Russian Stanislav Emelyanov set a Championship record en route to landing the men’s 10,000m walk title on the fourth morning of the IAAF World Junior Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland.
Emelyanov, the reigning World Youth champion, was involved in a titanic struggle with China’s Ding Chen as the pair took turns to share the pace at the head of the field for much of the 25-lap slog.
But with four-and-a-half lap remaining the Russian finally broke free from Chen and ran out a clear winner in 39:35.01 to finally erase the 18-year-old Championship record mark of Ilya Markov. The dogged Chen picked up a deserved silver in an area junior record of 39:47.20.Spain’s Lluis Torla set a personal best in winning bronze (40:29.57).
Emelyanov, the training partner of Tatyana Mineeva the gold medallist in the women’s 10,000m walk on Wednesday, said: “I thought at one point the Chinese athlete would win, so I am, of course, very happy to win. I did not expect to walk to such a fast time.”
Heptathlon gets underway
The first two acts of the women’s heptathlon were played out in the Zawiska Stadium with Natalya Gizbullina of Russia holding a narrow 30-point advantage from Germany’s Carolin Schafer.
The US duo provided fireworks in the first event with Ryann Krais blitzing to 13.73 in heat three of the women’s 100m hurdles for 1017 points and compatriot Erin Sampley edging a tight first heat in 13.88 for 995 points.
Gizbullina, of Russia, was the thickness of a vest behind in 13.89 for 994pts. Highly rated 16-year-old German Carolin Schafer shaved 0.03 from her personal best to run 14.10 in heat three for 964 points. But World junior No.1 Yana Maksimava of Belarus, trailed the leader by 133 points after recording a modest 14.68.
However, a much clearer picture emerged as to the likely medal candidates after event two – the high jump. Gizbullina cleared 1.78m to take her two-event total to 1947 while 16-year-old Schafer advanced her PB to 1.78m.
Krais, the leader after the first event, was relegated to third after clearing a best of 1.72m. But the biggest mover was Maksimava who catapulted from 13th to fourth overall after clearing 1.81m for 991 points.
Maksimava has a two-event total of 1875 – 72 points adrift of the leader going into this afternoon’s shot put and 200m.
Heats of men’s high hurdles and women’s 1500
Russia’s Konstantin Shabanov came into the championships as one its potential stars, and an impressive early morning outing in the opening round of the 110m hurdles suggested he could live up to the billing.
Shabanov, who heads the World junior lists with 13.32, skipped easily over the ten 99cm high barriers to cruise to victory in heat five in 13.73.
The fastest qualifier was Jamaica’s Warren Weir, who equalled his PB of 13.65 to win heat six from lane one. Other heat winners to catch the eye; US Junior champion; Booker Nunley (13.68) Jin Nakamura of Japan (13.74) and Belgian Quentin Ruffacq, who set a national junior record of 13.78.
The main pre-event medal contenders in the women’s 1500m runners all survived a tricky qualification as only the first three in each of three heats plus the three fastest times progressed to Sunday’s final.
Ethiopia’s Asmerawork Bekele qualified fastest, winning heat three in 4:17.05, although she tripped and almost fell in a mid-race incident which could easily have cost her a place in the final.
Bekele’s compatriot, Kalkidan Gezahegne, clinched heat two in 4:19.60 with Alexandra Kosinski of the USA (4:19.14) and Great Britain’s world No.2 Stephanie Twell (4:19.18) dominating heat one.
World Youth silver medallist Ivana Spanovic of Serbia was top qualifier for Saturday’s long jump final with an impressive first round leap of 6.51m – 0.26 in advance of the automatic qualification.
German Ksenia Achkinadze sailed out to a new lifetime best of 6.43m with her second jump in qualification pool A. The other automatic qualifiers were Arantxa King of Bermuda (6.28m) and Poland’s Anna Jagaciak (6.28m).
The women’s discus throwers struggled to find their rhythm during a below-par qualification. China’s Shangxue Xi was the only athlete to exceed the automatic qualifying distance of 53.50 with a third round effort of 54.02m in pool B. Wen-Hua Li of Chinese Tapei set a national junior record of 52.71m to progress to Sunday’s final with the second longest throw.
Steve Landells for the IAAF