The semifinals of the girls’ 100m Hurdles earlier in the evening had set the scene for an exciting final on the second day of the IAAF World Youth Championships in Donetsk, and it didn’t disappoint.
USA’s Dior Hall won her semifinal in 13.16, which lasted just a matter of minutes as a world youth-leading time before it was bettered by Jamaica’s Yanique Thompson in the next semifinal with 13.10.
Hall and Thompson were drawn in adjacent lanes for the final and they were neck-and-neck almost the whole way. It was only over the final two barriers when Thompson edged ahead, crossing the line in a World youth best of 12.94.
It broke the previous mark of 13.08 that had been set by Adriana Lamalle at the inaugural World Youth Championships in 1999, although it should be noted that USA’s Candy Young ran a superior 12.95 as a youth athlete over the senior-height hurdles in 1979. Nevertheless, that takes nothing away from Thompson’s performance.
Hall finished second in a US youth record of 13.01, while team-mate Mikiah Brisco took the bronze with 13.29.
Surprise champions in 100m finals
Before Donetsk, China’s Mo Youxue would have been considered as an outside bet for a boys’ 100m medal at best with Jamaica’s Michael O’Hara and Cuba’s Reynier Mena looking the better prospects. But Mo surprised everyone in the final, not least himself, to take gold.
Despite a strong challenge from Britain’s Ojie Edoburun, Mo kept his composure to get the verdict in a photo-finish as just two thousandths of a second separated the pair, both clocking PBs of 10.35, the fastest times in the world this year by youth athletes.
Mena finished third in a PB of 10.37 as O’Hara finished fourth in 10.46. It was the first time since 2003 that no US sprinters had been in the final.
There was a similarly surprising winner of the girls’ 100m final earlier in the evening. While much of the pre-event attention was on USA’s Ariana Washington, Sweden’s Irene Ekelund and Ecuador’s Angela Tenorio, it was actually Washington’s less-favoured team-mate Ky Westbrook who took victory.
Drawn in lane four, Westbrook forged ahead in the closing stages to smash her PB with 11.33, just 0.02 outside the championship record set by USA’s Jessica Onyepunuka in 2003.
Washington made it a US 1-2, taking silver in 11.40, while Tenorio took bronze in 11.41 as Ekelund finished fifth behind Poland’s Ewa Swoboda.
Warholm maintains Octathlon lead through to the finish
Norway’s Karsten Warholm was a revelation in the Octathlon. Having led since the first event on day one, his continued his string of fine performances today and wrapped up the competition with a celebration that lasted the whole length of the home straight in the 1000m.
Before that, he had thrown just 42.53m in the Javelin, but he still led by close to 200 points heading into the final event.
Fittingly, he ran the fastest time of the day, 2:45.80, to take the gold with a score of 6451, going to equal fifth on the world youth all-time list.
Russia’s Feliks Shestopalov took silver with 6260, while Jan Dolezal of the Czech Republic clinched bronze with 6222, helped by a 57.07m PB in the Javelin. Cuba’s Santiago Ford, who led the world youth lists heading into Donetsk, finished down in seventh with 6006, almost 400 points down on his PB.
Big throws from Dereli and Little
As was the case in the boys’ final yesterday, the first-round throw of eventual gold medallist Emel Dereli proved to be enough to win the girls’ Shot final.
The Turkish athlete broke her PB with 20.14m in round one, improving on the championship record she set by default in qualifying, as this is the first time the 3kg implement has been used at the World Youth Championships.
As expected, Alena Bugakova took the silver medal, but the Russian was never really a challenge to Dereli, throwing a best of 18.60m. USA’s Ashlie Blake threw 17.57m in round four to take the bronze medal.
For a while it looked as though the trend of first-round winning throws would continue in the girls’ Javelin final after Australia’s Mackenzie Little threw a PB of 57.29m with her opening effort. That remained the best throw for five rounds before Cuba’s Yulenmis Aguilar unleashed a throw of 59.94m.
But with the very next throw of the competition, Little responded with 61.47m.
As was the case with the girls’ Shot, the implement has been made lighter for this edition of the World Youth Championships, so Mackenzie’s winning mark was a championship record by default for the 500g Javelin. It is also a World youth best, although it should be noted that China’s Xue Juan threw 62.93m with the senior Javelin back in 2003.
Anatloiy Ryapolov won Russia’s first gold of the championships, winning the Long Jump with relative ease. All four of his valid marks were superior to any other finalist with his best, 7.79m, coming in the second round.
China’s Fang Yaoqing and USA’s Isaiah Moore were tied on 7.53m until the third round, when Fang’s count-back record was bolstered by a 7.40m leap.
Main contenders advance to one-lap finals
After impressing in the heats, Britain’s Sabrina Bakare smashed her PB with 53.23 to lead the qualifiers for the 400m final. World youth leader Olivia Baker was next fastest with 53.63 to win the third semi-final, while Tiffany James of Jamaica won the other semifinal (53.70).
James’ team-mate Yanique McNeil, who had qualified fourth-fastest overall for the final, was later disqualified for a lane violation.
There were a few surprises in the boys’ 400m semifinals as one of the pre-event favourites, Jamaica’s Devaughn Baker, ran 46.78 to finish just third in his semifinal behind USA’s Ryan Clark (46.33) and Turkey’s Batuhan Altintas (46.72). But Baker eventually progressed as a time qualifier.
Also progressing were Qatar’s Mohamed Nasir Abbas, Jamaica’s Martin Manley, Bahrain’s Abbas Abubaker and Kenyan duo Alexander Sampao and Ian Mutuku.
After crashing out of the 110m Hurdles heats this morning, China’s Wang Yang was back with a bang in the 400m Hurdles semifinals, winning his heat in 50.72. That lasted just a matter of minutes as a world youth-leading time, as Jamaica’s Okeen Williams later bettered it with a PB of 50.53 to win the third semifinal.
USA’s Kenneth Selmon and Marlon Humphrey finished second in their respective semifinals, while other qualifiers were Japan’s Takumu Furuya, Kenya’s Geofrey Cheruiyot, Jamaica’s Marvin Williams and Puerto Rico’s Derick Diaz.
Kenyans Alfred Kipketer and Patrick Ronoh both won their 800m semifinals, 1:48.38 and 1:49.50 respectively. Both Ethiopian entrants, Mamush Lencha and Abrahaley Tadesse, also progressed, while Britain’s Kyle Langford and Russia’s Konstantin Tolokonnikov ran well to make the final.
The boys’ High Jump qualifying was very straightforward as exactly 12 athletes cleared the automatic qualifying mark of 2.09m. Medal favourites Christoff Bryan of Jamaica, Sanghyeok Woo of Korea and Bai Jiaxu of China will all feature in the final.
Jon Mulkeen for the IAAF