World Athletics Championships 2023: Matthew Hudson-Smith wins 400m silver

August 24, 2023  –Britain’s Matthew Hudson-Smith claimed a gutsy 400m silver at the World Championships as he finished an agonising 0.09 seconds behind Jamaican champion Antonio Watson.

The 28-year-old led until the closing stages but could not hold off Watson, who clocked victory in 44.22 secs.

Hudson-Smith’s preparations were impacted by a foot problem that he said sometimes left him “unable to walk”.

“I got a bronze last year, a silver this year so next time, gold,” he said.

Hudson-Smith went out hard in pursuit of his first global title but could not respond as a measured Watson overhauled him in the push to the end in Budapest.

The Briton had made his gold medal ambitions clear after setting a European record in the semi-finals and initially appeared unsure how to react to his achievement.

Crouching down in a mixture of contemplation and exhaustion after upgrading his 2022 medal, he was able to enjoy the moment after being handed his hard-earned silver.

It is Great Britain’s fifth medal of the championships and comes a day after Josh Kerr’s stunning 1500m victory.

Hudson-Smith goes close to world title

Hudson-Smith had insisted last year’s bronze was only the start for him, believing that breakthrough global medal would allow him to unleash his full potential.

The unfortunate injury sustained by Steven Gardiner, the heavy favourite in the absence of reigning champion Michael Norman, in the previous round had left the medal fight wide-open.

Hudson-Smith looked set to take full advantage as he emerged from the bend with a marginal advantage. But he ultimately paid for his earlier exertion, unable to maintain the pace to finish in 44.31 secs.

Silver still represents a remarkable achievement for Hudson-Smith, who put three years of “absolute hell” behind him to win world bronze, Commonwealth silver and European gold in a stellar 2022 season.

What has made these successes all the more remarkable is what he has overcome to accomplish them.

Overwhelmed with emotion after crossing the line in Eugene, he revealed he had severely struggled with his mental health in 2021 as he struggled with injury, debt and the coronavirus pandemic.

And while he may feel the title was there for the taking on Thursday night, this medal, earned despite suffering with Achilles tendonitis this year, represents another notable milestone in his career.

Hughes qualifies for final after bizarre buggy incident

There was a delay to the start of the men’s 200m semi-finals following a bizarre incident in which two buggies transporting the athletes contesting the first race crashed on route to the stadium.

Men’s 100m champion Noah Lyles was one of those caught up in the incident.

One athlete and a volunteer were assessed, with the athlete cleared to participate and the volunteer also unharmed. The World Championships Local Organising Committee said it would investigate the matter.

When those races did eventually get under way, Britain’s Zharnel Hughes safely progressed, finishing second to last year’s bronze medallist and rising star Erriyon Knighton (19.98).

Hughes, who with bronze on Sunday became the first British man to make a world 100m podium for 20 years, clocked 20.02 secs to qualify fifth fastest overall.

Reigning champion Lyles, whose semi-final was pushed back to allow the athletes time to recover, won his heat comfortably in 19.76 secs – the fastest time of the round.

Olympic and world silver medallist Kenny Bednarek also took victory (19.96) ahead of Botswana’s 100m runner-up Letsile Tebogo (19.97).

Asher-Smith and Neita earn shot at 200m medals

Three days after being disappointed by her eighth place finish in the women’s 100m final, Dina Asher-Smith left the track with a smile on her face after securing a place in Friday’s 200m medal race.

The 27-year-old, world champion in the distance in 2019, clocked 22.28 secs on her return to action to finish behind American Gabrielle Thomas (21.97) – ranked fastest this year.

Asher-Smith will be joined by team-mate Daryll Neita, who produced a personal best 22.21 secs to reach her first individual final at a World Championships.

Compatriot Bianca Williams also ran a personal best, clocking 22.17 secs, but was unable to qualify from a star-studded semi-final won by reigning champion Shericka Jackson.

The Jamaican won in 22.00 secs and was followed over the line by newly crowned 100m champion Sha’Carri Richardson (22.20).

Elsewhere, Ben Pattison ensured there will be British representation in Saturday’s men’s 800m final, progressing as a non-automatic qualifier in one minute 44.23 seconds, but Daniel Rowden (1:45.38) and Max Burgin (1:47.60) missed out.

Anna Purchase finished 11th in the women’s hammer throw final with a best of 70.29m, with Canadian Camryn Rogers (77.22m) taking gold.

Redemption for Bol as Tentoglou completes set

Overwhelming favourite Femke Bol clinched her first world title in the women’s 400m hurdles final, crossing the line ahead of American Shamier Little in 51.70 secs.

That triumph came after the 23-year-old suffered a dramatic fall as she battled for mixed 4x400m relay gold for the Netherlands on Saturday, with the team disqualified after she dropped the baton.

Greece’s Olympic long jump champion Miltiadis Tentoglou completed his set of major titles with a final round leap of 8.52m, beating Jamaicans Wayne Pinnock (8.50m) and Tajay Gayle (8.27m).

On a successful night for Jamaica, Danielle Williams took women’s 100m hurdles gold in 12.43 secs, beating Jasmine Camacho-Quinn (12.44) and Kendra Harrison (12.46).

Nigeria’s 100m hurdles world record holder Tobi Amusan, permitted to compete late on after a suspension for missing three doping tests was lifted, finished sixth.

Norway’s Jakob Ingebrigtsen returned to the track following his stunning 1500m final loss to Kerr to safely qualify for the 5,000m, where he will aim to defend his title.

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