Local resident and lawyer Matt Hamilton will compete as a Team USA track & field athlete at the upcoming World Championship in Tampere, Finland.
The World Championship for Track and Field (known internationally as “athletics”) will occur from June 29th through July 10th. This event is normally held biannually, 2022 will be the first world championship in four years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The last world championship was in 2018 in Malaga, Spain. Hamilton will compete in the Master’s division, for athletes over thirty-five years old. Ninety countries are sending their best athletes to determine who will be world champion in each of thirty-three individual events. The athletes include current world record holders, Olympians, and national champions from each country.
Matt Hamilton is known as one of the more versatile of USA’s track and field athletes. At the 2021 U.S. National Championship, Hamilton won three gold medals, five silver medals, and three bronze medals, more than any other athlete. Matt Hamilton’s success has primarily been in his role as a sprinter. Matt jokes when asked, “perhaps Team USA likes me because I am cheaper. Why fly five athletes to Finland for five events when you can fly just one Hamilton?!”
Hamilton trains at Lee’s Summit High School’s facilities. “LSHS has a top-quality track and javelin runway. Such great facilities reduce my risk of injury and better simulate what I will face in international competition.” Hamilton is a 1991 alumni of Lee’s Summit High School, where he was a standout track athlete.
Two Missouri athletes are part of Team USA’s world championship aspirations. Eric Greitens of St. Louis will be traveling to Finland and competing alongside Matt Hamilton. Greitens was a college athlete at Duke University, later served as a Navy SEAL, and was governor of Missouri from 2017 to 2018. Hamilton comments, “Eric is an excellent mid-distance sprinter, and a competent teammate. He shows up, humbly learns, and successfully incorporates to competitive form. Two of our national championships have been as teammates.” Hamilton and Greitens also plan to defend their two titles at the United States National Track and Field Championship at the University of Kentucky on July 31, 2022.
When asked how he is feeling before flying out, Hamilton says “I have mixed feelings. It is an honor to wear the Olympic Uniform, and represent America at the world championship. Then again, I see the competition. I have taken gold or silver at every track meet I have competed in since 1990. Coming in behind world class athletes will be a remarkable end to a thirty-two-year winning streak.”