In the Budapest 23 World Athletics Championships Women’s Discus event, Laulauga Tausaga-Collins vaulted to the top of the field with her penultimate try, displacing Valarie Allman’s gold medal position of 69.23 in the most crucial moment of the final, thus securing the world title.
- ALSO READ:
Jamaicans in Action | Budapest 23 World Athletics Championships – Day 3 Schedule
Sprinter’s paradise as Noah Lyles stamps class in Budapest 23
Highlights from Day 1 of the Budapest 23 World Athletics Championships
Valarie Allman, the Olympic champion and bronze medalist from Eugene, seemed to have nearly secured the title in Budapest by throwing 68.57 at the start of the competition.
However, in the fifth round, Tausaga-Collins unexpectedly threw 69.49 (PB), becoming America’s first female discus world champion.
Chinese thrower and Eugene World Champion Feng Bin earned a bronze in Budapest with a throw of 69.20m.
Tausaga-Collins said: “I don’t know if I have a fairy godmother or something, or my ancestors had some say in it, but I was able to do something tonight that I didn’t think was possible yet. I was confident if I was on my A game, I could sneak through into a medal place and not be 12th like I was in the last two world championships. I’m just so happy. It’s unbelievable to go from 12th to first. No one was expecting me, and I just showed up. I was desperate, very scared because I couldn’t be 12th again. I just said to myself, ‘You need to let it out, and it fouls, then so be it.”
JeVaughn Harrison Narrowly Misses Gold in High Jump Thriller at Budapest 23
In the men’s high jump final, Jamaican American JeVaughn Harrison narrowly missed out on Gold as Gianmarco Tamberi from Italy, who also held a Co-Olympic championship from Tokyo, finally added a world title to his achievements.
Harrison established a new world lead by clearing 2.36 in his podium attempt, before Tamberi also matched the height and won on countbacks.
Three-time reigning world champion Mutaz Barshim secured third place, earning his first bronze after failing to surpass his own 2023 world lead set in July.
Harrison still has a chance for a world title in the Long Jump event, which will kick off on Wednesday morning.
“I think this was the best year of my career,” said Harrison. “I was consistent in every competition. After qualification, I was about to have fun in the final and enjoy the jumps. It is fantastic that I beat one of the Olympic winners and I equaled the other. This is what I came for. This result gives me a great confidence for the Olympic Games in Paris.”
Kendra Harrison of the USA set the stage for the women’s 100m hurdles with a blazing start, achieving a new world lead of 12.24 in the prelims.
Her mark was just four hundredths off the former world record holder’s PB of 12.20 and led Bahamian Devyn Charlton (12.44) and Jamaican Danielle Williams (12.51) through the fastest preliminary race ever.
Kendra Harrison commented: “I did not know how fast I was going, but he (my coach) just told me to be aggressive every single round, to give everything I have. It is new to have races on three different days. I am truly happy about this run.”
Other Americans Maasai Russell (12.60) and Jamaican Ackera Nugent (12.60) crossed the line in close succession, while 2019 world champion Nia Ali (12.55) also qualified for the semis. Puerto Rican Jasmine Camacho Quinn made it through with a time of 12.50.
World record holder and reigning World Champion Tobi Amusan, recently cleared by a disciplinary tribunal to compete in these games after an AIU provisional suspension, qualified with a time of 12.48, overtaking second-place Jamaican Meagan Tapper (12.51).
The men’s 400m continued the unpredictability of these championships, as reigning Olympic Champion and 2023 world leader Steven Gardiner pulled up as he entered the home straight.
This created an opportunity for American hurdler-turned-flat-quartermiler Quincy Hall to win and qualify with a time of 44.43. Others like Jamaican Sean Bailey (44.94) secured second place, while non-automatic qualifiers from other heats, like former world champion Wayde Van Neikerk, returned to the final with a chance to compete for a third title.
This situation is symptomatic of wider logistical issues in this championship, particularly in keeping athletes adequately cool.
Gardiner had already suffered heat exhaustion during Sunday’s qualifying and had to be hospitalized; luckily, this occurred after he completed his prelim heat.
Gardiner wasn’t the only athlete to not finish his semifinal heat, as Botswana’s Bayapo Ndori pulled up on the backstretch.
American Britton Wilson also crashed out of her prelim heat on Sunday and, like Gardiner, required wheelchair assistance.
In the first semifinal, Jamaica’s Antonio Watson set a new PB of 44.13 to win the heat, with surging American Vernon Norwood (44.26) close behind, and Kirani James (44.53) qualified after British athlete Matthew Hudson-Smith with a time of 44.26.
Don’t miss our guide on How to Watch the Budapest 23 World Athletics Championships Live Stream, ensuring you catch every exhilarating second, no matter your location. Also, check out our Live Updates: Budapest 23 World Athletics Championships | Latest News and Results