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Sitonik’s impressive 3000m caps the action as curtain draws on World Youth champs - Lille 2011 - Day 5 report

William Malel Sitonik, World Youth 3000m champion (Getty Images)William Malel Sitonik, World Youth 3000m champion (Getty Images) © Copyright

William Malel Sitonik, on the fifth and final day of a fantastic seventh edition of the IAAF World Youth Championships, became the fifth Kenyan 3000m gold medal winner.


Keeping his nerve in a race which went to the wire he lowered his 2011 lead and PB of 7:51.2 set at altitude in Nairobi to a new Championship record of 7:40.10. The Kenyan who led from gun to tape decimated the previous Championship mark of fellow Kenyan Isiah Koech who posted 7:51.51 two years ago at the last Championships in Bressanone.


But it wasn't an easy win in a contest which came to boiling point with 200m remaining when Abrar Osman Adem of Eritrea tried to hit the front after Sitonik had led with his first strides in the seven-and-a-half lap event.


Sitonik brushed away the challenge as he and his teammate Patrick Mutunga Mwikya, who had ran almost alongside him throughout, took the top honors, the latter finishing second in 7:40.47 with Adem just 0.42 behind.


The winner went off at breakneck speed passing through 400 metres in 59.55 then 800 metres in 1:58.21 and the first kilometre 2:28.54, before falling behind schedule on the World Age Group record of 7:32.37 which Ethiopia's Abreham Cherkos posted at Lausanne's Athletissima meeting in 2006, just before 2000 metres.


But it was a colossal race with 11 of the 12 contestants posting the fastest times of their careers.


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US Men roar to first ever sub-1:50 clocking in Medley Relay


The United States boys squad, who have only once failed to take the Medley Relay title, scored a fifth consecutive victory with a superlative and World Youth Best Performance to win ahead of Japan and France.


With displays of speed on each and every one of the 100m, 200m, 300m and 400m legs their team of Ronald Darby, Aldrich Bailey, Najee Glass and Arman Hall smashed through the 1min 50sec barrier for the first time clocking 1:49.47.


Their titanic display saw them finish well clear of Japan where Takuya Fukunaga, fifth in the 400 final who closed down Thomas Jordier of the host nation with 50m remaining, led them to a PB 1:50.69 while the French set a new record of 1:51.81.  


Poland finished fourth in 1:52.42 with the Bahamas squad who were the early leaders behind them as all seven finalists - Jamaica did not start - set persdonal bests.


Jamaica end USA dominance with championship record in Girls' Medley Relay


The Jamaican quartet, after posting the fastest time medley relay mark in the qualifying round albeit only a slight margin ahead of the United States, brought their rivals to heel in the final.


Its team of Christiana Williams, Shericka Jackson, Chrisann Gordon and Olivia James were never headed as they stormed around the track in a Championship and World leading time for the year of 2:03.42.


They had a 20 metre lead when Gordon handed over the baton to James on their final circuit but behind her Youth Olympic gold medallist Robin Reynolds ran a courageous leg for the defending champions.


Reynolds, despite stumbling and almost falling over with 300 metres remaining, regained her balance to close the margin at the finish to just half a second and a season's best of 2:03.92.


Canada thanks to a super fast third leg by Christian Brennan took the bronze medal in a national record of 2:05.72.


Tanui wins second 2000m Steeplechase gold medal for Kenya


Norah Jeruto Tanui, despite a heavy fall at the final water jump, continued in the form she left the Lille Metropole Stadium on Friday when returning to post another World leading performance to win the 2000m Steeplechase title in a time of 6:16.41.


The Kenyan who was elevated to No. 4 on the world all-time list with a time of 6:20.67 in her qualifier, squashed the challenges of her rivals when leading from the start and claiming her country's second ever gold medal over the distance.


Morocco's Fadwa Sidi Madane placed second with the winner's teammate Lilian Jepkorir Chemweno, who lost that position 250m from the line, third in PBs of 6:20.98 and 6:21.85 respectively.


Tanui went off very quickly and after the first kilometre (2:57.83) held a five seconds lead which just increased as she powered around the remaining two-and-a-half laps.


With one circuit remaining the 15-year-old passed through the bell in 4:56 and fighting hard with no challengers behind her she looked on course to smash the World youth best of 6:11.83 Ethiopia's Korahubsh Itaa posted at the last Championships.


But fatigue setting in and not possessing a real hurdling skill - she prefers to hop over the barriers - she fell almost head first into the water 150 metres from home, but recovered to become the third fastest performer of all-time.


"I led all the race," said the patriotic Tanui after her brilliant display. "It's a great day for my town and my country."


Henry follows in the footsteps of Jodie Williams


Desiree Henry, following in the footsteps of a another outstanding British teenager Jodie Williams, trounced her rivals when winning the 200m in a new lifetime best and World lead of 23.25.


Henry, less than 24 hours after her lowering her PB to 23.38 in the semis, left her blocks like a streak of lightning (0.156) and never relinquished her lead when matching the gold medal display Williams produced in Bressanone.


Her speed around the last bend saw her hit the finishing straight with a couple of strides advantage ahead of the previous world's fastest runner Shericka Jackson and Christian Brennan.


The Jamaican and and Canadian were left to fight their own battle with Brennan easily coming up trumps against her tired looking opponent and winning the silver medal by 0.15 in a PB 23.47.


"Today I ran 23.25 and beat the Jamaican who was the World leading athlete this year," said Henry, also coached by Mike McFarlane who guides the career of Williams.


Van Zyl produces the big throw when it matters in javelin


South African's Reinhard Van Zyl and Morne Moolman scored a decisive javelin 1-2 by a big margin as their country became the first ever to achieve the feat in the discipline.


Van Zyl was a revelation when after coming into the final with a PB of 71.75m he got in the big one all throwers dream about and won with his second round effort of 82.96m.


It was the only time he got his javelin past the 76 metre line but good enough to check the threat posed by his teammate Moolman who didn't get into his stride until the fifth round.


There, the World leader did everything right snatching the silver with a throw of 80.99m well down on the 2011 top mark of 83.16m he threw in the qualifying round.


Until then Lithuania's Povilas Dabasinskas was in runner spot - that was until Ukraine's Yuriy Kushniruk threw a PB 77.10m with his last attempt only to be overtaken himself by Guisheng Zhang of China final effort of 77.62m.


"To be the champion? - it's very nice," said Van Zyl. "I beat a friend. I just want to say: 'I'm a champion, it's fantastic."


Dirirsa thwarts Kenya's hopes of third successive gold medal


Biding his time until the last possible moment, Teshome Dirirsa flew by his Kenyan rival Vincent Kiprotich Mutai in the last 15 metres to capture the first ever 1500m gold medal Ethiopia has won at the Championships.


Until that point Mutai, leading from the very fast start of the race where 400 metres was passed in 55.45, seemed on target to make it a third successive Kenyan victory.


Just as in the qualifying round he looked confident of pulling off what would also have been a sixth Kenyan victory after leading until such a short distance before the line.


But Dirirsa, who set a lifetime best of 3:39.13, spoiled more Kenyan celebrations after their marvelous tally of three gold medals collected in Lille over the five days of action, with his gutsy finish and last lap of 57.83.


The 17-year-old, after drawing alongside Mutai at the bell, remained patient until the telling spurt that saw him beat Mutai who lowered his PB to 3:39.17 with Jonathan Kiplimo Sawe also of Kenya third in 3:39.54.


Wilson emerges champion in a thrilling 800m final


In a two laps thriller, Ajee Wilson became the first ever American to wear the 800m gold medal around her neck after taking the title in a lifetime best of 2:02.64.


Wilson, after hitting the front with 200 metres remaining won comfortably but behind her there was a much closer battle for the remaining medals between Chunyu Wang of China, Great Britain's Jessica Judd and world leader Amy Weissenbach.


Wang, a revelation with two PBs in the preliminary rounds, led past the bell in 59.62 after an awesome first 200 of 27.96 and in a desperate finish snatched runner up with a PB 2:03.23.


Judd, in the tight finish, claimed third just 0.20  behind while the USA's Weissenbach, who fell across the line in her bid to claim a podium finish, clocked 2:03.59.


But it was Wilson, with bags of experience under her belt after making the final of last summer's World Junior final and doing everything right, who reigned supreme and now sits second in the world 2011 standings.


"I felt very good," she said. "The best feeling of my life. My plan was simple. In the last lap I wanted to keep the lead position and run fast. The most important thing was to be relaxed and just focus on my race."


Newbold wins third gold medal for the Bahamas


Stephen Newbold, with the best 200 performance of his career, added another gold medal to the two already gained by his Bahamian colleagues with a comprehensive victory.


The 16-year-old didn't have the best of starts and coming around the bend and into the final straight it was anyone's gold medal although the USA's Ronald Darby was looking particularly menacing along with Jamaica's 100m champion O'Dail Todd.


But Newbold, coming into the final 20 metres, saw his tall frame begin to motor and after glancing inside to Todd, he powered away to deny his fellow Caribbean athlete, who also lowered his PB to 21.00 with Darby third in 21.08, another title.  


Renner wins Slovenia' second gold medal in the Championships 12 year history


Robert Renner, the World Pole Vault No. 2, claimed only the second gold medal Slovenia has ever won in Championship history when sailing over with a PB 5.25m for a comfortable victory.


His success came on an afternoon when there was a massive setback for World leader Heorhiy Bykov, the Ukrainian who cleared 5.35m in Kiev three weeks ago, crashing out with the bar at 5.05m.


Bykov's demise at a height of 4.80m saw Renner, who apart from needing a second attempt at 5.15m, a clear winner from Sweden's Melker Svard Jacobsson who had a best effort of 5.15m and the USA's Jacob Blankenship who vaulted 5.05m.


Porter wins with final attempt in Long Jump


World No. 2 Chanice Porter, after an inconsistent afternoon, finally pulled her act together and win the Long Jump with a last round clearance of 6.22m.


It may have been well short of the 6.35m the Jamaican leapt in Kingston a month ago but sufficient to stifle the threat of her rivals including Ukrainian world leader Maryna Bekh who was a disappointing fifth with a best of only 6.05m.


Porter's late intervention deprived Anastassia Angioi of the gold medal which would have also been Italy's first ever in the event when relegated to runner up and who leapt 6.17m in round two.


Marina Buchelnikova from Russia also moved down the podium placings to bronze medal status with a fifth round clearance of 6.11m.


David Martin for the IAAF