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T&F: Newton grad Godwin adds gold to haul at world meet
Godwin track
Newton High graduate Elija Godwin, right, earned a gold medal in the men’s 4x400-meter relay at the World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon, on Sunday, July 24. - photo by Special to The News

EUGENE, Ore. — Elija Godwin complemented his bronze medal earned at the beginning of the meet with a gold in the men’s 4x400-meter relay as the World Athletics Championships wrapped up in Eugene, Ore., Sunday July 24.

Godwin, a native of Covington and alumnus of Newton High School, ran a 44.28 opening leg before Michael Norman, Bryce Deadmon and Champion Allison closed out the Team USA win with a world leading time of 2:56.17 to finish more than two seconds ahead of Jamaica.  

Godwin’s splits in the two rounds of the mixed 4x400m relay and the qualifying round in the men’s relay were 44.89, 44.71 and 44.46 before Sunday night’s display.

In the qualifying round, the UGA senior handed to Vernon Norwood before Deadmon and Trevor Bassitt finished Team USA’s four laps with a winning time of 2:58.96.  

The Bulldogs also put two in the top 10 of the decathlon and current Georgia All-American Kyle Garland was 11th with 8,133 points.  Former Bulldog and two-time NCAA champion Maicel Uibo of Estonia finished seventh (8,425) and current Bulldog and 2019 NCAA champion Johannes Erm, also of Estonia, took ninth (8,227). Volunteer assistant coach Janek Oiglane was forced to retire with three events to go with an injury.

Georgia’s current and former competitors had already combined for a gold medal and a bronze medal earlier in the week.  Complementing her two consecutive Olympic gold medals and pair of silvers at past Worlds competitions, Shaunae Miller-Uibo, who is Maicel Uibo’s wife, ran a world leading 49.11 out of lane three in the 400m final as the closest of the seven other finalists ran a 49.60 on Friday.

On June 15, Godwin ran the opening leg for Team USA’s mixed 4x400m relay as the foursome ran a 3:10.16 to earn a bronze medal.  Godwin handed the baton to Allyson Felix, a 19-time World Championships medalist who officially retired following the race.

The meet began at the University of Oregon’s Hayward Field two Fridays ago and ran through today.  The Bulldog contingent represents Team USA, Antigua, Bahamas, Brazil, Estonia, Greece, Jamaica, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.

In the day two of the decathlon, Erm started with a season best in the 110m hurdles with a 14.38 for 10th.  He completed the decathlon with a personal best in the 1500m of 4:25.08 to surge in the final standings.

Also in the 110m hurdles, Uibo finished with a season-best time of 14.49.  He added 1,004 to his total by taking third in the pole vault with a clearance of 5.30 meters/17 feet, 4 ½ inches.  Uibo surged for a runner-up finish in the javelin thanks to a top mark that measured 63.54m/208-5.