A great weekend in Portland came to a close with day 4 of the indoor championships. Portland put on a great show, but the real stars were the athletes on the track. Well, Mo Farah calling the men's 3000 for NBC might have been the realest star, but a lot happened on the track. So what happened on day 4? Let's break down the three biggest storylines.
Do you like history? History is fun, and Matthew Centrowitz made it today with his 1500 meter gold medal. Before today, no American man had ever won the race at the world indoor championships, and Matthew Centrowitz did today after a perfectly timed kick. New Zealand's Nick Willis took charge with one lap to go and Centro followed close behind him. After a fast challenge from Wolde and Wote, Centrowitz finished in first just ahead of Czech Republic's Jakub Holusa. Nick Willis for all of his major efforts, took the bronze medal. Now that Centrowitz has a world championship, he will be looking to get an olympic medal this summer in Rio.
A tale of two races
The men's and women's 3,000 meter races were entirely different affairs, despite their similar beginnings. Both races started slow, with the men's hitting 400 in 70 seconds and the women's in 80 seconds. The men's race continued on this trajectory with the entire pack all together at the 2k, but Bachir made a move late to crank up the pace. Ndiku made a move with him and Kejelcha took the lead with two laps to go. The last lap was a wild sprint, with Kejelcha took the gold medal with USA's Ryan Hill barely nudging out Augustine Choge for the silver medal. A fast sprint took Hill from 5th to 2nd in the last 100 meters, and the race was absolutely a sprinters race.
The women's 3,000 looked almost nothing like that. A slow first 1k was immediately busted open by Genzebe Dibaba of Ethiopia. Dibaba never looked back and no one even came close to her. Meseret Defar came in second place seven seconds behind her, and the American Shannon Rowbury came in third place with a time of 8:55. The women's 3k was incredible to see Dibaba dismantle the field, and she is going to be a beast come the Olympics.
Youth was served
Americans can be excited for the future of USA track and field thanks to a few strong performances from young athletes today. Ajee Wilson took silver in an exciting 800 meter race and Vashti Cunningham took home gold in the women's high jump.
21 year old Wilson was one of the favorites heading into the 800 meter races, and she battled hard against eventual winner Niyonsaba. Wilson was up in the front for the entire race and tried to match every move before delivering a strong kick right at the end. The second place finish was Wilson's first world championship medal, and it will be interesting to see how she prepares for the Rio Olympics this summer.
18 year old Vashti Cunningham might have stolen the show from her peers today. The daughter of former NFL quaterback Randall Cunningham dominated the field in the high jump, making every height on her first try until 1.99 meters. Cunningham made it look easy, and she's had a phenomenal 2016 so far. During her post-event interview, she said on-air that she intends to turn pro, so we will have to wait and see what moves she makes.