Marileidy, at the gates of her first gold in an Athletics World Championship
Santo Domingo.- On Wednesday afternoon, Marileidy Paulino will be vying for what could become her most significant achievement in a world championship. At 3:35 pm, Dominican Republic time (9:35 pm in Hungary), she anticipates becoming the champion of the 400-meter flat race in the 2023 World Athletics Championships, with her moment of glory expected just about 50 seconds later. Paulino is set to compete in lane number 7 among the eight runners marked from 2 to 9.
The National Athletics Center in Budapest, Hungary, the championship’s headquarters, will serve as the stage for this highly anticipated event on its fifth day of competition. A stadium built for this competition, it can accommodate around 36 thousand fans who will witness her attempt at this feat.
If Paulino secures the gold medal, she will not only be the first Dominican woman to achieve such a milestone at this level but will also join Félix Sánchez as one of the few Dominicans with a gold medal in the Athletics World Cup. In the 2022 World Cup, she earned a silver medal at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon, with the gold going to Bahamian sprinter Shaunae Miller-Uibo.
Paulino has showcased her dominance in both the preliminary and semifinal races. With her second-best mark of the year at 48.98, achieved in Los Angeles, California, on May 27, she’s aiming to make her mark in the final race.
Facing her in the final will be several familiar competitors. Natalia Kaczmarek of Poland, who previously defeated Paulino at the Kamili Memorial Meeting in Silesia with a record of 49.48, is set to start in lane 6. Lieke Klaver, who finished ahead of Paulino in that same meeting with a time of 49.81, will also be on the track. Candice McLeod, fourth in the aforementioned meeting with a time of 50.19, will start in lane 3, while Sada Williams, who clocked 50.34, will start in lane number 8.
The outcome of this race holds the potential to reshape the history books and establish Marileidy Paulino as a champion in the world of athletics.