22 memorable moments in 2022

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As the year draws to a close we look at the track and field highlights from the past 12 months

With a world and European championships plus the Commonwealth Games, 2022 has proved a power-packed year for track and field. Given this it wasn’t easy to come up with a short list of the greatest moments from the past few months. We have given it a stab, though, so here is our list – in no particular order – of the most memorable moments in 2022. What’s your favourite!?

Symbolic victory for high jumper Mahuchikh 

With war raging in her country of Ukraine, Yaroslava Mahuchikh soared to 2.02m to win the world indoor title in Belgrade. “I didn’t think I was doing it for myself or my medal, I was doing it for all the Ukrainian nation, to show that we are the strongest in the world,” she said.

Yaroslava Mahuchikh (Getty)

Red-hot Rojas bounds to world record

Yulimar Rojas has been a dominating force in the women’s triple jump recently and at the World Indoor Championships in Belgrade in March she smashed the world record with 15.54m. It was further than her own world indoor record (15.43m) and outdoor record (15.67m). “I cannot be more thankful,” the Venezuelan said. “I knew it was the right time to achieve this and I took the chance.”

Yulimar Rojas (Mark Shearman)

Ingebrigtsen claims world indoor 1500m mark

It was only February but Jakob Ingebrigtsen set out his stall for 2022 with a 3:30.60 world indoor 1500m record at the Meeting Hauts-de-France Pas de Calais. The Norwegian was behind world record pace as he went through 1000m in 2:20.90 but he finished strongly to take 0.44 off Samuel Tefera’s mark.

Jakob Ingebrigtsen (Getty)

Duplantis supreme with 6.21m vault

Mondo Duplantis brought the World Championships in Eugene to a rousing finale with a world record of 6.21m. It was his third world record of the year and he said: “Somebody has to go out and win these competitions so why couldn’t it be me? It’s truly amazing how things have worked out and I do not take it for granted.”

Mondo Duplantis (Getty)

Sprint hurdles record falls to Amusan in semi-final

The action during the final session at the World Championships in Eugene was barely underway when Tobi Amusan destroyed the 100m hurdles world record with 12.12 (0.9) to slice 0.08 from Keni Harrision’s previous mark. Amazingly it was her first time inside 12.40 – and she was wearing distance running spikes too! “I believe in my abilities but I was not expecting a world record at these championships,” the Nigerian said before going on to win the final in a wind-assisted 12.06.

Lyles storms to 19.31 for 200m

Noah Lyles led the United States to a clean sweep in the men’s 200m at the World Championships on home soil in Eugene. His time was the third-fastest in history as he clocked 19.31. “I was in form for a world record, but I am okay with the American record,” said Lyles, who ran 100m splits of 10.15 and 9.16.

Noah Lyles (Getty)

Fraser-Pryce wins world 100m title No.5

Aged 35, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce took her fifth world 100m title as she set a championships record in the process with 10.67 (+0.8) in Eugene. Leading a Jamaican clean sweep of the medals, she said: “I feel blessed to have this talent and to continue to do it at 35, having a baby, still going, and hopefully inspiring women that they can make their own journey.”

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (Getty)

Shericka Jackson on fire

Shericka Jackson’s winning 200m time at the World Championships of 21.45 (0.6) was the second-fastest in history, the quickest for 34 years and a championships record. The only woman who has run quicker is Florence Griffith Joyner with 21.34 from 1988. “I’m the fastest woman alive!” Jackson smiled.

Dina Asher-Smith, Shericka Jackson, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (Getty)

Kipyegon triumphs in battle of attrition

Faith Kipyegon’s world 1500m victory in Eugene in 3:52.96 ahead of Gudaf Tsegay (3:54.52) and Laura Muir (3:55.28) was the culmination of a brutal race that saw the athletes operating inside world record pace in the early stages. “I knew it was going to be fast so I was well prepared for that,” said the Kenyan winner. “I knew everything was possible. This was my dream to be a world champion.”

Faith Kipyegon (Getty)

Jake beats Jakob to world 1500m crown

In one of the upsets of the year, Jake Wightman out-kicked Jakob Ingebrigtsen to win the world 1500m title in Eugene. Becoming the first Briton to win the title since Steve Cram in 1983, Wightman made his move with 200m to go and went on to clock 3:29.23. “I always felt I could do something in the sport,” he said, “but for that something to be a world champion is unbelievable.”

Jake Wightman (Getty)

Mu pips Hodgkinson in two-lap thriller

A gripping 800m duel at the World Champs in Eugene saw Olympic champion Athing Mu holding on to victory in a desperate home straight battle with Britain’s Keely Hodgkinson. The American clocked 1:56.30 to win by eight hundredths of a second. “Coming here and winning means a lot to me because I know what I have been going through,” said Mu.

800m medallists (Getty)

McLaughlin 400m hurdles record

En route to her first world title, Sydney McLaughlin sliced 0.73 seconds from her own world record of 51.41 – which was set at the US trials a few weeks earlier – with 50.68. Such was her speed, her time over the barriers would have placed her seventh in the women’s flat 400m final. “I think the best races that I’ve ever run are the ones where I’m just free,” she said, “releasing the gift that I’ve been given.”

Sydney McLaughlin (Getty)

Aussie joy in Commonwealth 1500m

Olli Hoare became the first Australian since Herb Elliott to win the Commonwealth 1500m title when he kicked past world champion Jake Wightman and Timothy Cheruiyot to take gold. The top six men all smashed Filbert Bayi’s iconic Games record from 1974 as well in a race littered with PBs.

Olli Hoare (Mark Shearman)

McColgan triumphs in Commonwealth clash

Following in the footsteps of her mother, Eilish McColgan claimed Commonwealth Games gold in the 10,000m. This was no ordinary victory, though, but a stirring duel that mesmerised the crowd in the Alexander Stadium in Birmingham as the Scottish athlete out-sprinted Irine Cheptai of Kenya. “Having my family here and the crowd here… it was vibrating through my whole body,” McColgan said. “I just wanted it so badly.”

Eilish McColgan (Mark Shearman)

Muir’s brilliant defence

After earning bronze in the World Championships and winning Commonwealth gold in Birmingham, Laura Muir destroyed her rivals to successfully defend her European 1500m crown in Munich.  “It was an amazing opportunity and a very unique one that we’d ever get three championships in a year, let alone in five weeks in the summer,” she said. “It’s just insane.”

Laura Muir (Getty)

Alekna Jnr surprises older rivals

Discus throwing prodigy Mykolas Alekna won European gold in Munich aged 19 with a championships record of 69.78m. In doing so he defeated world champion Kristjan Ceh and all three medallists from the Tokyo Olympics. Čeh took silver and Britain’s Lawrence Okoye bronze as Alekna continued a family tradition that began when his father Virgilijus won the same title 16 years earlier.

Mykolas Alekna (Getty)

Magnificent London Marathon

The London Marathon returned to normality post-Covid with thousands of runners enjoying – and enduring – their 26.2-mile journey around the British capital. Amos Kipruto won the men’s race in 2:04:39 and Yalemzerf Yehualaw the women’s title in 2:17:26 as Rose Harvey and Weynay Ghebresilasie finished leading Brits while Marcel Hug and Catherine Debrunner took wheelchair race victories.

Yalemzerf Yehualaw (Mark Shearman)

Kipchoge cruises to another world record

Eliud Kipchoge shows no sign of slowing down. At the Berlin Marathon in September he cruised through halfway in a phenomenal 59:51 before slowing slightly to run 2:01:09. The Kenyan took half a minute off his world record and showed he still has plenty of victories in his legs, starting with Boston this coming April and potentially culminating with the Olympics in Paris 2024.

Eliud Kipchoge (Getty)

Chepngetich survives blistering marathon pace

Ruth Chepngetich’s winning time at the Chicago Marathon in October of 2:14:18 might not have been a world record but it was hugely impressive given the early pace that she had endured. The Kenyan flew through 5km in 5km in 15:11 (2:08 pace!), 10km in 30:40 and halfway in 65:44 before slowing in the closing stages to miss Brigid Kosgei’s 2:14:04 world record.

Ruth Chepngetich (Getty)

READ MORE: Top 10 moments from the Commonwealth Games

Sorokin’s stunning 24-hour record

Aleksandr Sorokin produced one of the greatest ultra performances in history as he added a staggering 10.8km to his previous world record when he completed 319.614km in 24 hours at an event in Italy in September. The 40-year-old Lithuanian was only 1.5 miles short of breaking the 200 miles barrier as he averaged a stunning 7:15 mile pace or 4:30 per kilometre for a whole day.

Aleksandr Sorokin (Centurion Runner)

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