Fred Kerley with a bang in the 100m heats, Allyson Felix and United States in bronze in the mixed 4x400m

In front of nearly packed stands at Hayward Field, the first night of these Worlds in Eugene was marked by the very high level performance of Fred Kerley in the 100m heats. Owner of the best world performance of the year in 9”77, the American impressed by setting the fastest time in major playoff history in 9”79 (wind: +0.1 m/s) championship to be won. He is the favorite for the world title more than ever, and was even faster in the mixed zone, with a “no questions today”. Trayvon Bromell, winner of his run in 9”89 (+0.6 m/s) also seemed very fit, while World Champion Christian Coleman didn’t force and clearly cut his effort before the line to win in his run in 10” 08 (+0.5 m/s) ahead of the Canadian Andre de Grasse (10”12).

We also wanted to see Italian Olympic champion Marcell Jacobs at work, who was penalized for several weeks by a strained left thigh. Second in his run in 10”04 behind Jamaican Oblique Seville, winner in 9”93 (+0.2 m/s), he didn’t make a great visual impression and seemed embarrassed. “I had to fight, I’m not 100%, but I gave everything I had. explained Jacobs, who had been warned for arriving late to the appeals room. I’m going to the treatment to be ready for the semi-final on Saturday. »

Also note the junior world record of Batswana Letsile Tebogo (19), who won his series in 9”94 (+1.1 m/s) ahead of Jamaican Yohan Blake (10”04). And the relief for the African record holder, the Kenyan Ferdinand Omanyala. Facing very serious difficulties in getting his visa to the United States on time, he did not leave his country until Thursday, arriving in Eugene barely three hours before his series. Third in his run in 10”10 by the Japanese Abdul Hakim Sani Brown in 9”98 (-0.3 m/s), we’ll see him well in the semi-finals. But in what physical condition? “A lot of people talk about me, but I want to focus on my races and not on what’s happening outside. said Omanyala. I’m feeling tired. Even though I didn’t get past that round, the trip to Eugene was worth it. »

Bronze farewell to Allyon Felix

Allyson Felix (36) is in his final year on the track and on Friday had the chance to take a 13th world title with the American mixed 4x400m. Wildly encouraged when she took over in second place, the Californian will unfortunately have to settle for bronze, her 19th medal at the World Cup, as the success went to the Dominican Republic, to the Netherlands from Femke Bol and thus the United States. The stadium was already almost empty when Felix took the time to wave to the crowd with his teammates with the American flag on his shoulders.

Three out of three for the French

On the French side, over 3,000m steeplechase, Mehdi Belhadj (27) advanced to the final, finishing 4th in his run in 8’20”47, a plenty of time to pass the time. Successful bet for the Ile-de-France, which will play its first major international championship in Oregon. In the final, on the night from Monday to Tuesday (4:20 am), he will mainly compete against the Moroccan Olympic champion from Tokyo Soufiane El Bakkali, his second in Japan, the Ethiopian Lamecha Girma and the Kenyan Conseslus Kipruto, crowned in Rio in 2016.

Mission also passed in the pole vault for Margot Chevrier and Ninon Chapelle, both qualified for the final, with a 4.50m pass, the first quoted on her third attempt. There will be 15 athletes in the final instead of 12. But not Canadian Alysha Newman, knocked out by 4.35 m. Nor Briton Holly Bradshaw, bronze medalist in Tokyo, who broke a pole during warm-up falling into the stopper and hurting her hip didn’t defend her chances.

Gong and Crouser in Weight Management

In the women’s 1500m series, the headliners, Ethiopian Gudaf Tsegay, Kenyan Faith Kipyegon and British Laura Muir passed by without fear. No damage to the length for the favourites, but the 2019 world champion, Jamaican Tajay Gayle, bit his three tries, visibly not recovering from his bone bruise.

The women’s shot put qualifiers were no surprise either, and were dominated by two-time World and Olympic champion Lijiao Gong of China with a 19.51m throw. In the men’s still as easy as the Olympic champion and world record holder, American Ryan Crouser did not hesitate to score his ticket to the final, with 22.28 m on his first throw. He will find his usual rivals, his compatriot Joe Kovacs (21.50 m), New Zealander Tom Walsh (21”44), as well as Brazilian Darlan Romani (20.98 m).

Japanese double in the 20 km walk

Earlier in the day we were entitled to a Japanese double on the 20km walk, contested under strong heat on a one-kilometer loop that logically had to be repeated twenty times. Already crowned in Doha in 2019 and bronze medalist in Tokyo last year, Toshikazu Yamanishi (26) retained his world title with a time of 1h19’07”, ahead of his compatriot and Olympic vice-champion Koki Ikeda (+0”07 ), which he dropped in the last kilometer. The Swede Perseus Karlström took third place (+0”11).

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