Lille, FranceLiving up to her favourite’s role, Tianqian Guo of China became the first gold medallist at these championships after a dominant showing in the Girls’ Shot Put.
Guo, who celebrated her 16th birthday on 1 June, didn’t come close to threatening her world leading 16.45m toss from early June, but she didn’t need to.
After fouling in the first round, Guo took command with a 15.07m throw in the second, an effort which would have easily held for gold. With Briton Sophie McKinna –a 15.71m thrower this season- threatening with a 14.79m second round toss, Guo further cushioned her lead with a 15.24 heave in round three to seal her victory. She followed with a 15.06m toss in round four to close out her consistent series, before ending with a foul in round five and with her victory secured, choosing to pass in round six.
"I'm very happy to get this award!" said Guo, who lead the morning’s qualifying round at 14.68m, and was the only girl to breach the 15-metre line. "It's my first time to compete in a foreign country for an international athletics championships and I was excited to get this result."
Guo became the third Chinese to take the World Youth Shot Put title after Mei Hong, who won at the inaugural edition in 1999, and Limin Jiang, who triumphed in 2003.
McKinna, who turns 17 on 31 August, improved to 14.90m in round four to solidify her runner-up position and capture the first-ever medal of any color in this event for Great Britain and Northern Ireland at these championships.
Germany’s Katinka Urbaniak, a 15.15m performer this season, produced a consistent series of her own, topped by a 14.71m toss in the fifth round to take the bronze. In the process the 17-year-old extended an interesting family podium finish streak: her sister Lena won the World Youth title in Bressanone two years ago. But Urbaniak isn't finished yet. She's entered in the Discus Throw as well where she'll targetting a finish in the top six.
Finishing just six centimetres behind the German was Mina Lee of Korea, who capped the finest day of her life with a fourth place finish. Entering the competition with a modest 14.06m personal best, the 15-year-old improved to 14.22m in the morning qualifying, and maintained that momentum to improve again with a 14.65m throw in the opening round.
Torie Owers of the US was fifth at 14.44m, and Monia Cantarella of Italy sixth at 14.01.
Bob Ramsak for the IAAF
- Tianqian GUO CHN during the Girls shot put qualification day one - WYC Lille 6 July 2011 (Getty Images) © Copyright
- Sophie McKinna of Great Britain celebrates qualifying for the World Youth Shot Put final in Lille (Getty Images) © Copyright