Sunday, June 23, 2024

World Athletics Championships 2023: Why Nice Britain will really feel optimistic about Olympic success


Katarina Johnson-Thompson and Josh Kerr will probably be among the many British athletes concentrating on Olympic glory in Paris after delivering spectacular golden moments at an exciting World Championships.

Johnson-Thompson’s gorgeous second heptathlon title and Kerr’s shock 1500m victory had been among the many standout GB performances over 9 dramatic days.

Rising star Keely Hodgkinson’s 800m silver was her third international medal on the age of 21, whereas Matthew Hudson-Smith went near capturing 400m gold in Budapest.

These medals helped the British group end seventh general and equal their best-ever Worlds haul – matching the ten gained in 1993.

After failing to win an athletics gold on the 2020 Olympics, British hopes of success will seemingly be a lot larger in Paris subsequent 12 months.

Medal table: 1. USA 2. Canada 3. Spain 4. Jamaica 5. Kenya 7. Great Britain
Nice Britain end the championships with 10 medals

GB gained seven medals in Eugene, Oregon ultimately 12 months’s delayed championships – with Jake Wightman, absent in 2023 due to harm, successful his nation’s solely gold within the 1500m.

Zharnel Hughes took 100m bronze and Ben Pattison was a shock 800m medallist in Budapest, the place well-attended periods produced a becoming ambiance across the largest moments.

There have been additionally 4 relay medals gained, with Britain securing blended 4x400m silver and bronze medals for the ladies’s 4x100m and each 4x400m groups.

GB gained 5 athletics medals on the Tokyo Olympics two years in the past – and a focus will quickly flip to Paris 2024, now lower than 12 months away.

Johnson-Thompson & Kerr happen amongst favourites

Again in love with the game – and on prime of the world – Johnson-Thompson’s sudden triumph towards favorite Anna Corridor means she is going to look in direction of subsequent summer time’s Olympics with ambition and perception.

The 30-year-old defended a slender lead over Corridor in a fascinating closing 800m occasion to reclaim the heptathlon title she gained in 2019, finishing a outstanding turnaround in her profession.

4 injury-stricken years adopted that first international triumph and he or she feared her profession could also be over after rupturing her Achilles, earlier than a torn calf introduced a merciless finish to her medal bid in Tokyo.

However Johnson-Thompson proved she is able to contend for her first Olympic medal, though Belgium’s two-time champion Nafi Thiam – dominated out via harm – will return in Paris.

Kerr was unequivocal in his perception that his time had arrived as he surprised favorite Jakob Ingebrigtsen to clinch his first international title.

The 25-year-old mentioned that success, achieved in the identical spectacular style pretty much as good good friend Wightman one 12 months earlier as he broke the Norwegian within the closing levels, had been “a very long time coming”.

The Olympic bronze medallist, not quick on confidence, will now search to enhance on the third place he achieved in Tokyo.

Edinburgh Athletics Membership team-mate Wightman will goal a return to his finest after being unable to defend his title, with each Britons having now delivered psychological blows to the reigning Olympic champion.

Hodgkinson & Hudson-Smith goal golds

Hodgkinson says her purpose is to develop into certainly one of Britain’s best athletes – and at 21, she seems nicely on her strategy to reaching that.

With three international silver medals in her first three years as an expert athlete, Hodgkinson will as soon as once more count on to duel with rivals Mary Moraa and Athing Mu when she resumes her bid for a primary international title in 2024.

This time, it was Moraa who denied her the gold she desired following one other 12 months of serious progress. However Britain’s Olympic runner-up solely appears to return extra decided after every near-miss.

There isn’t a doubt within the thoughts of Hudson-Smith about which medal he intends to gather in Paris following his 400m silver.

Upgrading his 2022 bronze in Budapest, the 28-year-old fell an agonising 0.09 seconds quick of a primary international title as he was denied gold by Jamaica’s Antonio Watson.

Hudson-Smith made no secret that gold had been his goal – regardless of enduring a season wherein Achilles tendonitis had at occasions left him unable to stroll – and the two-time European champion says he has “huge plans” for subsequent 12 months.

Hughes & Pattison show podium potential

Following the perfect 12 months of his profession, Hughes ensured he wouldn’t let his newest alternative to show his skill on a world stage cross him by.

The European 200m champion put earlier disappointment behind him, together with a false begin within the Olympic closing two years in the past, to take world 100m bronze and his first international medal.

Following a season wherein he has additionally damaged two long-standing British dash data, the Jamaica-based 28-year-old will proceed his growth underneath the steering of Usain Bolt’s former coach Glen Mills as he builds in direction of a primary Olympic podium.

Pattison’s shock 800m bronze following a sensational run on his World Championships debut made him the primary British man to win a medal within the occasion since Peter Elliott 36 years in the past.

Whereas he lined up as certainly one of simply two athletes within the eight-man closing to not have run underneath one minute 44 seconds over the two-lap race, his rivals will now be nicely conscious of the risk he poses.

The 21-year-old’s medal comes after he gained Commonwealth bronze on his main championship debut final 12 months and he has proven his potential to stun the world’s finest.

Happier Muir goals for consistency as Asher-Smith struggles

Laura Muir will probably be aiming for a settled Olympic build-up after inserting sixth within the 1500m closing following essentially the most turbulent 12 months of her profession.

The Scot, 30, mentioned she had prioritised her happiness after unexpectedly splitting with long-term coach Andy Younger in March and, regardless of not having the ability to match her 2022 bronze, feels “excited for the longer term”.

Muir will really feel she is able to repeating her silver in Tokyo with extra constant preparations earlier than Paris, the place two-time reigning champion and world report holder Religion Kipyegon will once more be heavy favorite after successful a 3rd world title.

It was not the championships Asher-Smith anticipated. The previous 200m champion completed seventh in that occasion after inserting eighth within the 100m closing.

Concerningly, she mentioned she couldn’t really feel something beneath her waist as she pale within the 100m semi-finals and was unable to get better following that race – regardless of feeling in “superb form” after a season of regular enchancment.

The 27-year-old has made a behavior of manufacturing her finest on the game’s largest levels and can work to rediscover her kind over the following 12 months earlier than aiming to safe a primary particular person Olympic medal.

Who else could possibly be in competition?

Daryll Neita couldn’t have requested for way more from her 200m marketing campaign in Budapest, twice producing private bests on her strategy to ending fifth on the earth.

The 26-year-old was upset to overlook out on the 100m closing however completed 0.24 seconds off the final 200m podium place, taken by 100m champion Sha’Carri Richardson. She didn’t go away empty handed, serving to the 4x100m group to bronze.

Jemma Reekie achieved a fifth-place end in her first world 800m closing however faces troublesome competitors, together with Hodgkinson, in that occasion.

Within the discipline occasions, Morgan Lake fell two centimetres in need of the excessive leap medals, securing a fourth-place end with a clearance at 1.97m.

Molly Caudery produced a private finest within the ladies’s pole vault closing to complete fifth, the 23-year-old backing up final 12 months’s Commonwealth Video games silver with one other promising displaying at a world competitors.

Harm hindered Jazmin Sawyers’ bid to win a primary international title following her breakthrough European indoor gold earlier this 12 months, whereas pole vaulter Holly Bradshaw gained Olympic bronze two years in the past however mentioned the game was damaging her psychological well being after struggling an early exit.

Commonwealth 10,000m champion Eilish McColgan may even hope to be harm free by subsequent summer time.

The ladies’s 4x100m and males’s 4x400m groups each achieved their medals regardless of the absence of key people – with Asher-Smith and Hudson-Smith each sitting out their respective finals – additional boosting 2024 prospects.

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