General News

Kingston World Junior Championships the best of a decade

21 July 2002The curtain was drawn on the IAAF/Coca Cola World Junior Championships in Kingston today and for its first ever World Athletic Series held in Jamaica, the IAAF could not be more than happy with the results and technical level of the competition.

With a total of three World Junior records – and two more to be ratified by 31 December 2002 –Kingston 2002 has been the best Championships of the past decade.

Only Sudbury 1988 can claim a better record with four World junior marks established during that edition of the Championships.

In the opening edition of the World Junior Championships in Athens 1986, two world records were set as one per edition were established in Plovdid 1990, Seoul 1992 and Sydney 1996. No world records were registered in Lisbon 1994, Annecy 1998 and Santiago de Chile two years ago.

In addition to Lashinda Demus’s 54.70 in the 400m hurdles, Carolina Kluft’s extraordinary tally of 6470 points in the heptathlon and the US 4x100m quartet timed in 38.92, the 2002 edition will eventually be credited of the best junior marks for the men’s shot put and discus throw. The implement being lighter in both disciplines since 1 January 2002 following a decision of the IAAF Council, their marks will be officially considered as world records on 31 December 2002 should they remain the best in the world by a junior this year.

A total of 9 Championships records were also bettered in Kingston. Four by the men and five by the women. The men were Darrel Brown of Trinidad in the 100m, Hillary Chenonge of Kenya in the 5000m, Louis van Zyl of South Africa in the 400m hurdles and USA in the 4x100m relay. The women were Lashinda Demus, Carolina Kluft, Floé Kühnert in the pole vault, Ivana Brkljacic in the hammer throw and Jamaica in the 4x100m relay.

Eight Continental records were also registered in Kingston and most impressively 73 national records.

37 Member Federations were listed on the medal Table with USA topping the standings (21 medals – 9 gold, 5 silver, 7 bronze) ahead of Kenya (5 gold, 1 silver, 2 bronze) and Ethiopia (3 gold, 4 silver, 1 bronze). For the first time in the history of the championships, Antigua  (1 silver), Kazakhstan (1 silver), India (1 bronze) and Luxembourg (1 bronze) were listed in the medal table.

No fewer than 83 countries had athletes competing in the finals.

The number of countries taking part in the championships was officially 159 and the athletes competing 1040 – 619 men and 421 women. Kingston 2002 is second only to Annecy 1998 in the list of editions with the highest number of countries participating. It tops the standings of participation nations in a World Junior Championship held outside Europe.

With a capacity crowd of 30,000 on the last day of competition, the Championships ended in tremendous celebration of athletics and international understanding.

Thank you Kingston - Thank you Jamaica!