Noah Lyles and Sha’Carri Richardson, the faces of the World Athletics Championships, won their third and second gold medals in Budapest on Saturday, anchoring the United States in the 4x100m relay.
In a captivating night of action, Armand ‘Mondo’ Duplantis and Faith Kipyegon asserted their authority in their respective events.
Charismatic Swede Duplantis retained his pole vault title despite failing to improve on his world record, while Kenya’s Kipyegon became the first woman to achieve the 1500m and 5000m double when she won the latter.
It was a first of the night for Canada, who won both the men’s and women’s hammer titles earlier in the championships.
Marco Arop and Pierce LePage became the first Canadians to win the men’s 800m and decathlon titles.
Olympic champion Damian Warner gilded the lily for Canada in the decathlon, winning silver.
Another medal went to Canada as Sarah Mitton finished second in the women’s shot put.
Mitton lost to American Chase Ealey, who, like Duplantis, retained her title.
Lyles and Richardson, however, stole the show.
Lyles held up three fingers as he raced across the line, his face breaking into a big smile as he added relay gold to his 100/200m double.
The double made him the fifth man to do so and the first since Usain Bolt in 2015 to sweep the toss.
But Bolt managed to do it three times.
“This is my third gold here,” said the 26-year-old Lyles.
“It’s sensational, unbelievable. You can’t do better. It’s out of control.”
Richardson’s drive over the line ended in less graceful fashion as her momentum carried her into Lyles’ teammate Christian Coleman, with both ending up on the ground.
“It’s a dream come true,” Richardson said of her gold relay.
Kipyegon underlined her status as one of the greatest distance runners of all time, with the 29-year-old once again beating Dutch Olympic 5,000m champion Sifan Hassan at the championships.
“I’ve been patiently waiting to break world records and win double gold. But my dream has just come true, it’s amazing,” Kipyegon said.
LePage turned last year’s silver into gold with a terrific performance on the second day of the decathlon, all the more so because he had a hamstring problem.
“I gave it my all from this morning and that makes me very proud,” said the 27-year-old. “It’s great to share this stage with him (Warner).
“I pulled my hamstring before the hurdles this morning.
“But it’s a decathlon, we’re used to a lot of injuries, you get over it.”
Duplantis enjoyed a fairly routine defense of his title and said: “I’m really happy with all these back-to-back gold medals.
“I don’t know where this one ranks, but I’m happy to keep winning.
“It was probably the craziest atmosphere I’ve ever competed in, so it meant a lot to me to be able to put on a pole vault show for them.”
Arop executed a masterful drive and stayed calm at the back of the field until he pressed the down button. The 24-year-old was never in trouble when he hit the front.
“It’s going to be hard to beat the gold medal now,” said Sudanese-born Arop, who won bronze at last year’s world championships.
“I guess I’ll just have to do it again.
“Now I’m going to work twice as hard to stay on top. I don’t want to be known as the guy who can only run in one direction.”
The final of the 4 x 400m relay concludes the championships on Sunday with the Indians a surprise medalist.
In the semifinals, they set a new Asian record of 2:59.05 and finished second to the USA.
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