BUDAPEST, Hungary – Devynne Charlton produced her best ever finish at the world outdoor championships, finishing fourth in the women’s 100 meters (m) hurdles at the 19th World Athletics Championships at the National Athletics Stadium in Budapest, Hungary, on Thursday.
The rising Bahamian star was a bit shaken and disappointed for missing out on the medal podium, but at the end of the day, no one could complain about her effort. She was so close, and yet so far. It’s a hard pill to swallow for the Bahamian star but there is little doubt that she will be back stronger in the not too distant future.
Charlton produced the best collection of races in her career outdoors and has her highest-ever finish at the world outdoor championships. In fact, it’s the highest-ever finish for any Bahamian in the short hurdles at a major meet outdoors and trails just the bronze, in any hurdles event, by Jeffery Gibson in the men’s 400m hurdles in Beijing, China, in 2015.
Jamaican Danielle Williams was the surprise winner, winning her second world championships title in that event, but eight years in between. She prevailed in 12.43 seconds. Olympic Champion Jasmine Camacho-Quinn, of Puerto Rico, was close behind, finishing second in 12.44 seconds. American Kendra ‘Keni’ Harrison, the former world record holder, came up short of the top spot at a global outdoor
championships again, finishing third in 12.46 seconds.
Charlton was right on their tails, finishing fourth in 12.52 seconds. She had a blazing start, so fast that it might have thrown off her steps a bit and she hit the first hurdle. Still, she recovered to produce one of the better races of her life, particularly in the back half of the race when she maintained her form and speed. Charlton was in the mix for much of the race, but the top end speed of Williams, Camacho-Quinn and Harrison eventually caught up with her, passed her, and she had to settle for fourth.
“There are a lot of mixed feelings going on right now,” she said afterwards. “I felt I would be on the podium coming into this meet. I knew that if I was in the mix, I could sneak into the medal picture. I was there; I just made some mistakes early on and I think I paid for it, but I’m happy with the way I fought back. A couple weeks ago, a mistake like the one I made would have taken me out of the race. That just speaks to my strength. I put up three of my best times ever at this meet. I feel like I was in shape to do something big, just didn’t take advantage of the opportunity.”
As she mentioned, it was her best trio of races at any one meet outdoors, and it ended with her fourth-fastest time ever in that event. She ran times of 12.44 seconds, a national record, 12.49 seconds and finally 12.52 seconds at these world championships. Finishing fourth is a hard pill to swallow, but with her progression, there is little doubt that Charlton will once again be in peak form in time for next year’s Olympics in Paris, France.
“Any time I come to a meet like this I’m always fit and always ready. I just need more big races under my belt and I have to get used to being at the front of the pack. I’m happy that I made it to the final, but fourth place, I don’t think there is anything worse,” she said. “I knew I had the best start, bringing so much speed into it and I smashed the first hurdle. If you take that away, I was easily in the medal mix.”
In finishing fourth, Charlton beat some big names in the race. Ackera Nugent, of Jamaica, was fifth in 12.61 seconds, world record holder Tobi Amusan, of Nigeria, followed in 12.62 seconds, Ditaji Kambundji, of Switzerland, was seventh, in 12.70 seconds, and 2019 World Champion Nia Ali, of the United States, brought up the rear, in 12.78 seconds.
Charlton said she’s thankful for all the prayers and support she has received. It was her fourth straight global final and fifth in the last six, indoors and outdoors. Outdoors, it was her third straight appearance in the women’s 100m hurdles final, and her highest finish, counting the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and the 2022 Eugene World Championships. She was sixth in Tokyo and seventh in Eugene.
“I saw the well wishes and the congratulations. I am so happy and proud to represent The Bahamas and I’m so thankful for everyone who supported me. It means so much,” she said. “I knew that I had a whole nation behind me and that’s a great feeling.”
At 27, Charlton has a long way to go in the sport. She has no plans of slowing down any time soon, and could very well be among the favorites going into next year’s Olympics in Paris, France.
The sky is the limit for Charlton.