Records broken, history re-written: Barcelona, Doha and Eugene have all sent shivers down our spines, and all hope to do more of the same by hosting the 2019 World Championships. SPIKES picks some athletics highlights from the three cities.


At the 1989 World Cup, Ana Fidelia Quirot completed quite the double, claiming victories in the 400m and 800m. In the latter race, the Cuban recorded a time of 1:54.44, which still ranks her fourth in the all-time lists. These are the final metres of her historic race.

Having won his first US title the same year, Kevin Young went into the 1992 Olympics unbeaten. Not only did the American win the 400m hurdles final by a huge margin, but he demolished Edwin Moses’ nine-year-old world record, clocking 46.78 to him the only human to have ever run the event in under 47 seconds. 

Young was famous for only using 12 strides between his first hurdles, before switching to the conventional 13 strides rhythm. This is his record-breaking, gold medal-winning race.

There's nothing like a home winner, which is why Fermin Cacho’s 1500m victory at the 1992 games was just as memorable. Cacho wasn’t considered a title threat, but the final was run at a rather pedestrian pace. The Spaniard positioned himself perfectly in the final lap, and outsprinted his rivals to win the gold medal in 3:40.12. 

In 2012, Barcelona also hosted the world junior championships. Even among non-athletics fans, it will always be remembered for Michelle Jenneke’s pre-race dance routine. 


In 2010 Qatar hosted to the world indoor championships, and one Frenchman put Doha in the record books. 

Going in to the last jump of the final round of the men's triple jump, Cuban Yoandris Betanzos led with 17.69m. Teddy Tamgho hop, step and jumped up to set a world indoor record of 17.90m with his final attempt. He’s the only person to have gone further indoors since, having jumped 17.91m and 17.92m in 2011.

There was an eight year age gap between 2001 and 2006 world indoor 60m hurdles champion Terrence Trammell and 2006 silver medallist Dayron Robles, but the margin between the two was much smaller in the 2010 final. 

Trammell looked like he would take home a third gold, only for Robles to out-dip him on the line. The Cuban's time of 7.34 was the third fastest time ever over the 60m hurdles distance. 

Doha is not only known for its indoor antics. It also has a firm place in the outdoor calendar, each year staging the first Diamond League meet of the season. This year, the men’s high jump provided one of the highlights, hinting at what spectacle the event would turn into throughout the season.

But it was the women’s 3000m that had us on the edge of our seats and ultimately jumping all over the place like excited school kids. Kenya’s Hellen Obiri climbed to #5 of the all-time world standings with a gobsmacking 8:20.68 – Obiri's race starts at 2:00.


Everyone will remember the gripping 1972 Munich Olympic 5000m final in which Steve Prefontaine narrowly missed out on a medal. During the US Olympic Trials at Hayward Field earlier that year, however, the local hero won the 5000m, setting a US record along the way. It is a moment made even more legendary by the fact that no footage of the feat exists (at least on YouTube). Nonetheless, it was too good to leave out.

The 2008 Prefontaine Classic saw one very special lady make her final appearance at the annual meet. In a remarkable race, Mozambique’s Maria Mutola, who had lived and trained in the Oregon area for several years, took her 16th (yes, that’s SIXTEEN) successive victory at the meet. Mutola would bow out of the sport a few months later after the Beijing Olympics.

One of TrackTown’s famous son’s and undoubtedly one of the greatest athletes alive is Ashton Eaton. Where else should he have signed his name into the history books than at Hayward Field in Eugene?

The highlight of his record breaking decathlon came in the 1500m, where fellow decathlete Curtis Beach demonstrated commendable sportsmanship by slowing down and giving way for Eaton to cross the finish line first. That’s the true spirit of track and field! You can watch a montage of the full two days here.

In July this year, Hayward Field played host to the future of the sport when the world junior championships rocked up in TrackTown. Wilhem Belocian of France clearly liked the Oregon air and stormed to a 110m hurdles world junior record of 12.99.

Thank god we don’t have to choose out of the three of them. The winning bid will be announced in Monaco tomorrow (19 November). You can follow the final presentations of all three bidding cities as well as the announcement in a live stream here.