There was no need to wait for the closing ceremony to see fireworks on the final day of the 3rd IAAF World Youth Championships in Sherbrooke.
Juan Xue of China opened the display, as throwing ninth in the women’s Javelin Throw Final she launched her spear out to a new Championships record of 52.63 with her first throw, following this a few minutes later with another mighty performance that took the record out to 54.16 metres. The competition was not all about Xue, though. Followed by Maria Abakumova from Russia with 51.41 with her fifth round throw and then by Korea’s Bo-ra Shin with 53.74. Xue could not improve with her fifth throw, with 53.65 metres, but as the final, dramatic close to the competition, Xue pulled out yet another stop and hurled her javelin out to 56.82 metres for her third Championships Record.
Shin won silver with her fifth round throw, as Germany’s Vivian Zimmer took the third place with a final effort of 52.20, to end this thrilling cliff-hanger of a competition. “I really wanted to finish in the medals,” she said, “Fourth place isn’t very interesting. I just relaxed and threw it as hard as I could on my final attempt and won the bronze. Of course I would have loved to have won the gold, but I am very happy with the bronze,” she laughed.
“I’m happy with my performance,” said Xue afterwards. “I was able to relax by the end of the competition and that’s why I was able to throw it the furthest on my last throw.”
Meanwhile, on the track, the men’s 10,000 metres Walk was drawing to a close and in a closely contested finish, after the disqualification of Eder Sanchez of Mexico, Russia’s Aleksandr Prokhorovo fought it out with Japan’s Makoto Sawada for the honours, with the young Russian winning the battle and steaming across the line in a new Championships Record of 42:16.16 after picking up a yellow card in the last 20 metres. Sawada came home in a personal record of 42:17.62. Bronze went to another Russian, Vyacheslav Golovin, who recorded a season’s best of 42:37.15.
Commenting his race afterwards, Prokhorov said, “The beginning was a bit hard because I have a sore foot, but I tried to do my best anyway and I won. When the Mexican was pulled out, for me it was one less competitor. There was also the Japanese staying close, so it was a very tight race.
“The trip from Moscow was nearly 20 hours, it was long. I was anxious to get to the stadium for the Championships. Sherbrooke is such a clean city, everything’s well organised. I’ve enjoyed my stay here.”
In other action this morning, Britain’s Jessica Ennis lost her top spot in the women’s Heptathlon, dropping down to sixth place after a disappointing round in the penultimate event, the Javelin Throw. Marisa De Aniceto of France moved into the lead, followed by Jailma Sales de Lima from Brazil and Germany’s Sarah Kern.
Usain Bolt from Jamaica and Michael Grant of the USA look to be the men to beat in this afternoon’s men’s 200 metres Final after convincing victories in the Semis run this morning, with Bolt the more favoured of the two.
Full details and live results on http://www.iaaf.org/wyc03/