My preview of tomorrow’s Athletissima IAAF Diamond League meet in Lausanne for the IAAF and Diamond League websites.
My feature for the IAAF on Jamaican Jaheel Hyde who last week successfully defended his world U20 title in the 400m hurdles in Bydgoszcz, Poland. The intro:
Soon after his 400m hurdles victory at the IAAF World U20 Championships Bydgoszcz 2016 eight days ago, a Jamaican journalist asked Jaheel Hyde if his successful title defence earned his season a ‘Mission Accomplished’ characterisation.
“Definitely,” the 19-year-old, said, without the slightest hesitation. “This win was on my mind. I came here and defended my title and I couldn’t be more pleased with that. It’s a great feeling to create history for my country and for myself. I’ll keep doing that.”
Hyde became just the sixth man to win a back-back world U20 title, the 18th athlete overall, and the first in his event.
The 49.03 run that propelled him to a second gold in the event was the proverbial icing on a season that included a 48.81 runner-up finish at the senior Jamaican Championships which also punched his ticket to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
I sat down for a few minutes to chat with Marcus Krah of the US the day after he stormed to the world U20 title in the 110m hurdles in Bydgoszcz, Poland, and got the impression that once he adjusts to the slighter higher barriers after his first year of collegiate competition, we’ll be seeing much more from him.
Entering a competition as a favourite is one thing, but leaving with the title of world champion is another. Just ask Marcus Krah, who admirably shouldered that pressure en route to a convincing victory in the 110m hurdles at the IAAF World U20 Championships Bydgoszcz 2016.
“It still hasn’t hit me all the way yet, I’m still getting congrats from family, friends, people on Twitter, people I don’t even know, it feels good,“ said the Durham, North Carolina native, still savouring the 13.25 victory that brought him his first international laurels.
“I’ve been waiting for this for I don’t know how long. I never thought that I would be a world champion but I’ve been waiting to get on a USA team for years.”
Hearing an 18-year-old say he has been waiting “years” for something could seem over the top, but in Krah’s case, it’s not really that hefty of an exaggeration.
Beginning in the sport as a five-year-old – “I didn’t skip a year,” he said – Krah was already excelling at age-group events regionally and nationally by the time he was 13. First it was in the long and triple jumps, his first loves in the sport, and then the hurdles which he took up that year. It was a passion strong enough for Krah to already whittle down his career path choices.
“I made the decision that I wanted to (eventually) go pro in the hurdles and run in the Olympics, when I was 13,” he said. If he is half as determined as he is affable, Krah is already well on his way.
A version of this summary originally appeared in Mother of Games, the quarterly magazine of the Qatar Athletics Federation.
An edition-by-edition summary of track and field highlights at the Olympic Games, 1896 to 2012.
1896, Athens – Twelve athletics events are held at the inaugural modern Olympic Games, with the USA winning nine. The first Olympic champion is James Connolly (USA), the winner in the triple jump.
1900, Paris – Taking place in conjunction with the World’s Fair, 23 events are held; Alvin Kraenzlein (USA), a sprinter and hurdler, wins four.
1904, St. Louis – Twenty-five events are held again in conjunction with the World’s Fair. Hosts USA win 23.
1908, London – Raw Ewry (USA) won the standing long and standing high for the third straight time, upping his total gold medal count to eight. Twenty-six events are contested.
1912, Stockholm – Thirty events are contested. Hannes Kolehmainen (FIN) won the 5000m, 10,000m and Cross Country races. Jim Thorpe (USA) is stripped of his pentathlon and decathlon title for violating amateurism rules, but they’re posthumously reinstated in 1983.
1920, Antwerp – Paavo Nurmi (FIN), the ‘Flying Finn’, wins three gold medals –10,000m, Individual Cross Country and Team Cross Country– and silver in the 5000m. Twenty-nine events are contested.
1924, Paris – Paavo Nurmi is again the star, this time winning five gold medals: 1500m, 5000m, 3000m Team Race, Individual Cross Country and Team Cross Country. Twenty-seven events are contested.
1928, Amsterdam – Women’s events are held for the first time. Nine world records are broken, four in the five women’s events. Paavo Nurmi regains the 10,000m title for his ninth career Olympic gold medal.
My feature for the IAAF on rising javelin star Thomas Rohler of Germany who has led the world for much of the early part of the season.
Oslo Diamond League Sprints, Jumps and Hurdles Report: Record-breaking Schippers Highlights Track Action in Oslo
My sprint, jumps and hurdles report from the ExxonMobil Bislett Games in Oslo for the IAAF and Diamond League.
My throw events report from the ExxonMobil Bislett Games in Oslo for the IAAF and Diamond League.
My middle distances report from the ExxonMobil Bislett Games in Oslo for the IAAF and Diamond League.