Series31 Dec 2022

2022 review: sprints


Noah Lyles on his way to the 200m title at the World Athletics Championships Oregon22 (© Getty Images)

As the year draws to a close, we look back at the key moments of 2022 in each area of the sport.

Having covered all of the other event groups, the series concludes with a review of the sprints.


Women’s 100m

Season top list

10.62 Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce 🇯🇲 JAM Monaco 10 August
10.71 Shericka Jackson 🇯🇲 JAM Monaco 10 August
10.72 Marie-Josee Ta Lou 🇨🇮 CIV Monaco 10 August
10.79 Elaine Thompson-Herah 🇯🇲 JAM Eugene 28 May
10.81 Julien Alfred 🇱🇨 LCA Lubbock 14 May
10.81 Aleia Hobbs 🇺🇸 USA Eugene 24 June

Full season top list

World Athletics rankings

1 Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce 🇯🇲 JAM 1515
2 Shericka Jackson 🇯🇲 JAM 1465
3 Elaine Thompson-Herah 🇯🇲 JAM 1427
4 Marie-Josee Ta Lou 🇨🇮 CIV 1401
5 Aleia Hobbs 🇺🇸 USA 1400

Full rankings

World medallists

🥇 Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce 🇯🇲 JAM 10.67 CR
🥈 Shericka Jackson 🇯🇲 JAM 10.73
🥉 Elaine Thompson-Herah 🇯🇲 JAM 10.81
  Full results

Major winners

World Championships: Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce 🇯🇲 JAM 10.67
World Indoor Championships (60m): Mujinga Kambundji 🇨🇭 SUI 6.96
African Championships: Gina Bass 🇬🇲 GAM 11.06
European Championships: Gina Luckenkemper 🇩🇪 GER 10.99
NACAC Championships: Shericka Jackson 🇯🇲 JAM 10.83
Oceania Championships: Zoe Hobbs 🇦🇺 AUS 11.09
Commonwealth Games: Elaine Thompson-Herah 🇯🇲 JAM 10.95
Wanda Diamond League: Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce 🇯🇲 JAM 10.65
World U20 Championships: Tina Clayton 🇯🇲 JAM 10.95

Season at a glance

There was unprecedented depth across the board in a superb year for the sprint events and in the women’s 100m that meant more sub-11-second runs than ever before. A total of 37 athletes broke the barrier, achieving 137 sub-11 results between them. The previous best depth was the 86 sub-11 performances by 21 athletes achieved last year.

But one athlete took barrier breaking to another level. Just five women in history have ever dipped under 10.70 for the distance but Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, in her 15th season of international competition, bettered the mark a total of seven times.

In Monaco she set the world lead of 10.62 – the second-fastest time of her career behind the 10.60 PB she set in Lausanne last year – and the 36-year-old also ran 10.65 in Zurich, 10.66 in Silesia and 10.67 on four occasions, including at the World Athletics Championships Oregon22.

That championship record run in Oregon gained Fraser-Pryce a record-extending fifth world 100m title as she led a Jamaican sweep of the medals ahead of Shericka Jackson and Elaine Thompson-Herah.

No other athlete has ever claimed five world titles in a single individual running event.

The trio finished at the front of the deepest ever women’s World Championships 100m final, as seven of the eight finalists dipped under 11 seconds.

The versatile Jackson ran 10.73, a PB she would later improve to 10.71 at the Wanda Diamond League meeting in Monaco, and after her world silver medal win she took the 200m title, adding those medals to the two 400m bronzes she claimed in 2015 and 2019.

Thompson-Herah won Olympic gold in the 100m and 200m in Tokyo last year and her 10.81 run in Oregon secured her a first world 100m medal.

Unsurprisingly given her consistency, Fraser-Pryce only lost one 100m race all year, when Jackson beat her in Brussels. Her next race was the Diamond League Final and she triumphed in Zurich to win a fifth Diamond Trophy. Her first was claimed in 2012.

Marie-Josee Ta Lou and Thompson-Herah also went sub-10.80 in 2022, Ivory Coast’s Ta Lou running an African record of 10.72 in Monaco and Thompson-Herah clocking 10.79 at the Diamond League meeting in Eugene. Saint Lucia’s Julien Alfred improved to a national record of 10.81, a time matched by USA’s Aleia Hobbs.

A total of four US athletes ended the season in the top 10, Hobbs joined by Melissa Jefferson and Twanisha Terry (10.82), as well as Tamari Davis (10.83).

Dina Asher-Smith matched her own British record of 10.83, while Mujinga Kambundji ran a Swiss record of 10.89 in a year that saw her claim European silver behind Germany’s Gina Luckenkemper (10.99) and finish fifth in the world final as well as win the world indoor 60m title in Belgrade.

It wasn’t just at senior level that Jamaica showed great strength. At the World Athletics U20 Championships Cali 22, Tina Clayton retained her 100m title in a championship record and national U20 record of 10.95, leading a 1-2 for her nation ahead of Serena Cole.


Men’s 100m

Season top list

9.76 Fred Kerley 🇺🇸 USA Eugene 24 June
9.81 Trayvon Bromell 🇺🇸 USA Eugene 24 June
9.85 Ferdinand Omanyala 🇰🇪 KEN Nairobi 7 May
9.85 Marvin Bracy-Williams 🇺🇸 USA Eugene 24 June
9.85 Yohan Blake 🇯🇲 JAM Kingston 24 June

Full season top list

World Athletics rankings

1 Trayvon Bromell 🇺🇸 USA 1442
2 Fred Kerley 🇺🇸 USA 1433
3 Marvin Bracy-Williams 🇺🇸 USA 1412
4 Christian Coleman 🇺🇸 USA 1384
5 Akani Simbine 🇿🇦 RSA 1378

Full rankings

World medallists

🥇 Fred Kerley 🇺🇸 USA 9.86
🥈 Marvin Bracy-Williams 🇺🇸 USA 9.88
🥉 Trayvon Bromell 🇺🇸 USA 9.88
  Full results

Major winners

World Championships: Fred Kerley 🇺🇸 USA 9.86
World Indoor Championships (60m): Lamont Marcell Jacobs 🇮🇹 ITA 6.41
African Championships: Ferdinand Omanyala 🇰🇪 KEN 9.93
European Championships: Lamont Marcell Jacobs 🇮🇹 ITA 9.95
NACAC Championships: Ackeem Blake 🇯🇲 JAM 9.98
Oceania Championships: Jake Doran 🇦🇺 AUS 11.19
Commonwealth Games: Ferdinand Omanyala 🇰🇪 KEN 10.02
Wanda Diamond League: Trayvon Bromell 🇺🇸 USA 9.94
World U20 Championships: Letsile Tebogo 🇧🇼 BOT 9.91

Season at a glance

The men’s 100m also witnessed record depth in 2022, as 35 athletes ran 10 seconds or faster, improving on the previous best of 28 set in 2015 and equalled in 2021.

USA’s Fred Kerley, previously a 400m specialist, won the world title and achieved the feat of dipping under 10 seconds for the 100m, 20 seconds for the 200m and 45 seconds for the 400m in the same season.

In total, he went sub-10.00 nine times, topped by the world-leading PB of 9.76 he clocked in the semifinals of the US Championships. The 27-year-old Olympic silver medallist then ran 9.77 to win the US title, and clocked 9.79 in the heats at the World Championships.

Returning to the track for the world final, Kerley proved superior yet again, clocking 9.86 to lead a US sweep of the medals ahead of Marvin Bracy-Williams and Trayvon Bromell, who both recorded 9.88.

Jamaica’s 21-year-old Oblique Seville finished fourth in 9.97, one place ahead of South Africa’s Akani Simbini whose 10.01 run secured him a fifth consecutive top-five global championships finish.

After years of injury struggles, Bromell claimed his first global medal since his world indoor 60m title win in 2016 and ended the year as No.2 behind Kerley on the season top list with the 9.81 he ran in the US Championships semifinals. In a successful season, he also won the Diamond League title for the first time.

Tied at third on that top list with 9.85 are Bracy-Williams, Kenya’s Ferdinand Omanyala and Jamaica’s Yohan Blake.

Benjamin Azamati set a Ghanaian record of 9.90, while Yupun Abeykoon and Emmanuel Matadi were also among the season’s sub-10 runners, clocking a Sri Lankan record of 9.96 and a Liberian record of 9.98, respectively.

History was also made at the World Athletics Championships Cali 22, where Botswana’s Letsile Tebogo broke his own world U20 record with 9.91 to retain his title, despite celebrating the performance before he reached the finish line. It took 0.03 off the previous world U20 record he had achieved at the World Championships in Oregon and also improved the senior national record. 

After winning the Olympic title in Tokyo, Italy’s Marcell Jacobs gained another global gold at the World Indoor Championships in Belgrade, taking the 60m title in 6.41, but he was unable to build on that in Oregon, forced to withdraw before the semifinals with a hamstring issue. He returned in time for the European Championships, though, and won gold there in 9.95.


Women’s 200m

Season top list

21.45 Shericka Jackson 🇯🇲 JAM Eugene 21 July
21.77 Abby Steiner 🇺🇸 USA Eugene 26 June
21.81 Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce 🇯🇲 JAM Eugene 21 July
21.87 Christine Mboma 🇳🇦 NAM Gaborone 30 April
21.92 Tamara Clark 🇺🇸 USA Eugene 26 June

Full season top list

World Athletics rankings

1 Shericka Jackson 🇯🇲 JAM 1493
2 Dina Asher-Smith 🇬🇧 GBR 1401
3 Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce 🇯🇲 JAM 1372
4 Elaine Thompson-Herah 🇯🇲 JAM 1369
5 Aminatou Seyni 🇳🇪 NIG 1368

Full rankings

World medallists

🥇 Shericka Jackson 🇯🇲 JAM 21.45 CR
🥈 Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce 🇯🇲 JAM 21.81
🥉 Dina Asher-Smith 🇬🇧 GBR 22.02
  Full results

Major winners

World Championships: Shericka Jackson 🇯🇲 JAM 21.45
African Championships: Aminatou Seyni 🇳🇪 NIG 23.04
European Championships: Mujinga Kambundji 🇨🇭 SUI 22.32
NACAC Championships: Brittany Brown 🇺🇸 USA 22.35
Oceania Championships: Georgia Hulls 🇳🇿 NZL 23.45
Commonwealth Games: Elaine Thompson-Herah 🇯🇲 JAM 22.02
Wanda Diamond League: Shericka Jackson 🇯🇲 JAM 21.80
World U20 Championships: Brianna Lyston 🇯🇲 JAM 22.65

Season at a glance

Shericka Jackson went into the world 200m final with a unique target to aim for: to become the first athlete to ever win a full set of World Championships medals across three sprint disciplines.

As it was in the women’s 100m, the standard was incredibly high, with 11 women – compared to the previous record of eight in 2021 – breaking 22 seconds for the half lap event throughout the season. In the end, 22.08 wasn't enough to make the world final.

But Jackson was there, and she left all her rivals behind as she recorded the second-fastest time in history of 21.45 to add 200m gold to the 100m silver secured a few days earlier and her 400m bronze medals from the 2015 and 2019 World Championships.

Only Florence Griffith-Joyner, with her world record of 21.34 set in 1988, has ever gone faster.

Jackson had provided a hint of things to come at the Jamaican Championships, winning the national title in 21.55, now the fourth-fastest performance of all time. But she went a tenth of a second quicker in Oregon to comfortably beat her compatriot Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (21.81) and Britain’s defending champion Dina Asher-Smith (22.02) in a race that saw Niger’s Aminatou Seyni finish fourth (22.12), USA’s Abby Steiner and Tamara Clark place fifth and sixth, Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah secure seventh and Switzerland’s Mujinga Kambundji place eighth.

Seyni had earlier won the African title, while Kambundji went on to claim European gold and Thompson-Herah won the Commonwealth crown.

Steiner moved into the world all time top 20 with the 21.77 PB she achieved to win the US title, putting her at No.2 behind Jackson on the season top list. Olympic silver medallist Christine Mboma ran 21.87 in April, while Clark clocked 21.92 at the US Championships and another notable performance was the 21.96 by Favour Ofili in Gainesville in April to improve the Nigerian record.

Jackson, who only lost one 200m race in 2022 – her season opener in Doha – ended things on a high, taking the Diamond Trophy in Zurich. After completing her World Championships medal sweep, she also achieved another first – no other athlete has ever broken 21.70 for 200m three times in one season but Jackson did with her performances of 21.45, 21.55 and 21.67.


Men’s 200m

Season top list

19.31 Noah Lyles 🇺🇸 USA Eugene 21 July
19.49 Erriyon Knighton 🇺🇸 USA Baton Rouge 30 April
19.63 Reynier Mena 🇨🇺 CUB La Chaux-de-Fonds 3 July
19.76 Michael Norman 🇺🇸 USA Lausanne 26 August
19.77 Kenny Bednarek 🇺🇸 USA Eugene 21 July

Full season top list

World Athletics rankings

1 Noah Lyles 🇺🇸 USA 1533
2 Erriyon Knighton 🇺🇸 USA 1429
3 Kenny Bednarek 🇺🇸 USA 1420
4 Alexander Ogando 🇩🇴 DOM 1400
5 Jereem Richards 🇹🇹 TTO 1384

Full rankings

World medallists

🥇 Noah Lyles 🇺🇸 USA 19.31
🥈 Kenny Bednarek 🇺🇸 USA 19.77
🥉 Erriyon Knighton 🇺🇸 USA 19.80
  Full results

Major winners

World Championships: Noah Lyles 🇺🇸 USA 19.31
African Championships: Letsile Tebogo 🇧🇼 BOT 20.26 (+3.0)
European Championships: Zharnel Hughes 🇬🇧 GBR 20.07
NACAC Championships: Andrew Hudson 🇯🇲 JAM 19.87
Oceania Championships: Aidan Murphy 🇦🇺 AUS 20.76
Commonwealth Games: Jereem Richards 🇹🇹 TTO 19.80
Wanda Diamond League: Noah Lyles 🇺🇸 USA 19.52
World U20 Championships: Blessing Akwasi Afrifah 🇮🇱 ISR 19.96

Season at a glance

While five athletes under 19.80 is the most since 2010, and 18 going sub-20 seconds is a record, one athlete clearly led the way. Undefeated over 200m in 2022, Noah Lyles dipped under 20 seconds in all 12 of his races – including heats and semifinals – and ended the year with six of the season’s seven fastest times to his name.

Best of them all was the 19.31 US record the 25-year-old ran to retain his world title in Oregon, a mark that puts him third on the world all-time list behind only Usain Bolt with his world record of 19.19 and Yohan Blake with 19.26. Winning by almost half a second, Lyles led a US medal sweep and was joined on the podium by Kenny Bednarek (19.77) and U20 star Erriyon Knighton (19.80), who at 18 became the youngest ever individual sprint medallist at the World Championships.

Joseph Fahnbulleh of Liberia was fourth in 19.84 and Alexander Ogando of the Dominican Republic fifth in 19.93, with both athletes setting national records at other points in the season.

The world final had offered a rematch between Lyles and Knighton, who finished 1-2 at the US Championships the previous month. At that point, Lyles had a PB of 19.50 while Knighton had gone 0.01 faster, running a world-leading 19.49 on his 200m season opener in Baton Rouge in April.

That time was quicker than Knighton’s own ratified world U20 record of 19.84 achieved in 2021 but as specific anti-doping testing requirements were not met for that performance his next best of 19.69, set at the US Championships, has since been ratified as the new U20 record.

Now sitting fifth on the world all-time list behind Bolt, Blake, Lyles and Michael Johnson, Knighton was named winner of the World Athletics Rising Star honour for the second time at the end of another successful season.

Lyles dipped under 19.50 for a second time when he ran 19.46 to win in Monaco and he also won the Diamond Trophy in 19.52.

Ending the year at third on the season top list behind those performances was Reynier Mena, who broke the Cuban record with 19.63 in La Chaux-de-Fonds at the start of July.

US athletes filled five of the first six spots on the season top list, as Michael Norman recorded 19.76, Bednarek ran 19.77 and Fred Kerley clocked 19.80.

While Knighton was the top U20 performer when it comes to times, the most thrilling contest was one that played out at the World Athletics U20 Championships in Cali.

There, Israel’s Blessing Akawasi Afrifah denied Botswana’s Letsile Tebogo a second world U20 title win in Colombia after his 100m success two days earlier, pipping him to the 200m gold by just six thousandths of a second. Both athletes recorded 19.96, breaking the championship record with a time that moved them to joint third on the world U20 all-time list.


Women’s 400m

Season top list

48.99 Marileidy Paulino 🇩🇴 DOM Zurich 8 September
49.11 Shaunae Miller-Uibo 🇧🇸 BAH Eugene 22 July
49.44 Femke Bol 🇳🇱 NED Munich 17 August
49.75 Sada Williams 🇧🇧 BAR Eugene 22 July
49.80 Fiordaliza Cofil 🇩🇴 DOM Brussels 2 September

Full season top list

World Athletics rankings

1 Shaunae Miller-Uibo 🇧🇸 BAH 1450
2 Marileidy Paulino 🇩🇴 DOM 1437
3 Sada Williams 🇧🇧 BAR 1398
4 Fiordaliza Cofil 🇩🇴 DOM 1384
5 Candice McLeod 🇯🇲 JAM 1363

Full rankings

World medallists

🥇 Shaunae Miller-Uibo 🇧🇸 BAH 49.11
🥈 Marileidy Paulino 🇩🇴 DOM 49.60
🥉 Sada Williams 🇧🇧 BAR 49.75 NR
  Full results

Major winners

World Championships: Shaunae Miller-Uibo 🇧🇸 BAH 49.11
World Indoor Championships: Shaunae Miller-Uibo 🇧🇸 BAH 50.31
African Championships: Miranda Charlene Coetzee 🇿🇦 RSA 51.82
European Championships: Femke Bol 🇳🇱 NED 49.44
NACAC Championships: Shaunae Miller-Uibo 🇧🇸 BAH 49.40
Oceania Championships: Rosie Elliott 🇳🇿 NZL 52.97
Commonwealth Games: Sada Williams 🇧🇧 BAR 49.90
Wanda Diamond League: Marileidy Paulino 🇩🇴 DOM 48.99
World U20 Championships: Yemi Mary John 🇬🇧 GBR 51.50

Season at a glance

If Shaunae Miller-Uibo does now intend to switch her focus to the 200m, then she gave the 400m quite the send off.

Having already won two Olympic titles in the one-lap event, the Bahamian 28-year-old was targeting her first senior world title. In 2022, she ended up claiming two.

First she triumphed at the World Athletics Indoor Championships Belgrade 22, her first competition of the year, where she was just a tenth of a second off her own area record set last year. Cruising to victory in 50.31, she held off Dutch hurdles star Femke Bol (50.57) and Jamaica’s Stephenie Ann McPherson (50.79).

Miller-Uibo made her outdoor season debut less than a month later, recording one of her eventual five sub-50.00 races. She was third at the Diamond League meeting in Doha but then won in Paris and at the Bahamas Championships as she prepared for the World Championships in Oregon.

Running a tactical final there, Miller-Uibo always looked in control and she flowed over the finish line in a then world lead of 49.11, finishing ahead of Dominican Republic’s Marileidy Paulino in 49.60 and Sada Williams of Barbados with a national record of 49.75 as they achieved a Caribbean sweep of the medals.

After Oregon, Miller-Uibo won at the Diamond League meeting in Monaco and at the NACAC Championships on home soil, ending the year with four of the seven quickest times of the season.

Paulino enjoyed a big breakthrough in 2021 and kept that success going in 2022. Her second place finish at the World Championships was her only 400m loss of the season, with wins coming in Doha, Rabat, and Lausanne before she clocked a world-leading national record of 48.99 to win the Diamond League title in Zurich. That performance puts her 12th on the world all-time list and her compatriot Fiordaliza Cofil also finished high on the season top list, a 49.80 PB to win in Brussels putting her at No.5 behind Paulino, Miller-Uibo, Bol and Williams.

With her focus on the 400m hurdles, Bol only raced the 400m at two events outdoors in 2022 but she made them count. First she won the Diamond League meeting in Silesia before she improved the Dutch record to 49.44 at the European Championships in Munich, part of an impressive golden treble alongside her 400m hurdles and 4x400m wins. Williams ran a Games record of 49.90 to win the Commonwealth title in Birmingham.

Nine athletes went sub-50 during the season, while a record 117 went sub-52.


Men’s 400m

Season top list

43.56 Michael Norman 🇺🇸 USA Eugene 25 June
43.70 Champion Allison 🇺🇸 USA Eugene 25 June
44.02 Kirani James 🇬🇩 GRN Eugene 28 May
44.13 Randolph Ross 🇺🇸 USA Eugene 10 June
44.21 Steven Gardiner 🇧🇸 BAH Paris 18 June

Full season top list

World Athletics rankings

1 Michael Norman 🇺🇸 USA 1450
2 Kirani James 🇬🇩 GRN 1444
3 Matthew Hudson-Smith 🇬🇧 GBR 1392
4 Champion Allison 🇺🇸 USA 1345
5 Vernon Norwood 🇺🇸 USA 1344

Full rankings

World medallists

🥇 Michael Norman 🇺🇸 USA 44.29
🥈 Kirani James 🇬🇩 GRN 44.48
🥉 Matthew Hudson-Smith 🇬🇧 GBR 44.66
  Full results

Major winners

World Championships: Michael Norman 🇺🇸 USA 44.29
World Indoor Championships: Jereem Richards 🇹🇹 TTO 45.00
African Championships: Muzala Samukonga 🇿🇲 ZAM 45.31
European Championships: Matthew Hudson-Smith 🇬🇧 GBR 44.53
NACAC Championships: Christopher Taylor 🇯🇲 JAM 44.63
Oceania Championships: Alex Beck 🇦🇺 AUS 46.71
Commonwealth Games: Muzala Samukonga 🇿🇲 ZAM 44.66
Wanda Diamond League: Kirani James 🇬🇩 GRN 44.26
World U20 Championships: Lythe Pillay 🇿🇦 RSA 45.28

Season at a glance

It all came together for Michael Norman at the World Athletics Championships Oregon22. Finally getting the senior individual global gold medal he craved, the look of relief on the 25-year-old’s face as he crossed the finish line proved how much it meant.

Already one of the fastest 400m runners of all time with the 43.45 PB he recorded in 2019, Norman was yet to show that strength on the major stage, but in Oregon he kicked hard down the home straight to win ahead of Grenada’s Kirani James, taking the title for the USA in 44.29. It was his seventh race of the season at Hayward Field, including heats and semifinals, and his seventh win – this one the most important.

During an unbeaten season at his specialist distance, Norman ran the world lead of 43.56 – the 13th quickest time in history – at the US Championships and also won the Diamond League race on the same track in 43.60.

He now has four of the 15 fastest ever times to his name, the same as Michael Johnson and two more than Jeremy Wariner and world record-holder Wayde Van Niekerk.

After his two gold medal wins in 2015 and 2017, South Africa’s Van Niekerk finished fifth in the world final this time, clocking 44.97 behind James with 44.48, Hudson-Smith with 44.66 and USA’s Champion Allison with 44.77.

With his silver medal win, James now has a complete set of medals from both the Olympic Games and the World Championships. He won the world title in 2011 and claimed bronze in 2015.

Allison was the second athlete to dip under 44 seconds during the outdoor season, clockin 43.70 to finish runner up to Norman at the US Championships, while Randolph Ross also had a strong run at Hayward Field, the 21-year-old winning the NCAA title in 44.13.

Olympic champion Steven Gardiner of The Bahamas clocked 44.21 to win at the Diamond League meeting in Paris but then withdrew from the World Championships due to a tendon injury. National records set during the season included the 44.35 by Hudson-Smith, 44.43 by Jonathan Jones of Barbados and 44.66 by Zambia's Commonwealth champion Muzala Samukonga.

Indoors, the world title was won by Trinidad and Tobago’s Jereem Richards in a championship record of 45.00. That time puts him 12th on the world indoor all-time list, a list that Ross moved up to third on thanks to his 44.62 NCAA title winning run.

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