World Championships 2023: Usain Bolt’s long-standing 200m mark among records under threat

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Noah Lyles celebrates after becoming world 200m champion
Noah Lyles is among the global stars who could rewrite the history books at the World Championships
Venue: Budapest Dates: 19-27 August
Coverage: Watch live on BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Three, BBC iPlayer, BBC Red Button, BBC Sport website and app; listen on BBC Radio 5 Live and BBC Sounds; live text on evening sessions.

When it comes to major championships, medals are the name of the game for the world’s best athletes.

But with the sport’s biggest stars peaking for a second World Championships in as many years, less than 12 months before the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, we could witness record-breaking performances in Budapest.

Several current world record holders will be in action across the disciplines, while others have set their sights on attaining historic marks.

So, who might we see making history?

Noah Lyles – men’s 200m

American Noah Lyles, who will target three world titles, believes he will break Usain Bolt’s long-standing 200m record in Budapest.

The world champion shared his prediction on social media that he will run 19.10 seconds to shatter the Jamaican sprinting legend’s 14-year mark. He also thinks he’ll get within 0.07secs of Bolt’s 100m best by running 9.65.

Eight-time Olympic champion Bolt’s time of 19.19 has stood since the 2009 World Championships, as has his famous 100m mark of 9.58.

Lyles achieved his personal best 19.31 to take the world title last year and victory in 19.47 at the London Diamond League in July – the fastest time in the world this year – means he heads to Budapest full of confidence.

Faith Kipyegon – women’s 1500m/5,000m

Faith Kipyegon is having a remarkable season, setting three world records across as many distances in fewer than 50 days.

Two of those performances arrived one week apart, the popular Kenyan breaking the 1500m mark in a time of three minutes 49.11 seconds at the Florence Diamond League before winning the 5,000m in Paris in an astonishing 14 minutes 5.20 seconds on 9 June.

The two-time Olympic and world 1500m champion added a third record to her name when she beat Sifan Hassan’s mile time by almost five seconds, clocking four minutes 7.64 seconds in July.

Kipyegon will target a 1500m and 5,000m double as she heads to the World Championships in seemingly unstoppable form.

Karsten Warholm – men’s 400m hurdles

Following an injury-disrupted 2022, Karsten Warholm appears back to his frightening best.

The Norwegian has held the men’s 400m hurdles world record since running 45.94 seconds to win Olympic gold in Tokyo two years ago.

He proved beyond any doubt this season that he has completed a full recovery from his hamstring injury by producing two of the five fastest performances of all time, improving to 46.51 in Monaco in July after clocking 46.52 in Oslo.

Expect the 27-year-old, who was lacking fitness as he finished seventh at last year’s World Championships, to put on a show as he aims for a fourth global title.

Femke Bol – women’s 400m hurdles

Olympic and world champion Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone is the world record holder in the women’s 400m hurdles – an event in which she boasts six of the eight fastest times in history and has looked unstoppable.

The 24-year-old American improved her mark to 50.68 seconds in clinching world gold last year but had been set to target the 400m flat in Budapest before withdrawing because of a knee injury.

In her absence, all eyes will be on Femke Bol.

The Dutch athlete, 23, recorded the third-fastest performance of all time when she ran 51.45 at the London Diamond League – behind only McLaughlin-Levrone’s best two times, both set last season.

Armand Duplantis – men’s pole vault

For several years now, the men’s pole vault has pitted Swedish star Armand Duplantis against his own world record.

On six separate occasions during his young career, the 23-year-old has risen – quite literally – to that challenge.

Duplantis improved his best vault by one centimetre with a clearance at 6.22m at the indoor All Star Perche meeting in France in February, beating the mark he set in winning world gold last year.

Having spoken of his desire to one day jump 6.30m, there will again be sky-high expectations when Duplantis takes to the runway.

Jakob Ingebrigtsen – men’s 1500m

Jakob Ingebrigtsen could target Hicham El Guerrouj's world record

Norwegian superstar Jakob Ingebrigtsen already has one world record to his name in 2023 – albeit over the rarely contested two-mile distance.

The versatile 22-year-old is the 1500m Olympic champion and world 5,000m gold medallist but he had to settle for silver behind Britain’s Jake Wightman over the shorter distance in Eugene last year.

In July he became the fourth-fastest 1500m runner in history, improving his European record to three minutes 27.14 seconds at the Silesia Diamond League.

It brought Ingebrigtsen within 1.14 seconds of Hicham El Guerrouj’s as yet untouchable 3:26, set 25 years ago, as he bids to upgrade his 1500m medal in Wightman’s absence.

Ryan Crouser – men’s shot put

Ryan Crouser’s new shot put technique, known as the ‘Crouser Slide’, has already helped the American to improve his world record this year.

The reigning Olympic and world champion added more than 20cm to his best with a throw of 23.56m in May using his new step-across method – an adjustment at the beginning of his routine which allows him to generate more force.

The 30-year-old, responsible for 10 of the 14 furthest throws in history, has had time to further perfect the movement.

That was proven at the London Diamond League, when the average distance of his six-throw series was higher than any of his competitors’ single best attempt.

Other records to watch

Where else could we see record-breaking performances?

Three-time world outdoor champion Yulimar Rojas set a new triple jump world record of 15.74m at last year’s World Indoor Championships, having previously set the standard at 15.67m in winning gold at the Tokyo Olympics.

The Venezuelan has recorded seven of the nine biggest jumps in history and has been clear that her target is to become the first woman to jump 16m in the triple jump.

Rojas, who may also decide to target a long jump medal, has a triple jump best of 15.18m this season – making her the clear favourite for another gold.

Elsewhere, American Grant Holloway is attempting to win a third successive men’s 110m hurdles world title in Budapest.

His personal best of 12.81 seconds is the second fastest time in history, one hundredth of a second behind compatriot Aries Merritt’s record of 12.80, which he could target to complete his treble in style.

Elsewhere, Ethiopian Lamecha Girma has displayed record-setting form in 2023, having rewritten the men’s 3,000m steeplechase mark in June with seven minutes 52.11 seconds.

Credit TO Owner