The CHill Zone of T&F: Conway's View From the Finish Line

My Sprint, Hurdle and Relay World Champs Predictions…

Jul 14th, 2022
1:53 pm PDT

The toughest Trials competition on the planet is behind us, and the US has selected it’s team for the upcoming World Championships. As have the rest of the members of the World Athletics federations. Beginning tomorrow, they’ll all line up to determine who’s best on the track and in the field. As once again the best of the best gather to compete.

And frankly, this year’s results could be even better than last year! With everyone back into normal training cycles. And more importantly, being able to compete in front of fans once again. The feeling of excitement has been rallying athletes to some of the best performances ever seen. And just what will that competition look like in some of America’s signature events? Like the ones we had some difficulty in in Tokyo. Well, let’s take a look!


Men’s 100
This was supposed to be a showdown between the Olympic champion (Lamont Jacobs) and the World champion (Christian Coleman). Unfortunately Jacobs has been slow coming to form, and nursing an injury has pulled out of several meets over the past month. However, he’s shown up in Oregon and has been training. If he is competing, I have to assume that he is fit and ready. Coleman has competed, just at a slightly lower level this year. Though he cranked out a 9.87 at Trials. Meanwhile this year’s American Trio of Fred Kerley, Marvin Bracy and Trayvon Bromell have been sharp as a tack. With Fred seemingly on a mission to run as fast as humanly possible! Throwing down a series of 9.83, 9.76, and 9.77 to win the US title. Our old nemesis, Jamaica seems to be getting new life. As Yohan Blake (9.85) is back under 9.90. Along with new kid Oblique Seville (9.86). Add Kenyan Ferdinand Omanyala (9.85) to the mix, and we have the potential for a very explosive final. Fred is my prohibitive favorite as we begin Worlds. Prohibitive because Bromell did not run his best race in Trials final. Both Kerley and Bromell look like they can go a bit faster, which should strike fear into everyone else. Based on everything I’ve seen this season, my call is for:

Fred Kerley
Trayvon Bromell
Lamont Jacobs


Women’s 100
Last year was dominated by the Jamaican women. They won everything and swept the Olympic final. After this year’s Nationals, the US women look to once again be competitive. While the results were a tad over the allowable at 2.9mps, the team of Melissa Jefferson (10.69w), Aleia Hobbs (10.73w) and Twanisha Terry (10.78w) have been running fairly fast this past month. And we Americans aren’t the only ones looking to crash the Jamaican party. As both Britain Daryl Neita (10.85) and Swiss Mujinga Kambudji (10.89) turned in New PB’s themselves. Add Saint Lucia’s Julien Alfred (10.81) and this year’s World final looks like it should be faster, deeper, and more competitive than last year. That said, the Jamaicans still exist! Olympic bronze medalist Shericka Jackson won their Trials @ 10.77. There is always the spectre of Olympic Champion Elaine Thompson Herah, who is deadly when healthy. And Shelly Ann Fraser Pryce has twice run 10.6 this year. So, once the dust settles, I see it as:

Elaine Thompson Herah
Melissa Jefferson
Shelly Ann Fraser Pryce


Men’s 200
Ahhh yeah. This could be the most exciting event of the meet – no disrespect to the 100. In 2005, the American men took the first four places at Worlds in this event. The only four person sweep ever in a championship competition. They are a threat to do it again this year. As Noah Lyles (19.67), Erriyon Knighton (19.69), Fred Kerley (19.83) and Kenny Bednarek (19.87) laid down the gauntlet to the rest of the world. The fly in the ointment however, will be Liberia’s Joseph Faunbulleh who recently ran 19.83 to win the NCAA title. And yes, that’s a real event. In spite of how World Athletics ranks it! Olympic champ Andre DeGrasse is WAY off form. And the only other sprinters in the world that are not American that are under 20, are South African Luxolo Adams (19.82) and Trini Jereem Richards. This could be one of the most exciting finals of the meet. As the swift turns of Erriyon Knighton and Kenny Bednarek. Clash with the top end speed of Fred Kerley, Noah Lyles, and Joseph Faunbulleh! This one will be fun to watch. Before I give my call, let me say this. Everyone has been excited about Erriyon’s “19.4”. They forget that it was 19.49, which is only .01 faster than Noah’s PB 19.50! And guess what? That’s how close they finished at Trials! So, my call is

Noah Lyles
Erriyon Knighton
Fred Kerley


Women’s 200
The two of the three Olympic medalists are out. Christine Mboma and Gabby Thomas have both succumbed to injury. And Elaine Thompson has yet to reach last year’s level, though she did make the Jamaican squad at 22.05.Yet the expectation for a fast final is as high as ever. That’s because Shericka Jackson (21.55) and Abby Steiner (21.77) won the Jamaican and US Championships in impressive fashion. Now it is this pair that will be the talk of the town when they get ready to line in about a week’s time. Nigerian Favour Ofili (21.96) and Americans Tamara Clark (21.92) & Jenna Prandini (22.01) should be in the podium hunt. With both Thompson and Prandini having gone faster in the past. This one should come down to the top two however. In the end it should be

Shericka Jackson
Abby Steiner
Elaine Thompson


Men’s 400
This is shaping up to be as deep as Rio. The US Champs were on fire resulting in the trio of Michael Norman (43.56), Champion Allison (43.70) and Randolph Ross (44.15). They will do battle with former Olympic and World champion Granadian Kirani James (44.02). As defending champion Bahamian Steven Gardiner (44.21) withdrew earlier this week due to injury. . All four men have PB’s under 44sec! Throw in American Michael Cherry who has a bye and PB of 44.02, and this could be the deepest final in history. Norman enters as the favorite. However Allison ran him to the line at nationals. The home stretch finish in this one will be epic! When the smoke clears we should see several PB’s and a podium of

Champion Allison
Michael Norman
Kirani James


Women’s 400
The star of the event should be Shaunae Miller Uibo. But she’s looked “average” to me this year with a best of 49.91. Almost like she did last year in the 200. And I’m wondering if her body is finally starting to feel the years? We’ll find out shortly. Best on the clock, is Marileidy Paulino (49.49) of the Dominican Republic. The only other sub50s this year, are collegians Cherokee Young (49.87) of Jamaica, and Talitha Diggs (49.99) of the US. After that, there’s a pack between 50.15 and 50.70. So while it’s not the fastest of quartermiles, it will be very competitive. Especially in the semis. When the smoke clears it should be

Marileidy Paulino
Shaunae Miller Uibo
Talitha Diggs


Men’s 110H
One of the few events where a WR could be expected to occur. The race begins with Americans Grant Holloway (12.81) and Devon Allen (12.84) entering as two of the four fastest hurdlers in history – just off the WR of 12.80! Since Grant is also the defending World champion, the US has two more entries – Trey Cunningham (13.00) and Daniel Roberts (13.00). They form the fastest group of hurdlers ever sent to a championship by one nation. The biggest threat outside of the Americans, is Jamaican Hansle Parchment. The Olympic champion that “upset” Holloway for the title in Tokyo. This should be a fast race, as these men have all been consistently quick on the season. The simple question is this: will Holloway hold off the closing charge of the rest? T the answer is

Grant Holloway
Trey Cunningham
Hansle Parchment


Women’s 100H
This is going to be a very interesting final. This one should be among the Olympic champion (Jasmine Camacho Quinn), defending World champion (Nia Ali), WR holder (Keni Harrison), and this year’s up and comer, Alaysha Johnson. Mix them all together and you have the potential for a very formidable group of finalists! Camacho Quinn has been on an undefeated tear the past two seasons. But the Americans have continued to run fast and be close. Heading into Worlds, Harrison (12.34) and Johnson (12.35) are just ahead of Camacho Quinn (12.37) on the clock. With Ali (12.49) just beginning to round into form. With that as the backdrop, the question is: can either of the Americans end Camacho Quinn’s reign?

Alaysha Johnson
Keni Harrison
Jasmine Camacho Quinn


Men’s 400H
The two fastest men in history have had difficult seasons. WR holder Karsten Warholm was injured in his season opener and appeared to be out of the meet as he hasn’t competed since. He’s shown up in Eugene however, and that means he must be ready. AR holder Rai Benjamin battled with Covid earlier in the year, but appears to be back in form. Winning US Nationals in 47.04. Olympic bronze medalist, Alison dos Santos has been the leader of the early season. With three races at 47.2x. Including a win over Benjamin. Then a season’s best 46.80 a couple of weeks ago. We knowthat he is ready. This event should divide itself into two races. A competition for the medals between Warholm. Benjamin and dos Santos. And a fight for place among everyone else. For my money, it becomes

Karsten Warholm
Alison dos Santos
Rai Benjamin


Women’s 400H
Occasionally there’s an athlete that can only lose if everything goes wrong. Sydney McLaughlin has become that athlete in this event! Right now there is Sydney and then everyone else. Former WR holder, Delilah Muhammad and European record holder, Femke Bol are her primary competition. Americans Britton Wilson (NCAA champion) and Shamier Little will provide any other resistance. In the end however, it should be Sydney, with Delilah and Femke in hot pursuit. This may be the easiest event in the meet to prognosticate.

Sydney McLaughlin
Femke Bol
Delilah Muhammad


Men’s 4×1
Redemption. It’s why the US will take the track. To prove that in spite of all the failures of the last two decades. The victory in 2019 is who the US is. Their competition should be Italy and Britain, who battled for gold in Tokyo. Along with a rejuvenated Jamaican squad, which has seen its individual men rebound this year. And a Japanese squad looking to rebound from last year’s performance at home. I would suspect teams from Brazil, Nigeria, Botswana and South Africa to be in the mix as well. The key here is who the US decides to use among it’s wealth of choices. Which in this case, may not be a good thing. I’m going to pray that the right squad is selected and they have good practice sessions. So, I’ll say

United States
Great Britain


Women’s 4×1
If everything goes to form, the medals should be among the US, Jamaica and Britain. The Swiss, Dutch, Germans and Poles should make up the next tier. Jamaica has the most consistent sprinters so far. However, typically their passing doesn’t let them live up to their potential. The US could have the horses to compete, but we’ll have to see if they can back up earlier performances. And unlike the men, the American consistently show the ability to move the stick. Britain moves the stick, but lacks the depth of the two front runners. Which leads me to

United States
Great Britain


Men’s 4×4
Sydney McLaughlin, Mondo Duplantis, Ryan Crouser, and the US 4×4. Strongest bets of the meet! We have the ability to put three open 43’s on the track, and at least three others that have split 43. After that it’s a fight for two medals. Most likely among, Britain, Jamaica, the Netherlands, Botswana and Columbia. Based on past performances, I’ve gotta go with

United States
Great Britain


Women’s 4×4
Repeat the opening line of the men’s 4×4. Because the US women haven’t had much competition for quite a while. And using Athing Mu and Sydney McLaughlin with whichever other pair we put on the track is a fairly secure win. The most recent competition has been Jamaica, the Netherlands, Norway, Nigeria and Poland. Again, based on past performances

United States


Those are my picks for the sprint, hurdle, and relay events for this year’s World Championships of track and field. We’ll see how close I am when things are done.

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