World Athletics Championships Oregon22 - Day Eight (© Getty Images)
At the 2022 World Championships in Oregon, we witnessed a young generation take over, led by Sydney McLaughlin and Armand Duplantis. The stars of Budapest 2023 are already be seen.
Before this year Eugene was not much known for the world except of athletics lovers, yet it became the first American city to host the World Athletics Championships. Why the special venue? It's simple: it's home to the headquarters of Nike, one of the largest sportswear companies in the world, and the local university has one of the most successful athletics departments in the United States.
World Athletics Championships Oregon22 - Day Four (© Getty Images)
With a population of nearly 180,000, the small West Coast town welcomed 1,700 athletes from 179 countries (and a team of refugees) to compete between 15 and 24 July. Hayward Field, which hosted the World Championships and was rebuilt before the event, had a capacity of just 13,000, but the atmosphere was still great over the ten days.
World Athletics Championships Oregon22 - Day Two (© Getty Images)
The WCH proved that the Queen of Sports has never been as diverse and varied as today! A record number 29 countries won gold medals, with athletes from 81 nations reaching the finals in at least one event. The latter group included Hungary, with Bence Halász breaking the 80-metre barrier in the hammer throw final to finish 5th in an incredibly high quality field.
Peru, Kazakhstan and Nigeria also applauded their first ever world champion, as India and Burkina Faso welcomed athletes to the podium for the first time. The host team, still stood out from the field, collecting 33 medals which was also a record. In the men's 100m, 200m and shot put, only American could stand on the podium.
Tobi Amusan, Mondo Duplantis and Sydney McLaughlin at the World Athletics Championships Oregon22 (© AFP / Getty Images)
Three world records were broken, with Sydney McLaughlin running an astonishing 50.68 seconds in the 400 m hurdles, followed by Tobi Amusan in the 100 m hurdles (12.12) and Armand Duplantis in the pole vault (6.21 m), the best ever on a star-studded final day. Allyson Felix also finished her career at Hayward Field, having withdrawn from the 4x400m mixed relay but returned to the women's 4x400 relay to finish with a total of 20 world championship medals.
A huge number of continental records (19) and national records (92) were broken, not to mention the 13 competition records and 30 "world best results". Oregon22 has also created a huge boom on social media, with 400,000 followers on WA's platforms, more than 7 million hits and 41 million video views, and 9.1 million interactions on five different social media channels.
While the Oregon WCH was more in favour of the Americans, the 2023 event in Budapest could be the World Championships for all Europe. Several European countries focused more on the European Championships in Munich, including Hungary which had the most successful continental tournament in two decades. Next year all countries can focus on Budapest though. It would certainly be a mistake to miss the most prestigious WCH expected.