must do better in the prize money stakes.
  3. On the last day of the world championship Tobi Amusan (Nigeria) stole the show when she broke the 100m hurdles world record in the semis and returned hours later to run a wind aided faster time to win the title. Amusan is trained by former Jamaican hurdler/jumper Lacena Golding-Clarke who has held a senior coaching role at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) for some time and now moving on to Auburn University. Golding-Clarke’s coaching achievement is a big step for the Jamaican female coaching fraternity.
  4. Qualifications for the world championship needs to be based on merit (top 16-32) and not restricted to 3 athletics per nationality. Seeing East African athletes running for non-African nations in order to just get a spot is archaic.
  5. If you followed the various US media platforms you would have hardly known that the world championship was happening in that country. This despite there being no NFL, NBA, NHL or EPL on show. US media (incl. ESPN) could care less about athletics and their coverage reflected it. NBC (rights holder) showed most of its coverage on their Peacock streaming platform. NBC did little to promote the sport ahead of the event and World Athletics must take some of the flak for that poor piece of planning and marketing. NBC’s commentary of the women’s 10000m final was embarrassing.
  6. Time for the world championship to be held on an annual basis (excl. Olympic year) and not biannual.
  7. The 2023 world championship will be held in Hungary in August. Given the numerous anti human rights stances taken by Hungary’s government led by PM Viktor Orban, will there be pressure by some western governments or human rights groups for athletes to boycott the 2023 world championship?
    1. Orban’s latest remarks “We [Hungarians] are not a mixed race … and we do not want to become a mixed race,” One of Orban’s own colleagues resigned in outrage describing Orban’s remarks as akin to Joseph Goebbels.
    1. Everything you need to know about human rights in Hungary

But if I am to pick one highlight from Oregon22 it would be  long jumper Malaika Mihambo’s (Germany) third jump to remain in the competition; a jump that took her into the lead and never looked back in retaining her title.


About africanherbsman1967

On the corner
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