Top world track and field performances of 2013 - Part II


The past year saw some brilliant performances by athletes all over the world and at the Moscow World Championships.

Jamaica’s Usain Bolt was designated by the International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF), the Athlete of the Year, but France’s Teddy Tamgho, who came back from injury, had Track & Field News’ Performance of the Year, 18.04 meters, the third best performance in triple jump history.

In the finals of this event, the Frenchman had the best initial jump, of 17.65m, against last year’s World Junior Champion Pedro Pablo Pichardo at 17.38m, and Will Claye, the silver medalist in Daegu and London, at 17.19m. 

Tamgho had several scratches that went long. One was his fifth jump. 

You just knew a great jump was on the way. On his final jump, in the lead with nobody jumping after him, he got it all together with an 18.04m performance.

The 100m and 200m went true to form as Usain Bolt dominated both easily. 

In the 200m, Bolt ran the world’s leading time of 19.66 seconds.


This was supposed to be the showdown of the meet. London and Daegu Champion Kirani James from Grenada had traded firsts with Beijing and Berlin Champion LaShawn Merritt. When the gun fired in the final, Merritt was in lane six, just ahead of James. 

He decided to go out at a very fast pace and forced his competitors to catch him. 

Merritt finished in a personal best of 43.74 seconds, the fifth best performance of all-time. James tried to catch Merritt and blew a fuse, finishing in seventh in 44.99 seconds.


The United States of America (USA) looked great this year with Duane Solomon going into the world championships with a world leading 1:43.27 and Nick Symmonds with a world fourth place of 1:43.67. 

Solomon decided to take the pace out in the semi-final, running 1:43.87. 

He tried the same thing in the final but ran out of steam with Mohammed Aman winning in 1:43.31, and Symmonds finishing in second place, in 1:43.55. Aman turned 20 on January 10, 2014.


Kenya’s Asbel Kiprop had the best performance of the year in this event at 3:27.72. Kiprop’s performance was the fourth of all-time in this event. 

The next two were Britain’s Mohamed Farah, who finished second in 3:28.81, and Kenya’s Caleb Mwangangi Ndiku who clocked 3:29.50. 

Farah’s performance surpassed Britain’s Steve Cram’s 3:29.67 record done in 1985. In Moscow, Kiprop won in a pedestrian 3:36.28. 

The USA’s Matthew Centrowitz, son of former middle distance star Matthew Centrowitz, won the silver medal in 3:36.78.

110m hurdles

This was another exciting competition as most of the top competitors of the 2013 season made it to Moscow. 

The USA’s Ryan Wilson made his first national team. When the dust settled in the final, David Oliver was the victor with a world leading performance of 13 seconds flat. 

Wilson won the silver medal in 13.13 seconds. Russia’s Sergey Shubenkov made history by finishing third with a 13.24 seconds clocking. 

This was the first time a Russian won a medal in this event at the world championships.

400m hurdles

As it was in London, the long hurdles event was one of the most interesting in Moscow. London silver medalist Michael Tinsley ran 47.96 seconds to win the USA Championships in June. 

Trinidad and Tobago’s Jehu Gordon ran 48 seconds flat three weeks later in Monaco for the second best performance of 2013. 

They both were on a roll. In the semi-final, Cuba’s Omar Cisneros ran a world leading 47.93 seconds. 

Daegu Champion David Greene of Great Britain failed to make the final and when the dust settled, Gordon ran a brilliant race defeating the London silver medalist by one, one hundredth of a second, 47.69 seconds to 47.70 seconds. 

This was the closest victory in this event in championships history! This was a personal best for both Gordon and Tinsley.

Bahamian Jeffrey Gibson had broken Greg Rolle’s 30-year-old national record of 49.46 seconds at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Championships in Eugene in June. 

That qualified him for the ‘A’ standard for Moscow, the first Bahamian to qualify in this event 

since the inaugural world championships in Helsinki in 1983. 

Gibson advanced to the semi-final where he finished eighth in his heat and 21st overall in a time of 50.51 seconds.

High jump

This was one of the most popular events of 2013. The Ukraine’s Bohdan Bondarenko had the best performance of the season at 2.41m, the fourth best performance of all-time. 

Bondarenko cleared that height in Lausanne in July and repeated the accomplishment to capture the Moscow World Championships gold medal in a championships record. 

There, he had two attempts at the championships record and made an attempt at Javier Sotomayor’s world record of 2.45m done 20 years prior in Salamanca. 

Qatari Mutaz Essa Barshim, 22, the 2010 World Junior Champion had the season’s second best performance at 2.40m, done at the Steve Prefontaine Classic in June. 

He jumped 2.38m for the silver medal in Moscow. Canadian Derek Drouin jumped a national record of 2.38m for third in the Moscow final. 

Drouin had one miss at 2.38m and Barshim had no misses at this height.

Bahamian Donald Thomas, the 2007 world champion who has a personal best of 2.35m, had his best performance for several years by jumping 2.32m for sixth place. 

This was the eighth best performance worldwide in 2013. Thomas had a challenging season, making the qualifying mark of 2.31m on July 1 in Tallahassee. 

Bahamian World Junior bronze medalist from 2012, Ryan Ingraham, cleared 2.25m to finish in a three-way tie for 10th in Moscow. 

In Edmonton in June, Ingraham cleared a personal best of 2.30m.

Pole Vault

It was a great season for the pole vault. Frenchman Renaud Lavillenie had the seven best performances of the season. 

His best of 6.02m, done in London on July 27, was the seventh best performance of all-time. German Raphael Holzdeppe was the second best jumper of the season at 5.91m, and his teammate Bjorn Otto was the third best performer of the year, at 5.90m. 

In Moscow, this event had the eyes of the fans, with Lavillenie having a miss at 5.65m, one at 5.82m and two at 5.89m. 

German Holzdeppe cleared his three attempts, passing 5.75m, without a miss, thereby defeating the Frenchman. 

Both Holzdeppe and Lavillenie cleared 5.89m. This was the very first time that an athlete of color won this event at the world level.

Long jump

Prior to Moscow, no athlete had surpassed 8.50m. Mexico’s Luis Rivera had won the University Games in Kazan, Russia in July with a national record of 8.46m. 

This was the world leading performance at the time. In doing this, Rivera defeated Russian Aleksandr Menkov, who jumped 8.42m, the second best performance of the season. 

4x100m relay

Prior to the Moscow World Championships, the USA had the best time in the world at 37.58 seconds done in Monaco in July. Jamaica ran 37.75 seconds a week later in London. 

On the closing day of the competition, Usain Bolt had to go into overdrive to win the global crown. 

The team ran 37.36 seconds for the victory. The United States finished in 37.66 seconds for the silver medal. Canada ran 37.92 seconds for the bronze medal. 

The Bahamas’ team of Adrian Griffith, Warren Fraser, Jamial Rolle and Shavez Hart ran 38.70 seconds for a new national record. They placed sixth in their heat.

4x400m relay

The United States won this event by more than a second over Jamaica. 

They clocked a world leading time of 2:58.71 to Jamaica’s 2:59.88, a season’s best. 

Anchoring the Jamaican team was Javon Francis, the silver medalist in the BTC 2013 CARIFTA Games 400m. 

The Bahamas, who had won this event in London, was unable to field the same team as in 2012 and finished in fourth place in their qualifying round, in 3:02.67. 

Chris Brown ran the first leg, newcomer Wesley Neymour the second leg, LaToy Williams the third leg and former junior standout Ojay Ferguson the anchor leg. 

At the end of the third leg, the team was in the lead. They needed to run better than Australia who had run 3:02.48 to advance. Ramon Miller, who anchored the team to victory in London, suffered some tightness in his leg in the 400m qualifying round and was unable to run. Demetrius Pinder had been injured and did not try out for the team.

We along with the whole world look forward to these relay events at this year’s inaugural IAAF World Relay Championships in The Bahamas in May.

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