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Women highlighted on Day 4 of Oregon22

Monday's clear skies and warm but not hot temperatures made for ideal conditions at Hayward Field
Karen Richards
Monday's clear skies and warm but not hot temperatures made for ideal conditions at Hayward Field

The World Athletics Championships track and field meet in Eugene put women in the spotlight on Monday. An all-female crew announced the competitions inside Hayward Field, and a woman piloted the Black Hawk helicopter that flew over the stadium at the start of the evening’s competitions.

Men had medal events in the steeplechase (gold went to Soufiane El Bakkali of Morocco) and the high jump (Qatar’s Mutaz Barshim won the event), but the rest of the day focused on women.

American Anna Hall won a bronze medal in the heptathlon, the first U.S. medal in that event since 2001. Belgium’s Nafi Thiam won heptathlon gold, and silver went to Anouk Vetter of the Netherlands.

Current world record holder Yulimar Rojas of Venezuela handily won the triple jump. Jamaica’s Shanieka Ricketts took silver and Team USA’s Tori Franklin claimed bronze.

The evening was capped by a gutsy 1500-meter race. Four women went off the front in a 58 second quarter-mile, clearing 800 meters in 2:03—fast enough to qualify for an elite race at that distance. The pace remained hot and only one runner dropped off the back of the lead group all the way to the finish line. Kenya’s Faith Kipyegon won in 3:52.96, the second fastest time ever run in the U.S. Gudaf Tsegay of Ethiopia won silver and Great Britain’s Laura Muir captured bronze.

Tuesday’s medal events include the women’s high jump, the men’s discus, the men’s 1500 and the men’s 400 meter hurdles.

Karen Richards joined KLCC as a volunteer reporter in 2012, and became a freelance reporter at the station in 2015. In addition to news reporting, she’s contributed to several feature series for the station, earning multiple awards for her reporting.