EUGENE, Ore. – Three Ole Miss track & field greats will represent their home countries at the 2022 World Athletics Outdoor Championships, which begin Friday at Oregon’s Hayward Field and runs through July 24. This is the first time the World Championship meets has ever been held on US soil .
Ole Miss graduate and All-American discus thrower brian williams (men’s discus) makes his second appearance on Team USA after qualifying for the 2019 world meet in Doha. Elsewhere around the globe, recent Rebel NCAA Champions Mario Garcia Romo (men’s 1500-meter) and Sintayehu Vissa (women’s 1500-meter) will represent Spain and Italy, respectively, in their first career trips to the World Championships.
The World Outdoor Championships date back unofficially to 1976, with the official first championship meet held in Helsinki in 1983. The meet was then held every four years until 1991, when it moved to a two-year cycle in between the Summer Olympic Games – with the lone exception since being this current world meet, which was delayed from 2021 due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. Since 1983, the World Championships have been held in: Rome (1987); Tokyo (1991); Stuttgart, Germany (1993); Gothenburg, Sweden (1995); Athens, Greece (1997); Seville, Spain (1999); Edmonton, Canada (2001); Saint-Denis, France (2003); Helsinki (2005); Osaka, Japan (2007); Berlin (2009); Daegu, South Korea (2011); Moscow (2013); Beijing (2015); London (2017); and Doha, Qatar (2019).
Below is a full competition schedule, as well as individual previews on each Rebel in Oregon. Fans can catch all the action on the NBC family of networks.
COMPETITION/BROADCAST SCHEDULE (All Times Central)
Friday, July 15
8:10 PM – Sintayehu Vissa (Italy) – Women’s 1500-Meter (First Round) – USA Network / NBCSports.com
Saturday, July 16
8:30 PM – Mario Garcia Romo (Spain) – Men’s 1500-Meter (First Round) – NBC / NBCSports.com
9:05 PM – Sintayehu Vissa (Italy) – Women’s 1500-Meter (Semifinal) – If Qualified – NBC / NBCSports.com
Sunday, July 17
7:05/8:30 PM – Brian Williams (USA) – Men’s Discus (Qualifying) – CNBC / NBCSports.com
9:00 PM – Mario Garcia Romo (Spain) – Men’s 1500-Meter (Semifinal) – If Qualified – NBC / NBCSports.com
Monday, July 18
9:50 PM – Sintayehu Vissa (Italy) – Women’s 1500-Meter (Final) – If Qualified – Peacock / USA Network (tape delayed)
Tuesday, July 19
8:33 PM – Brian Williams (USA) – Men’s Discus (Final) – If Qualified – Peacock
9:30 PM – Mario Garcia Romo (Spain) – Men’s 1500-Meter (Final) – If Qualified – USA Network / NBCSports.com (tape delayed)
Sintayehu Vissa • Women’s 1500-Meter • Italy
Qualifying: Fri, July 15 • 8:10 pm CT
Semifinal: Sat, July 16 • 9:05 pm CT (if qualified)
Final: Mon., July 18 • 9:50 pm CT (if qualified)
Hometown/Previous School: Bertiolo, Italy / Saint Leo University
Season-Best: 4:04.64 • School Record (No. 4 NCAA All-Dates History, No. 8 Italian History) • June 16, 2022 (Castellón)
Overall Career-Best: Same
World Athletics Ranking Score: 54
World Rank: 46th
Italian Rank: 3rd
Last Italian Medal: N/A
Quick Facts: 2022 Italian runner-up in the 1500-meter … 2022 NCAA Outdoor Champion in the 1500-meter, the first NCAA title on the track in Ole Miss women’s history … 2022 NCAA Indoor runner-up in the mile (one of two women to ever earn runner-up indoors) … Four-time First-Team All-American, twice in the DMR … 19.75 career NCAA points … First Rebel woman to ever win an SEC title in the mile, 1500 or DMR … First Rebel woman to ever win an individual title on the track at the SEC Indoor Championships; one of six to ever do so outdoors … First Rebel woman to qualify for the NCAA Indoor meet in an individual event higher than 800-meters … First Rebel woman to ever qualify for the NCAA Outdoor meet in the 1500-meter … Broke seven school records in 2022 alone: indoor mile (4:32.70), indoor 3K (9:04.95), indoor DMR (10:56.39), outdoor 800-meter (2:01.06), outdoor 1500-meter (4:08.72; No. 15 NCAA history), outdoor 4×1500-meter relay (17:24.46; No. 14 NCAA history) and outdoor DMR (10:55.61; No. 7 NCAA history) … Set two SEC meet records: indoor DMR and outdoor 1500 … Ranks No. 15 in NCAA history in the 1500-meter with the 16th-fastest time ever at her SEC-winning 4:08.72 … Ranks second in Italy in the 800-meter (2:01.06), third in the 1500-meter (4:04.64 ) … Ranks 13th all-time in Italian history in the 800-meter (2:01.06), the third-fastest ever run by an Italian woman on American soil and the best since Olympic gold medalist Gabriella Dorio’s 1:59.53 in the semifinal and 1:59.05 in the f final to finish fourth in the 1984 Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles … Her 4:08.72 from the SEC Championships is the fifth-best ever run by an Italian woman on American soil … First women’s cross country All-American in Ole Miss history after finishing 33rd in 2021 … 37.75 career SEC points … Born in Ethiopia, spent large part of her childhood and adolescence in Italy … Ran the short sprints and intermediate hurdles before transitioning to distance events … Ran at Division II Saint Leo University.
Mario Garcia Romo • Men’s 1500-Meter • Spain
Qualifying: Sat, July 16 • 8:30 pm CT
Semifinal: Sun., July 17 • 9:00 pm CT (if qualified)
Final: Tues., July 19 • 9:30 pm CT (if qualified)
Hometown/High School: Salamanca, Spain / Salamanca, Spain / High School of Peñaranda de Bracamonte
Season-Best: 3:35.52 • June 26, 2022 (Spanish National Championships)
Overall Career-Best: Same
World Athletics Ranking Score: 37
World Rank: 26th
English Rank: 2nd
Last Spanish Medal: Reyes Estevez, 1999 (Bronze)
Quick Facts: 2022 Spanish national champion in the 1500-meter … 6x First-Team All-American, 5x NCAA qualifier … 2022 NCAA Indoor Champion (mile) … First Ole Miss NCAA mile champion, first individual national title on the track by a Rebel since 2005 ( Antwon Hicks, 60-meter hurdles) … 2022 NCAA Outdoor runner-up in the 1500-meter … 2021 NCAA Indoor runner-up in the DMR (rank No. 4 time in world history) … 2021 fifth-place finisher in the 1500- put outdoors; part of Rebel duo with Waleed Suliman (third) that scored 10 combined points … 2021 NCAA Indoor bronze medalist in the 3K … First-Team All-American in the DMR in 2019 (8th place) … 3x NCAA East Region qualifier in the 1500-meter … 30.25 career NCAA points … 2022 SEC Indoor Men’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year … 5x SEC Indoor track champion (3x DMR, 1x 3K, 1x 1500) … 42.5 career SEC points scored … 2020 NCAA Cross Country All-American … 2021 SEC Cross Country Champion and SEC Cross Country Runner of the Year … 2019 SEC Indoor Freshman Runner of the Year … Ole Miss school record holder indoors in the mile (3:53.36; 2022), 3K (7:47.56; 2022) and DMR (9:20.75; 2021) … Ran anchor on two school record winning teams at the Penn Relays this season, splitting 3:58.36 on the mile leg of a record 9:29.45 DMR team (No. 11 NCAA history) and 1:47.91 on a 7:13.71 record 4×800-meter relay squad (No. 9 NCAA history) … Finished sixth in the Wanamaker Mile indoors at the prestigious Millrose Games; was the lone collegian in the field, beat out a group of professionals that included four Olympians … 2021 Euro U23 silver medalist in the 1500 in Tallinn … Nickname is “The Rocket”
Brian Williams • Men’s Discus • Team USA
Qualifying: Sun., July 17 • Group A: 7:05 pm CT / Group B: 8:30 pm CT
Final: Tues., July 19 • 8:33 pm CT (if qualified)
Hometown/High School: Warren, Mich. | Fraser HS
Season-Best: 66.14m/217-0 • May 6, 2022 (Fullerton, Calif.)
Overall Career-Best: Same
World Athletics Ranking Score: 40
World Rank: 14th
US Rank: 3rd
Last US Medal: Mason Finley, 2017 (Bronze)
Quick Facts: 2x World Championship qualifier … Earned first career US medal to punch ticket to World Championships, throwing a one-foot PR of 65.76m (215-09) for silver at the 2019 US Outdoor Championships … Finished 13th at 2019 World Championships … First Rebel to ever medal in the discus at the US Championships … Finished fourth in the discus at the 2017 USA Outdoor Championships, ninth in 2018 … 3x All-American … 2x SEC Champion (first to repeat as the SEC discus champion since 2010-11) … Owns the discus, indoor shot and outdoor shot school records… Was a national champion and 4x All-American while at Iowa Central Community College.
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