Jamaicans win two golds at track worlds, another races after cart crash
BUDAPEST — Jamaica, a sleeping giant for the first five days of the world track and field championships, became the story of night six.
Danielle Williams (100m hurdles) and Antonio Watson (400m) won the nation’s first gold medals of the meet, doing so in back-to-back races.
Before that, Jamaican 200m sprinter Andrew Hudson was injured on the way to the track.
A cart transporting athletes into the stadium for the first of three 200m semifinals, including Hudson, defending champion Noah Lyles and others, collided with another cart. Hudson said glass shards flew into his right eye.
“I feel like it all happened in slow motion,” he said.
The other two semifinals ran ahead of that heat while Hudson was in a medical area for what he estimated was 20 minutes. He said most of the glass was flushed out.
Hudson chose to race, though he said his vision was blurry. He finished fifth in his heat but was added to the final given his circumstances.
“The race was a blur. My eyesight’s a blur,” he joked. “Maybe I’ll walk next time [instead of riding in a cart].”
Williams capped a career comeback by taking the 100m hurdles by one hundredth of a second over Olympic gold medalist Jasmine Camacho-Quinn of Puerto Rico.
“Walking into the call room, coach [Lennox Graham] said, ‘All year you’ve been getting out good, and they’ve been catching you towards the end. This is the moment that they’re not going to catch you,’” Williams said.
Williams, the 2015 World champion, clocked 12.43 seconds in an upset. She entered worlds seeded ninth by best time this year.
Her eight years in between gold medals were marked by injuries — back, ankle, hamstring and an Achilles now — and missing Olympic teams in 2016 and 2021. Williams had COVID going into last year’s worlds and was sixth.
Camacho-Quinn was followed by American Keni Harrison, who won her third medal in the last four global championships after two silvers.
About 15 minutes later, Watson won the men’s 400m in 44.22 seconds, overtaking Brit Matthew Hudson-Smith by nine hundredths.
Watson entered worlds seeded eight by best time this year, then lowered his personal best for the fourth time this year in the semifinals (to 44.13). The 21-year-old began the year with a best time of 46.17 after primarily running the 100m and 200m in recent seasons.
“I always say I’m all about the 200m,” said Watson, who is coached by Glen Mills, who guided Usain Bolt to seven combined world 100m and 200m titles. “If the 400m is the calling, then we’ll stick with the 400m.”
American Quincy Hall took bronze, his first world medal.
Dutchwoman Femke Bol won the 400m hurdles in 51.70 seconds. American Shamier Little took silver (52.80), one hundredth ahead of Jamaican Rushell Clayton.
Olympic gold medalist Miltiadis Tentoglou of Greece won the long jump by leaping 8.52 meters on his final jump.
Before that, he and Jamaican Wayne Pinnock were tied at 8.50, but Pinnock had the tiebreaker with a farther second jump by one centimeter.
It’s the second world title for a Greek man in any track and field event after Kostas Kenteris’ 200m crown in 2001.
Pinnock and Tajay Gayle gave Jamaica a silver-bronze finish in the event on an overall five-medal day for the nation. Jamaican men won zero individual medals at last year’s worlds.
Camryn Rogers gave Canada a sweep of the hammer golds with a 77.22-meter throw, four days after Ethan Katzberg won the men’s event.
Janee’ Kassanavoid and DeAnna Price kept recent American strength in the event going with silver and bronze medals.
World 100m champions Lyles and Sha’Carri Richardson advanced to Friday’s 200m finals.
Lyles, bidding to become the first man to sweep the 100m and 200m golds since Bolt in 2015, had the fastest men’s semifinal time.
Richardson, bidding to become the first woman to sweep the 100m and 200m golds since Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce in 2013, was fourth-fastest in the women’s semis (22.20).
Fellow American Gabby Thomas had the best time (21.97) followed by defending champion Shericka Jackson of Jamaica (22.00).
Worlds continue Friday at 1:30 p.m. ET, live on USA Network, NBCSports.com, the NBC Sports app and Peacock.
Peacock also live streams the first day of the decathlon starting at 4:05 a.m.