Never has a Shot Put competition in recent memory attracted the attention of every spectator in a stadium as did the performance of Jacko Gill when moving the event at his age level into a new dimension at the 7th IAAF World Youth Championships in Lille on Wednesday (7).
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Much had been expected from the massively built New Zealander and despite having a minor finger injury he lived up to his own and everyone else's expectations when producing the greatest ever series of throws with his World Youth Best Performance coming with his second attempt.
The 16-year-old, already the "record holder" with the 23.86m he produced during his country's down under summer cycle in Hastings last December, insisted after his morning's qualifying round the time had come to smash the 24 metre barrier.
Gill almost immediately achieved that ambition when his big hands sent the five kilogram ball out to 22.89m which bettered the Championship record of 21.56m the USA's Ryan Crouser set in Bressanone two years ago and raised his own 2011 World lead from 21.40m.
But with the crowd roaring him for more of the same, he achieved his ultimate aim when winging his next throw to an ultimate distance of 24.35m, an awesome performance and one which suggests when he moves into the senior ranks he can, like his fellow countrywoman Valerie Adams, become an Olympic champion.
Only time will tell whether he will make the transition but for the moment he remains the most feared shot putter of his generation when becoming only the second athlete - Usain Bolt was the other - to win a World junior title and also at the Youth age level.
"To hear the crowd cheering like that was brilliant, they inspired me," said Gill, who after his gigantic winning effort went on to put 24.03m, 23.54m, 21.99m and finish with another huge 24.02m.
The standing ovation he received from the crowd was a testimony of probably the best day of his life and proof of their appreciation which also encouraged the other competitors.
Tyler Schultz responded to their encouragement when raising his PB from 20.08m to 20.35m in the third round to claim the silver medal while his fellow American Braheme Days grabbed the bronze with his last throw.
He set a lifetime best of 20.14m to thwart Poland's Patryk Ocypa who also had the furthest effort of his life with 20.08m in the opening round.
Wilson goes second on all-time list with sensational 100m Hurdles victory
Trinity Wilson produced one of the greatest performances in the history of the 100m Hurdles when flying to an exceptional victory ahead of the equally brilliant Noemi Zbaren.
The American who had been overshadowed by Zbaren in the two preliminary rounds saved her best for when it really mattered when defeating her Swiss rival in a thriller.
Wilson, who got the jump on Zbaren coming off the seventh hurdle, immediately accelerated to roar over the line in 13.11 and claim a fully deserved win.
Her time was the second fastest ever by a Youth behind the 13.08 Adrianna Lamalle of France achieved at the inaugural Championships in Bydgoszcz 11 years ago.
"Before and during the race, I stayed relaxed. My aim was to focus on my race. I wanted to run fast, very fast. And the result is wonderful," said an ecstatic winner.
Zbaren, who had matched her world lead of 13.31 in the heats, was also rewarded when lowering her Swiss best performance to 13.17 and moving to fourth on the all-time list.
Behind the dominant pair the next three finishers, the USA's bronze medallist Kendell Williams (13.28), Alexandra Burghardt of Germany (13.42) and Chrisdale McCarthy from Jamaica (13.55), all achieved lifetime bests.
Hussong rules javelin with Championship record and world lead
Germany's Christin Hussong, despite her country having produced some of the world's greatest ever javelin throwers, knew it had never won a medal since Olivia Norris's success at the first Championships in 1999.
Hussong added to that success in fantastic fashion when not only gathering the gold medal, she raised the Championship record of 56.82m which China's Juan Xue set in Sherbrooke, Canada, eight years ago.
The 17-year-old who in the qualifying round threw a world lead of 56.76m immediately took charge of the event with an opener of 56.54m and then when the field had been whittled down to the last eight, she improved that to 57.84m, 58.09m and then rounded off a great night's work throwing 59.74m.
"At the first attempt I just wanted to do a good throw to show the other athletes that I was in form," said Hussong. "I didn't expect to beat the Championship record."
Sofi Flinck and Monique Cilione, her rivals from Sweden and Australia, raised their own standards when setting PBs of 54.62m and 52.77m but Hussong now fifth on the all-time list was never going to be caught.
Stein dominates Octathlon with All-time best
Jake Stein, after two days of sweat and toil in conditions which ranged from showers to sunshine and sometimes strong winds, was deservedly crowned Octagon gold medallist and did it in the best possible style.
The 17-year-old Australian posted a score of 6491 points the best ever performance by a Youth and bettered the 6482 tally which won Cuba's Yordani Garcia the 2005 title in Marrakech.
Behind him Fredrick Ekholm of Sweden and Felipe Dos Santos from Brazil took the silver and bronze medals moving into third and fourth places in the 2011 world lists with tallies and PBs of 6127 and 5966pts.
Stein whose marvellous consistency saw him lead the competition from the third of the eight disciplines finished the final two with another brace of solid displays.
Indeed in the first the Javelin Throw Stein was in rampant form when raising his lifetime javelin personal best by over nine metres to 57.56m with his first attempt then with his third and last, to an exceptional 59.65m.
That saw the Aussie put himself with a score of 5756 points into a huge 399 point lead ahead of Ekholm whose throw of 45.31m took his tally to 5357 with third placed Evgeniy Likhanov of Russia with an effort of 49.39m raising his to 5189.
In the final event the 1000m with black clouds shrouding the stadium and rain imminent, he like every other competitor in his group set a PB to round off the action with a time of 2:52.93.
Likhanov was denied third place by 43 points when Dos Santos running a very quick 2:44.38 moved up from seventh position.
"It's a fantastic day for me. It's a dream," Stein said. "During the last lap, I saw Frederick in front of me. But I kept my advantage for the final position. I started athletics when I was young. 3 years old I think. Just for fun. That's why I chose the octathlon. It's so funny."
Madu and Todd achieve lifetime bests to strike 100 gold
The USA's Jennifer Madu, on the biggest occasion of her fledgling career, got everything right when winning the 100m gold medal in the fastest time of her life of 11.57 (-0.5m/s wind).
Madu, finding a late spurt just five metres from the finish line, edged past both her fellow American Myasia Jacobs and Christania Williams to win a thriller.
Williams of Jamaica had looked the likely champion when establishing an early lead until 80m when she suddenly found herself targeted first by Jacobs then Madu and had to settle for third in 11.63.
The men's race was also very close and much more wide open. Indeed O'Dail Todd a rank outsider with a pre-meet best of just 10.69 surprisingly took the honours.
Todd in lane five in the final dash for the line just out-dipped Japan's world No. 2 Kazuma Oseto to win by 0.01 in a PB 10.51 to follow in the footsteps of fellow Jamaican Dexter Lee the 2007 champion.
There was a massive roar and approval from the crowd when Frenchman Michael-Meba Zeeze claimed the bronze medal with a clocking of 10.57.
Qing Lin produces personal best to win Long Jump gold
Qing Lin on paper had the best performance of the Long Jump contenders with Ukrainian world leader Vadym Adamchuk deciding to chase glory, albeit unsuccessfully in the Octathlon.
The Chinese proved his mettle when claiming the gold medal with a second round leap of 7.83m which would have been a Championship record but for the windy 7.97m Chris Noffke of Australia achieved six years ago in Marrakech.
Indeed all of the medals were decided in the second round with John Taleus of Sweden taking silver with a wind assisted jump of 7.44m and Italy's Stefano Braga winning the bronze also with a windy 7.42m.
Miller and Gordon look best bets to win girls 400m title
Shaunae Miller, last year's World Junior champion in Moncton, is clearly looking the woman to beat for the 400m title after her confident displays at these Championships.
Miller, after winning her heat untroubled on the opening day, looked truly majestic when striding untroubled around the track again to win her semi final in 52.92.
The 17-year-old Bahamian even had the confidence and time to glance back at her nearest rivals Kendall Baisden of the United States and Romania's Bianca Razor in the final 30 metres as if sending them a message that she was fully in control.
Baisden who ran an eyeballs out race and whose legs were turning to jelly, gained an automatic place in the final when second in 53.32 while Razor for her sharpness in the home stretch went through as a fastest loser in 53.51.
While Miller will be confident of winning Friday night's final, so too will be fellow Caribbean star Chrisann Gordon who is also in brilliant shape.
The Jamaican and current world leader with a time of 51.62 also looked comfortable when circuiting the track in 52.79 the fastest of the semis with runner up Robin Reynolds the reigning Olympic Youth champion behind her in 53.21.
World No. 4 Christian Brennan in another closely fought semi claimed victory by 0.36 with a time of 53.15 ahead of Jamaica's Olivia James. Third placed Ella Rasanen clocking 53.92 went into the final as a fastest loser.
World leader Mouton eliminated in 400 hurdles
South African Christiaan Mouton couldn't believe it when his world fell apart and he failed to qualify for the 400m Hurdles final on Saturday.
Mouton the world No. 1, unbelievably drifted back to sixth place in his semi final where his time of 52.54 was well shy of the 51.24 which made him the fastest man competing at the Championships.
But his demise came on a day with places were up for grabs in the final, there were plenty of personal bests achieved including seven by competitors who will now challenge for the gold medal.
The fastest came from Egor Kuznetsov winner of the third semi in 51.31 while Mouton's teammate Constant Pretorius also took his race in a best ever 51.57 with Takahiro Matsumoto doing likewise in the first qualifier clocking 52.20.
Kosencha sets championship 800m record
Leonard Kirwa Kosencha was very much an unknown athlete when arriving with the Kenyan team for the Championships - but after the 800m semi-finals he was the talking point amongst his rivals who see him as the likely gold medallist.
Kosencha credentials remained a virtual secret as he had never competed in an electrically timed race until winning his heat on the opening day in 1:49.32 with the sixth fastest time in the world this summer.
But it emerged that at last last month's National Schools Championships at altitude in Nairobi he had finished second and given the rarified air in the Kenyan capital, clocked an exceptional hand time of 1:46.9.
The lanky 16-year-old who comes from the same village as World 800m record holder David Rudisha again confirmed his vast potential when smashing the six-year-old Championship record (1:48.42) of fellow countryman Gilbert Kipkurui Keter.
Kosencha after a tough fight with the world leader and last year's Olympic Youth Games 1000m gold medallist Mohammed Aman which included leading him through the bell in 52.17, beat the exceptional Ethiopian by 0.61 in 1:47.11.
"I am not surprised by this Championships record," said a very confident Kosencha. "With this personal best I can prove that I can win the title in the final."
Another exciting clash is anticipated between the pair in Saturday night's final but they will ignore at their peril the presence of their other rivals.
Hamza Driouch of Qatar winner of his semi in 1:48.93 plus Botswana's Nijel Amos who in a close encounter held off Kenya's Timothy Kitum by 0.26 in 1:48.54, all have the potential to clinch victory.
Hall and Kishoyian set themselves up for 400m head-to-head
World leader Arman Hall is determined to become the first American to win the 400 gold medal but knows despite his own vintage form it will be a tough task particularly with Alphas Leken Kishoyian determined to do likewise for Kenya.
Hall the fastest man in the heats looked set to repeat that feat in his semi-final when crushing his opponents with a time of 46.70 in windy conditions.
The 17-year-old setting himself up nicely for the final was in unstoppable form as he took charge of the race down the backstraight and finished ahead of Patryk Dobek.
Dobek's dip on the line in a tight finish gained the Pole the other guaranteed place in a PB 47.19 just 0.08 ahead of Thomas Jordier from France.
But Kishoyian himself produced a very smooth performance when despite being in the outside lane he meticulously controlled his one lap circuit of the track.
Last year's Olympic Youth bronze medallist who went almost immediately into the lead cruised around the Lille Metropole Stadium to canter home in the fastest time of the day of 46.52.
Kishoyian whose PB is 46.34 and setting his sights on a victory in Friday's final, said: "I'm not really happy, I want to beat my best time. I hope I will beat it in the final. I have to win the gold medal for my country."
Sudan's Sadam Suliman Koumi finished second behind him in 47.08 whilst Machel Cedenio from Trinidad and Brendon Restall of Canada with marks of 47.12 and a PB 47.26 snatched places in the final as fastest losers.
Earlier in the first semi Lorenzo Adams of South Africa went off very quickly but Bahamian Andre Wells emerged as the front runner down the backstraight.
Yet when the contestants came off the final bend those athletes in lanes two to five were virutally abreast of one another and deciding the winner was impossible.
The first two automatic qualifiers were not decided until with one of his last strides Takuya Fukunaga in lane six edged to the front to win from Wells by 0.06 in a time of 47.30.
Rotardier delights home fans
Gael Rotardier the current world No. 1 with 2.20m was one of 10 athletes who qualified for the High Jump final on Saturday when all cleared a height of 2.03m.
Rotardier well supported by French fans in the stadium will be determined to score a home success indeed the host nation has never won a medal of any colour at the previous six Championships.
The 16-year-old whose first attempt was at 2.00m was one of five jumpers to keep a clean sheet as eliminations meant the qualifying standard of 2.08m did not need to be achieved.
David Martin for the IAAF
- Jake Stein on the way to a World Youth best in the Octathlon in Lille (Getty Images) © Copyright
- Jacko Gill unleashes his 24.35m World Youth best in Lille (Getty Images) © Copyright
- Jennifer Madu of the USA takes the World Youth 100m title in Lille (Getty Images) © Copyright