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Medal predictions for 2023 World Athletics Champions

Photo provided by WISH-TV weather team

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The much-anticipated start of the 2023 World Athletics Championships in Budapest is three days away.

This year marks the event’s 40th anniversary, which began in Helsinki in 1983. This is potentially shaping up to be one of the most memorable outdoor championship events of all time in its decorated history.

Now, let’s get one thing clear before we go any further, forecasting the weather and predicting who will end up on the podium can both be incredibly difficult. Even though I’m a meteorologist, my love for track and field is sky-high.

With that being said, let’s “forecast” who I think is grabbing a medal in Budapest.

100 meters

MEN – Gold: Fred Kerley (USA) | Silver: Zharnel Hughes (Great Britain) | Bronze: Letsile Tebogo (Botswana)

Kerley is going to have a much tougher task of defending his world title with the competition being very fierce so far this year. He even lost against Simbine in Silesia a month ago. I still think he will pull out his very best when it comes down to it, but Hughes and Tebogo are both having BIG years.

I also think there’s a good chance Noah Lyles doesn’t even make the 100-meter final, and that’s not to hate on him.

WOMEN – Gold: Shericka Jackson (Jamaica) | Silver: Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (Jamaica) | Bronze: Marie-Josée Ta Lou (Ivory Coast)

So, picking Jackson for gold over five-time 100-meter world champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce is certainly risky. However, I think Jackson will ultimately have the edge this time as she is approaching world record fitness. Fraser-Pryce had a very late start to this season. Ta Lou at the age of 34 is on a roll and will make a difference.

Despite Sha’Carri Richardson’s success this year, I just don’t think she’s going to hold on against the world’s best in this event. Could she medal? Absolutely, but the pressure will be on her.

200 meters

MEN – Gold: Noah Lyles (USA) | Silver: Erriyon Knighton (USA) | Bronze: Kenny Bednarek (USA)

The 200-meter American record holder Noah Lyles has been on a warpath in this event, and Usain Bolt’s world record of 19.19 is very well in danger. However, I personally don’t think he will break that record as his starts are still a work in progress.

He isn’t the only one to look out for though as young phenom Erriyon Knighton has been racing smart this year and is saving his best for last. The Bronze pick is tough, but I went with Bednarek as he has shown up in the big races recently.

You could also argue Zharnel Hughes and Letsile Tebogo to medal, but it will be a tall order.

WOMEN – Gold: Shericka Jackson (Jamaica) | Silver: Gabby Thomas (USA) | Bronze: Julien Alfred (Port of St. Lucia)

Florence Joyner-Griffin’s 200-meter world record from 1988 is in MAJOR jeopardy, and I will take a chance in saying Jackson is going to break that record. I’m not confident in taking Thomas for silver despite her being the fastest woman in this event this year. Bronze is an absolute toss-up, but I’ll bank on the dominant Julien Alfred who has had an ASTOUNDING 2023 at the University of Texas.

I would also keep your eyes on Dina Asher-Smith (Great Britain), Sha’Carri Richardson, and Kayla White (USA)

400 meters

MEN – Gold: Steven Gardiner (Bahamas) | Silver: Wayde Van Niekerk (South Africa) | Bronze: Kirani James (Grenada)

It was just announced earlier today that defending 400-meter world champion Michael Norman (USA) is not competing at this event. I feel rather confident in saying Gardiner will capture his second world title in his career, and he has already run 43.74 this year.

The uplifting story in this event is world record holder Wayde Van Niekerk as he is having his best season in several years since he tore his ACL in 2017. This is likely a safe pick, but I like Kirani James to add another medal to his decorated career as well.

WOMEN – Gold: Marileidy Paulino (Dominican Republic) | Silver: Natalia Kaczmarek (Poland) | Bronze: Salwa Eid Naser (Bahrain)

Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone is out of this year’s world championship event. So, I bumped Paulino up to win the gold. For Silver and Bronze, it’s kind of open in my opinion. You could also argue a podium finish for Britton Wilson (USA) and Rhasidat Adeleke (Ireland).

800 meters

MEN – Gold: Emmanuel Wanyonyi (Kenya) | Silver: Djamel Sedjati (Algeria) | Bronze: Slimane Moula (Algeria)

This podium prediction is among the safest bets in my mind, but let’s make it clear that this event is wide open once again. I like how the young Wanyonyi has been consistently fast this year, and the Algerian duo of Sedjati and Moula will cause big issues.

Marco Arop (Canada) will also be a threat to win, but he always falls apart in the final 100-150 meters. Max Burgin (Great Britain) looks to also rebound after being injured during the Eugene World Event last year.

WOMEN – Gold: Keely Hodgkinson (Great Britain) | Silver: Athing Mu (USA) | Bronze: Mary Moraa (Kenya)

I do have an upset here (depending on if Athing Mu races) with Hodgkinson stunning Mu for the gold. Mu has not lost an outdoor 800-meter race since 2019.

1,500 meters

MEN – Gold: Jakob Ingebrigsten (Norway) | Silver: Mohamed Katir (Spain) | Bronze: Yared Nuguse (USA)

Let me make this as clear as possible, you could blindfold or attach weights to Ingebrigsten, and I think he would STILL win gold in this event.

WOMEN – Gold: Faith Kipyegon (Kenya) | Silver: Hirut Meshesha (Ethiopia) | Bronze: Laura Muir (Great Britain)

Faith Kipyegon, the world record holder, is going to destroy this field. No questions asked.

5,000 meters

MEN – Gold: Jakob Ingebrigsten (Norway) | Silver: Yomif Kejelcha (Ethiopia) | Bronze: Berihu Aregawi (Ethiopia)

This will be among the most exciting races of the entire event. There is a good chance that Ingebrigsten becomes the first athlete to win the 1,500 and 5,000 at Worlds since Bernard Lagat in 2007.

WOMEN – Gold: Faith Kipyegon (Kenya) | Silver: Gudaf Tsegay (Ethiopia) | Bronze: Letesenbet Gidey (Ethiopia)

I’m going to take a chance on Kipyegon also winning the women’s 5000-meter gold, but she is going to have to hold it together against fierce competition such as Tsegay, Gidey, Beatrice Chebet (Kenya), and Sifan Hassan (Netherlands).

10,000 meters

MEN – Gold: Berihu Aregawi (Ethiopia) | Silver: Joshua Cheptegei (Uganda) | Bronze: Selemon Barega (Ethiopia)

I believe Aregawi’s persistence will finally pay off and lead the way to his first medal in a major event in his career.

WOMEN – Gold: Gudaf Tsegay (Ethiopia) | Silver: Letesenbet Gidey (Ethiopia) | Bronze: Sifan Hassan (Netherlands)

3,000 meter steeplechase

MEN – Gold: Lamecha Girma (Ethiopia) | Silver: Soufiane El Bakkali (Morocco) | Bronze: Simon Koech (Kenya)

This will essentially come down to Girma (world record holder) vs. El Bakkali. El Bakkali has been undefeated in this event since September 2021, and he is 7-2 all-time against Girma in terms of a better finish. El Bakkali has also won outright the last five times he and Girma are in the same race.

However, I think Girma changes that and captures the gold.

WOMEN – Gold: Jackline Chepkoech (Kenya) | Silver: Beatrice Chepkoech (Kenya) | Bronze: Sembo Almayew (Ethiopia)

110 and 100-meter hurdles

MEN – Gold: Grant Holloway (USA) | Silver: Rasheed Broadbell (Jamaica) | Bronze: Daniel Roberts (USA)

Holloway is poised to become a three-time world champion in this event.

WOMEN – Gold: Jasmine Camacho-Quinn (Puerto Rico) | Silver: Tobi Amusan (Nigeria) | Bronze: Nia Ali (USA)

400-meter hurdles

MEN – Gold: Karsten Warholm (Norway) | Silver: Rai Benjamin (USA) | Bronze: Alison Dos Santos (Brazil)

This will be a VERY FAST race. I expect the world record of 45.94 held by Warholm to be under serious danger.

WOMEN – Gold: Femke Bol (Netherlands) | Silver: Dalilah Muhammad (USA) | Bronze: Adrenette Knight (Jamaica)

Unfortunately, I will not be putting relay predictions in this article as I have yet to do any in-depth research on who could be on the podium.

The championship will run from Aug. 19 – 27.