Richardson rakes in another convincing win, Fahnbulleh’s weakness comes to the fore again as Jaydon Hibbert and Britton Wilson excel at the SEC Championships.
What a weekend we had in the world of athletics! Guess we never stop saying this every time. But really, these last few days gave fans of the sport actions to salivate for the rest of the week, and as usual, we’ve brought them to the fore to stir up the conversation.
Sha’Carri Richardson is ridiculously good. Can she maintain the momentum?
Another race off the mark for US Sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson, another easy win for her! After behind the subject of controversy (she always is) prior to a potential match-up against Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce in the women’s 100m at this year’s Kip Keino classic, the American put those issues behind her to record yet another dominant win in the women’s 200m in 22.07s.
Richardson 2.0, if you prefer to call it that way, looks more trimmed, focused, and less distracted. We should be scared, really. How much faster can she run? In Nairobi, inside a packed Kasarani stadium, the American still found a way to make the 200m classy. That’s what she does. And the attraction is mutual, too.
Sha’Carri Richardson is the moment as she wins the women’s 200m at the @KipKeinoClassic in a 22.07 meeting record.#ContinentalTourGold pic.twitter.com/mNdGTWfiEW
— World Athletics (@WorldAthletics) May 13, 2023
Here, her compatriot Kyra Jefferson and was the closest to her in terms of pedigree. Very few were expecting Richardson to fluff her lines. But with her, stranger things have happened. Not anymore, though. She was away in what looked like a flash and ate up the stagger on her rivals less than 50m into the race.
Heading into the home straight, there was always going to be one winner in the end. The manner of the win was so commanding she started celebrating with less than 40m to go. No arm movement, smiling from cheek to cheek; it was Bolt-like. With all of the showboating, she still managed to run a Meet Record.
Richardson is looking good for the money at this point, and this performance would most certainly put a scare in her rivals’ hearts. With the sort of form she’s in at the moment, one can’t rule out a potential double at the world championships.
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce needs to manage her body well for the rest of the season.
We all anticipated Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce making her season debut at the Kip Kieno Classic last weekend, nine months after we last saw her race on the track and a few days after she snagged the Laureus Sportswoman of the Year award. Heck, this was where all the sub-10.7s started in 2022. Sadly, she had to pull out of the women’s 100m after it was confirmed she had a bit of discomfort in training.
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, photo by Weltklasse Zurich
You can chalk this up to her body getting older by the day, and you won’t be wrong. That’s how life works. Nobody is immortal; as we grow older, our body slowly begins to pack up. Injuries become more frequent, and they inevitably take time to heal.
For Fraser-Pryce, this is the reality she would have to live with. Managing her body and limiting the number of races she runs is key at this point as making it into the world championships in August will be crucial.
Joseph Fahnbulleh needs to sort out his start if f he wants to be a global champion.
I dare say we haven’t seen an athlete like Joseph Fahnbulleh in recent times. For a sprinter who is just barely above six feet to have such an outrageous start to a race at this elite level is beyond terrible. It might sound harsh, but that’s the reality. And once again, it came to the fore in the men’s 200m race at the Kip Kieno Classic.
Fahnbulleh’s trademark style has always been to finish his races like a bullet train. It was what saw him become a double NCAA Champion in the 100m and 200m in his final year in college. At that level, though, the margin for error isn’t as small at the Professional level. Now that the Liberian has been competing on the circuit professionally, it is one area he needs to drastically brush up if he’s to medal at a global championship.
Joseph Fanbuellah, 100m/200m, by Kevin Neri
In Nairobi, you can argue that the starter’s gun went out too fast after the athletes had been recalled earlier. Still, Fahnbulleh wasn’t the only runner in the blocks. He went out way too late that even the naked eye could see it. That doesn’t mean it’s all doom and gloom for him. Recognizing and accepting the issue is key. Adjustments can be made. Even the great Usain Bolt polished his start, and he’s a couple of inches taller than Fahnbulleh.
Maybe a switch to the 400m and testing his mettle won’t be a bad idea. After all, we have seen sprinters take a step from the 400m to run the 100m. Whatever adaptation Fahnbulleh decides to take, the top of the list must be gearing him up to win a global medal.
Britton Wilson continues to break records.
When world athletics put out a post on their social media announcing Britton Wilson’s world-leading mark of 49.13s in the women’s 400m at this year’s SEC Championships, there was an addendum at the tail end about her already being faster than the great Allyson Felix over the distance at the age of 22.
It might seem overboard at this stage, but it succinctly puts into perspective the sort of athlete we are having to watch at the moment. Wilson, who has been predominantly a 400m Hurdler has seen her transition into the 400m flat yield massive dividends, and it was in full force on Saturday.
Britton Wilson goes 49.13/53.28 at SEC Conference, photo by World Athletics.
The American had clocked a Personal Best of 49.40 in the 400m heats on Friday before improving to 49.13 in the final to win comfortably from Tierra Robinson-Jones (50.54). It is very glaring that she doesn’t belong to this level. The time shoots her up to No. 17 on the all-time women’s list. It would be enough for her to rake in a medal at the last Olympics and world championships on any other day. Wilson still had enough in her to win her specialist event-400mH by over two seconds in 53.28s. We really do have a gem on our hands.
We have a rivalry between Godson Oghenebrume and Favour Ashe
If you have been following the NCAA circuit this season, it is clear to see that Nigerian sprinters Favour Ashe and Godson Oghenebrume have developed a healthy rivalry over the 100m, and it came to the fore at this year’s SEC Championships. However, these two have been at it since their days growing up in Delta State, Nigeria.
— Oghenebrume Godson (@brume_godson) May 15, 2023
Last season saw Ashe steal a march on Godson, who was nursing an injury. But as we saw over the weekend, if these two are in pristine shape, then we are in for a thrill. Godson got the win this time in 10.04s from Ashe, who ran 10.08s for second.
Lest we forget, other fine runners like Terrance Jones and Alaba Akintola are running fast times in other meets in the NCAA circuit. It surely spices things up for what promises to be a packed-up NCAA final.
Jaydon Hibbert is another freak of an athlete.
The thing with sports is the universe always has a way of giving us some unique talent once in a lifetime. It then cools it off for a period with some really good ones before throwing up another generational talent. In Jaydon Hibbert, it seems we’ve found another gem in the men’s Triple Jump. The last really good genuine talent athletics had in this event was Jonathan Edwards, and as we know, he holds the world record with 18.29m.
Jaydon Hibbert goes 17.87m in TJ, that is exciting for the event! And a WU20 record! The triple jump is a challenging event, for some one, so young to do this is really cool! Congrats Jaydon! @RazorbackTF https://t.co/dbSvVw1vjY
— RunBlogRun (@RunBlogRun) May 14, 2023
With Hibbert, there is a distinct possibility that this record will fall soon. The Jamaican first announced himself to the world when he jumped 17.27m at 17 years old on his first attempt to win the world U20 championships in 2022.
Now 18, Hibbert completely obliterated the world U20 record of 17.50m- which has stood since 1985 at the SEC Championships, reaching a new mark of 17.87m. It also doubles as an NCAA Record. That’s an incredible 37cm increase which for a professional athlete would be massive. But for a college athlete, this just takes it a notch higher, and there will be expectations from him for the rest of the season.