By Nick Gasparro, Operations Assistant CVEATC
Chula Vista, CA – Team USA capped off the greatest team performance in World Athletics Championships history with 33 total medals, 13 of which were gold. In total, the Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center (CVEATC) had 6 resident athletes competing at the 2022 World Athletics Championships, which was held at the University of Oregon’s newly renovated, Hayward Field. CVEATC also hosted the National Governing Bodies of Ukraine, Portugal, India, Israel, China, Singapore, and Brazil weeks prior in preparation of the World Championships.
CVEATC Director of Track and Field Jeremy Fischer had this to say leading up to the World Championships, “I was so excited to host all the various countries at the center before the start of the games. I love sharing CVEATC’s track, the greatest track and field training site in the world, with the world.”
CVEATC resident athletes who competed at the 2022 World Athletics Championships include: Keturah Orji, Will Claye, Chris Benard, Rachel McCoy, Laulauga Tausaga and Ariana Ince. Former CVEATC athletes and frequent visitors Ryan Crouser, Joe Kovacs, Josh Awotunde and Kara Winger also competed in the games.
Former Georgia Bulldog and eight-time NCAA champion Keturah Orji finished sixth in the women’s triple jump, the best finish by a CVEATC resident athlete. Prior to this meet, No American woman had placed higher than seventh. Orji reached a top distance of 14.49m (47ft, 6.5in) to give Team USA two finishers in the top six (Tori Franklin 3rd).
Moving on to the men’s triple jump, three-time Olympic medalist and former world champion Will Claye jumped 16.70 m (54.79 ft.) on his final attempt to place 10th overall. Meanwhile, Chris Benard was centimeters away from advancing to the finals with a 16.53m (54ft., 2.75in) jump.
In the Women’s High Jump, CVEATC resident athlete Rachel McCoy had the best performance out of the three Americans, clearing a height of 1.90 m (6ft., 2.75in.). Unfortunately, none of the Americans qualified for the final.
“I can’t be mad at myself, it has been one heck of a season so with all things considered, another chance to gain experience at the level I one day plan do dominate is just another piece in the puzzle.” Said McCoy when asked about her performance, “I am very proud of it (being the top American)! For the first time in my career, I bested America’s best and was able to do so on a global stage.” When asked if she is planning to compete at the 2023 World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary McCoy replied, “I will always plan on competing in the next outdoor competition, I’m gushing with confidence that by Budapest 2023, I’ll certainly advance through to the finals, and who knows, sky’s the limit.”
Moving on to the throwing portion of the World Championships, the best finish by a former CVEATC athlete came in a trio, as shot-putters Ryan Crouser, Joe Kovacs and Josh Awotunde went 1,2 and 3 in the shot-put to give USA and CVEATC a clean sweep of the podium. This was the first time in World Championship history that team USATF swept the shot-put podium.
Four time Olympian and former CVEATC resident athlete Kara Winger won silver in the women’s javelin with a throw of 64.05-m (210ft, 1in), becoming the first American to win a medal in the event at the World Championships. Meanwhile, Rice University alum Ariana Ince was unable to qualify for the final round of the javelin competition. Ince’s top throw was 57.24 (187ft., 8in.). Competitors had to hit 62.50 m in order to finish in the top 12.
Meanwhile, CVEATC resident athlete and former 2021 NCAA silver medalist, Laulauga Tausaga, managed a 56.47m throw (185.3 ft) in the women’s discuss event, which was good for 12th.
Moving onto our International athletes, Brazil’s Allison Dos Santos shocked the world, upsetting American’s Rai Benjamin and Trevor Bassitt for gold in the men’s 400-m hurdles. The young Brazilian crossed the finish line in 46.29 seconds, the third fastest time in history and a meet record. Dos Santos is the first athlete from Brazil to win a gold medal at the World Championships.
In the men’s javelin throw, India’s Neeraj Chopra won silver with a 88.13-m (289 ft, 1.69in) throw. With that, Chopra became the first male athlete from India to medal at the World Championships, making it one of the greatest moments in India’s sports history.
Last but not least, Israeli distance runner Lonah Chemtai Salpeter claimed the bronze medal in the women’s marathon. Salpeter, a native of Kenya, finished with a time of 2:20:18, and became only the third Israeli to medal at the World Championships.
“My overall takeaway from the World Championships was that it was nice to have it back in the USA. Hopefully the sport can build momentum from this.” Said CVEATC Director of Track and Field Jeremy Fischer, “It will take some years to restore the Heyward magic at the new Heyward Field, but having the World Championships there was a great start.”
The CVEATC would like to congratulate all the athletes who competed at the 2022 World Athletics Championships in Eugene Oregon, and wish them the best of luck in the meets to come.