BUDAPEST, Hungary — Former University of Iowa track and field thrower Laulauga Tausaga made history on Tuesday, becoming the United States’ first-ever women’s discus gold medalist at the World Athletics Championship in Budapest, Hungary.
Tausaga, a 2021 Iowa graduate, registered a four-meter personal best to outthrow her competition with a final mark of 69.49 meters on her fifth throw. Fellow American Valerie Allman took second with a 69.23-meter throw.
“Lagi is the most humble and amazing person and I’m so proud of her,” Iowa Director of Track and Field Joey Woody said. “She has worked her way through many ups and downs of being a post-collegiate athlete, but she has continued to keep her constant focus and dedication to her goals of winning a World Championship title! She is one of the best competitors we’ve ever had in our program, and she showed that with how she came back from a couple of fouls in the preliminary before throwing a personal best to earn three more throws,” Woody added. “That set her up for another massive PR and one of the all-time best throws in United States and World history to take the lead and secure the win.”
Still not over this 🤯
— World Athletics (@WorldAthletics) August 22, 2023
The Spring Valley, California, native, was the 2019 NCAA Discus Champion, 2021 NCAA discus runner-up, eight-time All-American, 2021 USTFCCCA Outdoor Midwest Regional Female Athlete of the Year, 2020 USTFCCCA Indoor Midwest Regional Female Field Athlete of the Year, five-time Big Ten Champion and 2020 Big Ten Indoor Female Field Athlete of the Year and Championship.
Former Hawkeye sprinter Brittany Brown also represented the United States and Iowa track and field program at the World Athletics Championships, placing seventh in the 100-meter dash with a time of 10.97.
“Brittany has had a tremendous season with her first year really focusing on the 100-meters,” Woody said. “The women’s 100 is one of the toughest events in track and field right now with four to five of the all-time fastest athletes in history all competing at this year’s World Championships. Making the World Championships final in that event is such a terrific accomplishment for Brittany and that experience will set her up well going into the Olympics next year!”