The World Athletics Indoor Championships took place over the weekend in Belgrade, Serbia, and featured the top track and field competitors from around the globe. This meet was a great way to end the indoor season and get a taste of what’s to come in the outdoor season, with quick records and exciting races.
All the major breakthroughs and exciting finishes from the indoor world championships are detailed here.
World Indoor Championship Winners:
- Women’s 3,000 meters: Lemlem Hailu, ETH, 8:41.82
- Men’s 3,000 meters: Selemon Barega, ETH, 7:41.38
- Women’s 1500 meters: Gudaf Tsegay, ETH, 3:57.19
- Men’s 1500 meters: Samuel Tefera, ETH, 3:32.77
- Women’s 800 meters: Ajeé Wilson, USA, 1:59.09
- Men’s 800 meters: Mariano Garcia, ESP, 1:46.20
- Womens’s 400 meters: Shaunae Miller-Uibo, BAH, 50.31
- Men’s 400 meters: Jereem Richards, TTO, 45.00
- Women’s 60 meters: Mujinga Kambundji, SUI, 6.96
- Men’s 60 meters: Lamont Marcell Jacobs, ITA, 6.41
- Women’s 60-meter hurdles: Cyréna Samba-Mayela, FRA, 7.78
- Men’s 60-meter hurdles: Grant Holloway, USA, 7.39
- Women’s 4 x 400-meter relay: Jamaica, 3:28.40
- Men’s 4 x 400-meter relay: Belgium, 3:06.52
- Women’s shotput: Auriol Dongmo, POR, 20.43 meters
- Men’s shotput: Darlan Romani, BRA, 22.53
- Women’s high jump: Yaroslava Mahuchikh, UKR, 2.02 meters
- Men’s high jump: Sanghyeok Woo, KOR, 2.34 meters
- Women’s long jump: Ivana Vuleta, SRB, 7.06 meters
- Men’s long jump: Miltiadis Tentoglou, GRE, 8.55 meters
- Women’s triple jump: Yulimar Rojas, VEN, 15.74 meters
- Men’s triple jump: Lazaro Martinez, CUB, 17.64 meters
- Women’s pole vault: Sandi Morris, USA, 4.80 meters
- Men’s pole vault: Armand Duplantis, SWE, 6.20 meters
Highlights from the World Indoor Championships:
Optimal Racing Strategy:
Elle Purrier St. Pierre, who finished second to Ethiopia’s world indoor champion Lemlem Hailu on Friday, became the first American woman to ever win a medal at a major international event. The Olympic finalist in the women’s 3,000-meter race won silver with a powerful final-lap surge.
Hailu, at age 20, won gold in a tactical final and set a personal best with a time of 8 minutes, 41 seconds. In close pursuit was Purrier St. Pierre, who crossed the line in 8:42.04. Finally, Ejgayehu Taye of Ethiopia won bronze with a time of 8:42.23. Canadian Gabriela Debues-Stafford came in at #4 in 8:42.89. In 8:46.39, American Alicia Monson came in eighth.
Purrier St. Pierre, 27, admitted, “I didn’t know what to expect.” Because of the anticipated high volume of people, I took it easy, found the greatest possible vantage point, and kept my cool when things got rough. That’s exactly what I had in mind—a medal. It’s a whole other ballgame to follow through with it. The phrase “quite excited” describes how I feel perfectly.
Debues-Stafford took the lead at the beginning and slowed the pace down considerably. World cross-country champion Beatrice Chebet was hot on the heels of the Bowerman Track Club racer as they completed the first 800 metres in 2 minutes and 27 seconds. At about the 900-meter mark, Ethiopians took the lead, with global indoor silver medallist Dawit Seyaum and Taye running 1-2 in a tightly bunched group.
During the first 1500 metres, Taye set the pace with a time of 4:33, and then the pace rapidly increased up front as the Ethiopians aimed for a podium sweep. Purrier St. Pierre was still in the running after falling further behind Taye, Seyaum, and Chebet on the inner track.
Purrier St. Pierre, the national champion in the 1500 metres, fell to fifth place on the bell lap but quickly recovered. Seven months after placing 10th in the Olympic final, she won silver by finishing ahead of Taye, Debues-Stafford, and Seyaum thanks to her finishing pace.
Most Significant Development:
On Friday, the women’s 60-meter final got the sprint finals underway, and two Americans came away with medals.
Switzerland’s Mujinga Kambundji delivered a historic performance, clocking in at 6.96 seconds to win gold. U.S. citizens Mikiah Brisco and Marybeth Sant-Price both set personal records in their respective events, with Brisco coming in second in 6.99 and Sant-Price in third in 7.04.
The Single Most Dominant Group Effort:
Gudaf Tsegay, holder of the world indoor record in the 1500 metres, did not take any chances in her pursuit of the title. The Ethiopian won the race by himself in a championship record-setting 3 minutes, 57.19 seconds.
The Ethiopian team was swept off the podium by the efforts of Axumawit Embaye (4:02.29) and Hirut Meshesha (4:03.39). World Athletics reports that this is the first time a single nation has won every single medal at the World Indoor Athletics Championships.