In a thrilling race at the 2023 USATF Indoor Championships, Aleia Hobbs powered past a solid field to become the second-fastest woman in the 60 meters, clocking in at 6.94 seconds to win the event on Saturday’s third and final day of the championships in Albuquerque.
Her remarkable performance smashed the American record of 6.95 seconds, which was previously held jointly by Gail Devers (1993) and Marion Jones (1998). – Read more: How to watch the UK Athletics Indoor Championships 2023?
Hobbs, who entered the championships as the overwhelming favorite, had previously set a personal best of 6.98 seconds earlier this year. Her time of 6.94 seconds is just behind the world record of 6.92 seconds, which is held by Russian sprint legendary Irina Privalova.
Privalova set the world record twice and also clocked 6.93 secs, which makes Hobbs the second-fastest woman in the history of the event, while her time is the fourth-best performance ever.
In addition to breaking the American record and setting the second-fastest time ever, Hobbs also set a new facility record and a new world-leading time.
The 26-year-old former LSU standout, impressive performance is sure to make her a favorite to win the outdoor title later this summer. She’s now gone faster than 10-time world champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (6.98) and her fellow Jamaican sprint star Elaine Thompson-Herah (6.98), the five-time Olympic champion.
Finishing in second place was Marybeth Sant Price, the World Indoor bronze medalist in 2022. She clocked in at 7.09 seconds, setting a season-best time.
Destiny Smith-Barnett finished in third place, matching her personal best time of 7.11 seconds.
Mikiah Brisco, the World Indoor silver medalist in 2022, finished in fourth place with a time of 7.12 seconds. Celera Barnes set a personal best time of 7.13 seconds to finish in fifth place, while Jada Baylark and Taylor Anderson both set season-best times of 7.20 seconds to finish in sixth and seventh place, respectively.
Brittany Brown rounded out the field, finishing in eighth place with a time of 7.21 seconds.
Noah Lyles was forced to pull out of the men’s final with a hip problem. The men’s 60m title went to JT Smith of Texas A&M-Commerce in a time of 6.53 secs.
Lyles ran 6.56 seconds to win his semi-final heat earlier in the day and appeared ready to go even faster in the final.
However, the two-time reigning world 200m champion told NBC that he wasn’t prepared to take any chances after spending more than half an hour trying to shake off hip flexor tightness.
“After the semi-final, I went to go put my clothes on, and I realized that it was hard to get up,” Lyles said. “I start realizing that my hip flexor was tight.
“We tried to work on it extensively. Took about 30 minutes just working it out, but it never fully went away, and I am not willing to take a chance with it.”
Kendal Williams posted a time of 6.59 secs for second place and a new season-best, with Isaiah Trousil of Northern Iowa clocking 6.61 for third place. Coby Hilton, who entered the event as one of the title contenders, faded to six in 6.68.