14 July 2001 Debrecen The mens long jump contest provided some of the biggest suspense of the second day of the IAAF World Youth Championships.
The contest livened up at round 5 of the competition. After three efforts, Brazilian Thiago Jacinto Carahyba Dias was in the lead with a leap of 7.61m, followed by Qatari Abdulla Al Walid (7.56) and Italys Andrew Howe-Besozzi (7.46).
But it was in the fifth round that things began to change with Al Walid taking the lead from Jacinto by 1 centimetre.
Supported by the local crowd who had already fallen in love with the very expressive Brazilian and his team mates, Jacinto managed to improve his personal best to 7.72 with what was the last and winning effort of the contest.
This competition was fantastic. The excitement and the adrenaline were unbelievable. I dont know where I took the extra strength from but I knew I could jump far. I have been training very hard since the end of last season to prepare these championships.
A very moved Jacinto stepped on the podium to receive his first major international medal. I really didnt expect this. To win the World Championships, improve my personal best and achieve such a great performance, this is a dream come true.
The younger brother of two Claudia and Daniel Jacinto was a very lively young boy. I used to drive my parents crazy," he laughs. "And when I was eight I lit a match and threw it at a truck that was parked in front of my house. Fortunately it didnt go on fire but my father decided to punish me and force me to follow my older brothers to the athletics training sessions.
And ever since, Jacinto has never stopped practicing athletics.
I train every day from 3 to 6 in Sao Paulo. In addition to the long jump I also compete in the triple jump and the 110m hurdles.
Three events might have been too many for the 17 year old but two are certainly not.
I ran the heats of the 110m hurdles this morning and won my race in 13.70. I hope the hurdles will be as successful as the long jump has been today.
Jacintos trip to Debrecen is his second on European soil. I came only once before this year to Europe and it was two years ago to participate in the first edition of the World Youth Championships in Bydgoczsz. Jacinto then finished fourteenth in the long jump and last in his 110m heat.