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Report21 Jul 2022

Allman picks up the first-ever World Athletics Championships women’s discus medal for the U.S.


Valarie Allman in the discus at the World Athletics Championships Oregon22 (© Getty Images)

Val Allman became the first American woman to win a discus medal at the World Athletics Championships with a bronze medal on Wednesday.

Allman said it was important to take pride in winning that first woman’s discus medal even if she had higher goals coming into the World Athletics Championships Oregon22 at the reimagined Hayward Field at the University of Oregon.

“It’s easy to lose perspective,” Allman said. “It’s an honor to be the first American woman to ever medal at a World Championship. It was bittersweet today.”

Allman became only the third U.S. woman to win an Olympic gold medal in the discus, and the first since 2008, when she was victorious at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. She was also the world leader this season at 71.46m as she improved her American record by 30 centimeters earlier this season. Allman won three of the four Diamond League meets she had competed in, won another U.S. Outdoor Championships, and had been undefeated at Hayward Field as a professional.

“I feel that I had so much I could have shown today,” Allman said, “and it would have been so special to do it here at home, but sometimes you need that extra motivation. I’m definitely going to take away a lot from not being at the top of the podium, and I’m excited to use that going forward.”

China’s Bin Feng, who came into the competition with a personal best of 66.00m, launched a throw of 69.12m on her first attempt to take the lead and that held up as the winning mark.

Feng had competed in only one other meet this season before WCH Oregon22. She was fifth at the 2019 World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar, and was eighth at the 2017 World Championships in London. At the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, she didn’t make it out of qualifying for the final.

“That was a great throw,” Allman said. “Her and I competed against each other many times in 2019 in the Diamond League, and we haven’t seen each other since Tokyo. It’s always a bit of a mystery what shape the Chinese are in, but that was an incredible performance and it only takes one and she did it.”

Croatia’s Sandra Perkovic led early with her first-round throw of 67.74m and improved to 68.45m in the second round. Allman opened at 67.62m and improved to 68.30m on her third throw, but neither she nor Perkovic could get any closer to Feng.

“It was three feet that separated gold and bronze today,” Allman said. “As an athlete you want that battle, you want to feel that fire inside of you. I got to feel it for six rounds, and that is such a joy. Normally you want to try and channel that into the throw, and I just couldn’t.”

While it was the first World Athletics Championships medal for Feng and Allman, it was the fifth for Perkovic, who was the 2013 and 2017 gold medalist, the 2015 silver medalist, and the 2019 bronze medalist. She also was the 2012 and 2016 Olympic gold medalist, and the only current thrower with a personal best over 71m besides Allman.

“Sandra’s great,” Allman said. “She earned a bronze medal in Doha, she was at the top of her game and that was the first not-title in a while, and she didn’t earn a medal in Tokyo. So, I do feel so much joy for her to earn a medal at these Championships. She’s been steadfast in her work ethic, her devotion to this sport and I’m truly happy for her.”


Jorinde van Klinken of the Netherlands was fourth at 64.97m, Germany’s Claudine Vita was fifth at 64.24m, Portugal’s Liliana Ca was sixth at 63.99m, and defending champion Yaime Perez of Cuba placed seventh at 63.07m.

In the only other final Wednesday, Norah Jeruto of Kazakhstan set the seventh Championships record of WCH Oregon22 when she won the 3,000m steeplechase in 8 minutes, 53.02 seconds. Werkuha Getachew of Ethiopia set a national record of 8:54.61 to win the silver medal, and Mekides Abebe of Ethiopia was third in a personal best of 8:56.08.

Americans Courtney Frerichs, Emma Coburn, and Courtney Wayment placed sixth, eighth, and 12th, respectively.

Kara Winger of the U.S. qualified for the final of the women’s javelin throw, but world leader Maggie Malone did not advance to the final.

The U.S. qualified all four of its women’s 400m hurdlers to the finals as Dalilah Muhammad and Sydney McLaughlin won their heats, Shamier Little was second in her heat, and Britton Wilson, the NCAA champion for Arkansas, advanced on time.

Elise Cranny, Karissa Schweizer and Emily Infeld all advanced to the women’s 5,000m final for the U.S.


Michael Norman and Champion Allison advanced to the men’s 400m final for the U.S., but no Americans advanced to final of the women’s 400m, nor the semifinals of the men’s 800m.

By Ashley Conklin

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