Noah Lyles Track and Field Sprinter

Top 7 Performances at the 2023 World Athletics Championships

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The World Athletics Championships came to a conclusion on August 27, 2023, in Budapest, ending one of the most spectacular Track and Field World Championships in recent memory. With a record 2,100 athletes competing from 195 countries, and over 400,000 spectators watching the events live, it produced the perfect environment for many records to fall, including a World Record (in the 4x400m Mixed Relay) and many regional records as well.

Below as some of the standout performances from this year’s World Athletics Championship in Budapest.

1. Noah Lyles

Noah Lyles 100m and 200m World Champion Sprinter

Noah Lyles had a World Championship for the ages. The American sprinter opened his Worlds with a win in the 100 meters, giving him his first outright World title in the 100-meter event.

Going into the 200-meter event, he had a chance to become the first man since Usain Bolt to win the World Championship Double, winning both the 100 and 200-meter events. Noah led the entire 200-meter Finals event the claim the Championship Double for his first time ever.

Lyles then finished off the Worlds by anchoring the Men’s 4x400 meter relay team to a gold medal.

2. Athing Mu

Ahting Mu Track Spikes

Despite having only competed in one 800-meter race heading into the World Athletics Championship, defending World Champion Athing Mu of the USA was still considered one of the pre-race favorites. While she did end up finishing first in her heat, in the finals she was bested by two runners, finishing in 3rd and earning the bronze medal. This all despite the fact that Mu wasn’t even sure if she would be competing in the Worlds at all this year. Until a few weeks before the event, she was still considering skipping the World’s to focus more on the 2024 Olympics. 

Eagle-eyed viewers may have also noticed Athing’s change in footwear. While almost every other woman in the finals was wearing the familiar hot pink and orange Nike Spikes, Mu was wearing custom bejeweled light blue Nike spikes. Although Athing said she didn’t design the shoes herself, the custom spikes really helped her stand out from all the other runners in her events.

3. Mary Moraa

Mary Moraa 800m World Champion

The other big story of the 800-meter Final was of course the winner. Running a new personal best of 1:56.03 and passing Athing Mu down the homestretch was Mary Moraa from Kenya. The 23-year-old turned on the jets down the final stretch to claim her first-ever World title. Moraa had finished in 3rd the year before, so she was no stranger to standing on the podium.

Rounding out the podium was Great Britain’s Keely Hodgkinson, who has now claimed silver at back-to-back World Championships. 

4. Neeraj Chopra

Neeraj Chopra Javelin World Champion

Neeraj Chopra became the first-ever athlete from India to win a gold medal at the World Championships. Coming into the event as the second-ranked thrower in the world, and after taking 2nd in 2022, he had quite a bit to prove this year. After missing the sector entirely on his first throw, his 2nd ended up being his best, landing at 88.17 meters.

Also claiming Gold for the first time for their countries were Hugues Fabrice Zango (Burkina Faso) in the men’s triple jump, Ivana Vuleta (Serbia) in the women’s long jump, and Haruka Kitaguchi (Japan) in women’s javelin. This gives Haruka the chance to defend her title on home soil in Tokyo in 2025.

5.  Nina Kennedy and Katie Moon

Nina Kennedy and Katie Moon Pole Vault Gold Medal Winners

In the ultimate show of sportsmanship, Nina Kennedy (AUS) and Katie Moon (USA) agreed to split the gold medal in the pole vault, after tying for first in the event. Chris Nilsen (USA) and Kurtis Marschall (AUS) also shared the bronze medal in the men’s pole vault.

6. Ethan Katzberg

Ethan Katzberg Hammer Throw World Champion

Ethan Katzberg (CAN) went into the hammer throw as not only an underdog but also as the youngest competitor in the finals at 21 years of age. Not only did he win Canada’s first-ever gold medal in the event, but he also became both the youngest hammer throw champion ever, and the youngest competitor to make it to the finals.

7. The Viewers

Budapest World Championships Stadium

Almost as amazing as all the athletic achievements was the incredible increase in viewership across the board. More than 400,000 ticketed spectators watched the events live in Budapest.

Not to be outdone by the live spectators, the live results platform continues to grow exponentially too. On the first day alone, traffic to the website was more than double that of any previous event.

On the media side, records were also set by the number of staff it took to pull off the coverage. It took over 1200 accredited broadcast personnel from 46 broadcasters around the globe, and 850 accredited media and photographers to create the coverage that was enjoyed all around the world.

The 2023 World Championships in Budapest was an overwhelming success for not only those involved but also for fans of track and field around the world. The world-class athletes and level of competition made for some of the most intriguing events ever seen at the Track and Field World Championships.

With the Olympics taking place in 2024, the next version of the World Championships will be on us again before we realize it. The 2025 event takes place from September 13 - September 21, 2025, in beautiful Tokyo, Japan. The World Championships haven’t been held in Japan since 2007 in Osaka and will be held in Tokyo for the first time since 1991.

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