The World Athletics Championships 2023 will be held in Budapest from August 19 to 27.
The men’s 100m sprint is one of the most highly anticipated events in the Hungarian capital. Here are the top three contenders for the gold medal in Budapest:
Ferdinand Omanyala (Kenya)
Ferdinand Omanyala is a rugby player-turner-sprinter who began his athletics career in 2016. In 2017, he had received a 14-month suspension after testing positive for the prohibited substance betamethasone.
Omanyala, who reached the semifinals at the Tokyo Olympics, is the reigning African and Commonwealth Games champion. The 27-year-old Kenyan made his debut at the world championships last year in Eugene, arriving at the event only a few hours before his first round heat due to visa issues. He eventually got eliminated in the semifinals.
In the 2023 season, he has three of the 10 fastest times in the men’s 100m discipline. He finished third in the Diamond League meeting in Rabat, second in Florence and Paris, and first in Monaco.
Personal Best: 9.77s (the only Kenyan to have run the sprint in less than 10 seconds)
Season’s Best: 9.84s
Fred Kerley (USA)
Fred Kerley is the defending world champion in men’s 100m. The 28-year-old Texas-born sprinter started his career in 400m before switching to 100m and 200m. He justified this decision by winning silver in the 100m sprint at Tokyo Olympics with a timing of 9.84s.
He is one of only three men who’ve run a sub-10 second race in the 100m, a sub-20-second race in the 200m and a sub-44 second race in the 400m. The other two are Wayde van Niekerk of South Africa and 23-year-old fellow American Michael Norman.
In the 2023 season, he has won the Diamond League meetings in Rabat and Florence while finishing second in Silesia.
Personal Best: 9.76s
Season’s Best: 9.88s
Noah Lyles (USA)
Noah Lyles, the 26-year-old American, competes in 100m and 200m sprints with the latter being his more successful event. However, he did win gold medal in 100m at the 2016 World U-20 Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland, and the Diamond League title in 2019.
In the 2023 season, he won the 100m event at the Diamond League meeting in Paris while also clinching a bronze medal at the National Championships.
Personal Best: 9.86s
Season’s Best: 9.94s
An upset is always a possibility in a sprint event. Here’s an athlete who could prove to be the dark horse:-
Letsile Tebogo (Botswana)
Letsile Tebogo is a 20-year-old sprinter from Botswana. He was a good footballer too when he was just six years old and his teachers encouraged him to practise both sports but due to injuries, he chose to focus solely on track.
He won gold medal in 100m at the World U-20 Championships in 2021 and 2022, becoming the first sprinter from his nation to clinch victory in the 100m event on a global stage. He made his senior world championships debut last year in Eugene, exiting in the semifinals.
In the 2023 season, he has won the Botswana Golden Grand Prix while finishing second, third and fourth in the Diamond League meetings in Monaco, Paris and Rabat, respectively.
Personal Best: 9.76s
Season’s Best: 9.91s
World Record - 9.58s (Usain Bolt at 2009 World Championships in Berlin)
World Championships Record - 9.58s (Usain Bolt at 2009 World Championships in Berlin)
Olympic Record - 9.69s (Usain Bolt at 2008 Beijing Olympics)
World-leading performance in 2023 - 9.83s (Zharnel Hughes at New York Grand Prix)
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