If Hillary Kipsang Yego intended to make a statement in the boys’ 2000m Steeplechase heats, he indeed achieved his intentions as the 17-year-old Kenyan clocked a new World Youth leading 5:34.13 in a superb display of front running.
Yego led the next five athletes through the line to personal bests with Ethiopia’s Desta Alemu second in 5:37.31 the only one who kept in sight of the Kenyan on the home straight.
Isaac Kemboi Chelimo of Bahrain was the next best in heat 1 with 5:45.57 with Algeria’s Fawzi Bourouih another 9 seconds adrift also making it to the final.
The event’s previous World Youth leader and Yego’s compatriot, Peter Kibet Lagat took an easy win in the second heat with 5:37.49 ahead of Ethiopia’s Berhanu Shiferaw (5:39.66) and Morocco’s Abdellah Dacha (5:51.39).
The final will be the last individual track event to be held on Sunday afternoon.
Back for more action
There were two familiar names in the list of qualifiers for the boys’ Triple Jump final namely Supanara S.N.A. of Thailand who topped this morning’s standards with a new personal best 15.54 and Gregor Traber of Germany whose last round 15.19 was one of nine automatic qualifying marks.
Supanara made history in becoming Thailand’s first ever World champion at any level in winning yesterday’s Long Jump final whereas Traber was involved in a mishap in the heats of the 110m Hurdles and had to re-run his race on his own only to qualify for this afternoon’s semi finals with the 10th fastest time in the field.
Traber will be back on the track for his high hurdles semi final at 15.42.
But the morning’s qualification rounds also witnessed the dramatic exit of Cuba’s World Youth leader Ernesto Revé whose massive PB 16.56 is over 70 centimetres further than the second best mark in the field. Revé suffered a hamstring injury and despite desperate attempts could not secure a valid jump.
Cuba has won the last three previous edition of the boy’s Triple Jump World Youth championships and was expected to be a dominant force here in Bressanone but for the first time in the history of this competition the Caribbean Island will not be represented in the final.
Other qualifiers included Ecuador’s José Adrian Sornoza and Spain’s Vicente Docavo who together with Supanara, were the only three athletes to need only one attempt to make it past the opening round.
The girls' and boys’ 200m heats concluded the track action this morning with World Youth 100m medallists Jodie Williams of Great Britain, Allison Peter of the US Virgin Island and Ashton Purvis of the US winners of their respective heats.
The 100m champion 15-year-old Williams was impressive in heat 1 and should she win the 200m she would become the first ever girl to achieve such a double in the history of the World Youth Championships. The sprint double was achieved only once before at this competition courtesy of Harry Aikines-Aryeetey back in Marrakech 2005.
In the boys’ race, Grenada’s Kirani James led the morning’s qualifiers with his last heat winning 21.18 a new personal best ran with incredible ease and after two 400m rounds. Indeed the 16-year-old who won silver at the Ostrava World Youth Championships in 2007 and then again at the World Junior Championships in Bydgoszcz last year is aiming at an unprecedented 200/400 double. His 400 final is scheduled for this afternoon and drawn in lane three he is the clear favourite for what would be his country’s first gold medal in the history of this competition.
Other qualifiers included US World Youth leader Dedric Dukes, winner of heat 4 in 21.28 and his compatriot Keenan Brock who clocked a personal best 21.45 to finish behind James in heat nine.
After two events in the girls' Heptathlon, Great Britain’s Katarina Thompson holds the lead with 1957 and 7 points to spare over Latvia’s Laura Ikauniece. Thompson opened with a 954 points worth 14.17 in the 100m Hurdles which she backed up with the field’s best mark in the High Jump at 1.82 (1003 points).
Ikaunice also cleared 1.82 but her 14.22 in the opening event was slightly slower. Germany’s Deborah Brodersen and France Paul (FRA) are the only two other athletes over 1800 points at this stage of the competition with 1813 and 1806 respectively.
Javelin and Shot Qualifiers Infield
The qualification round of the girls’ Javelin Throw proved dramatic for the pre-event favourites as the top four on the yearly lists failed to qualify.
Slovenia’s World Youth leader Monika Lebenicnik performed unexpectedly poorly, none of her three efforts being worth a place in the final. Her second round 42.45 was more than 12 metres off her personal best and comes as a disappointment for the Slovenians who celebrated their first gold of the competition in the girls’ Hammer Throw final yesterday evening.
Second on the World Youth 2009 lists, Iluta Veidemane of Latvia was also a major casualty her 43.72 last round throw leaving her out of tomorrow’s final.
Kateryna Derun of Ukraine and Kseniya Dzianisava of Belarus, respectively third and fourth best coming into this competition, suffered the same fate and will be notable absentees in the final.
Serbia’s Marija Vucenovic had a much better day reaching a new personal best and the furthest throw this morning at 51.73 in her last round attempt. Lismania Munoz of Cuba was the only other 50-metre athlete after her second effort of the day landed at 51.07, also a new personal best.
No Cuban has ever won the girls World Youth Javelin gold but former World record holder Osleidys Menendez famously won the World Junior Championships back in 1998.
The strong boys of the Shot Put were led by discus silver medallist Ryan Crouser whose first round 20.56 was the best of the two qualification groups. Krzysztof Brzozowski of Poland was second best at 20.11 which bodes well for a head to head between the top two putters in the world this year.
The South African pair of Frans Schutte and Donovan Stebbing scored personal bests of 19.77 and 19.67 respectively to be the next to advance to tomorrow’s finals. Qualifiers also included local favourite Daniele Secci whose 18.56 third round was one of the 12 bests whereas Rokas Kirlys, the world’s 10th best youth this year could not do better than 18.35 nine centimetres off the last qualifying mark.
Action this afternoon includes eight finals.
Laura Arcoleo for the IAAF