Krzysztof Brzozowski of Poland celebrates winning the boys shot put final at the Youth Olympic Games in Singapore (XINHUA/ SYOGOC-Pool/ Liao Yujie) © Copyright
The mix of nations represented by a gold medal winner continued to expand as Ethiopia and Brazil made it 13 different National Olympic Committee standard bearers in the first 14 events. Before the evening was over there would be first-time YOG winners from Argentina, Ukraine, Kenya, Eritrea, Poland and China.
Brzozowski's almost perfect series
Brzozowski's opening throw reached 23.23m (76 feet 2 ¾ inches), a stunning 44 centimetres further than the old World Youth Best by Marin Premeru of Croatia in 2007. Brzozowski just missed that old mark with his next effort (22.75m) and then added a 23.02m and 23.14m with his last two throws. Five more centimetres for his second attempt and he would have beaten the old mark in every toss.
In something of an understatement afterwards he said, "I am surprised. I only gave myself a 60 percent chance of winning coming into the Youth Olympic Games."
New Zealand's Jacko Gill, who arrived at the YOG as the favourite with his pre-meet PB of 22.50m surpassed that mark twice (22.56m, 22.60m) but had to settle for silver. Dennis Lewke of Germany was third at 21.22m, also a PB.
The other boy to have set a World Youth Best this year, Braian Toledo of Argentina, dominated the competition with another big mark on his first throw, his javelin hitting the ground 81.78m from his release. Few athletes here have had to overcome the training obstacles he has. "I have to train on a football field with football boots," he said. "We don't have an athletics track with a javelin runway in my hometown of Marcos Paz."
Devin Bogert of the USA was a surprise silver medallist, his last throw of 76.88m adding 6.77 metres from his pre-YOG best. Latvia's Intars Isejevs (74.23) was the bronze medallist.
The girl's javelin medals went to Kateryna Derun of the Ukraine (54.59m PB), Lismania Munoz of Cuba (52.40m) and Hannah Carson of the USA (50.64m).
Africans sweep 3000m
The boy's 3000m was one of the most compelling contests at any level of championships competition. At the bell a cluster of eight runners were in a pack with another pair a stride or two behind.
The race for the gold didn't sort itself out until midway along the backstretch when Eritrean Abrar Osman Adem unleashed a ferocious kick which carried him to the finish in 8:07.24. His last lap took just 57 seconds and the final kilometre went in 2:35, after opening kilos of 2:47 and 2:45.
However there was still some huge drama behind him in the scrap for the other medals with a blanket finish of four-hundredths of a second covering the next three. When the finish photo was examined Africans were awarded the other two medals, Ethiopia's Fekru Jebesa (8:08.53) and Morocco's Hicham Sigueni (8:08.55), with Japan's Kazuto Nishike (8:08.57) the odd man out.
Kenyan Gladys Chesir completed an African gold medal sweep in the women’s 3000m. There was no suspense over her seven and a half laps as she bolted to an early lead with splits of 3:01.6 and 6:04.1. Although slowing over final two and half laps to finish in 9:13.60 she still set a new Singapore all-comer record by 1.5 seconds. With her 16th birthday not coming until December 20, it is likely she will end up the youngest gold medalist in athletics.
Sprint gold for China
The Chinese are not known as world beaters in sprinting, but they had the champion in the boy's 200m. Although Xie Zhenye did not get a great start he ran the curve well and held on for a .05 second victory over Keisuke Homma of Japan, 21.22 to 21.27. German Patrick Domogala (21.36) earned the bronze.
The longest distance event on the track led off the evening and Igor Lyashchenko of Ukraine was an unpressed winner in the 10,000m Race Walk in 42:43.93. He was more than a minute ahead of silver medallist Oscar Villavicencio of Ecuador (43:46.00). Pavel Parshin of the Russian Federation was third (44:18.04).
Another Russian athlete, Maria Kuchina, was the gold medallist in the girl's High Jump. She was the only one to clear 1.89m. Alesa Trost of Italy took the silver (1.86). Four girls went over 1.79m, but Aneta Rydz claimed the bronze on fewest misses.
World leader in the morning
Mohamed Aman Geleto, already the fastest boy in the world for 2010 (2:20.59), took another full second off that in the 1000m final. The 16-year-old stepped on the gas in the last 250 metres to break away from the field and clinch Ethiopia's first gold here in 2:19:54. Hamza Driouch gave Qatar a silver medal at 2:21.25 and Great Britain's Charlie Grice (2:21.85 PB) was third.
Nigerian girls swept the short sprints as Nkiruka Florence Nwakwe simply dominated the girl's 200m. Despite waving to the fans with several metres to go, Nwakwe set a PB of 23.46 and join 100m runner Josephine Ada Omaka on the top step of the medal podium. The other medals went to the Bahamas Tynia Gaither (23.68) and the USA's Olivia Ekpone (whose father is from Nigeria) in 23.75.
Brazil's Caio Cezar dos Santos, the Long Jump world leader (7.73m) and top qualifier (7.66m), was in that familiar territory with a final round 7.69m gold medal winning jump. Japan's Sho Matsubara made it rather close also with last jump of 7.65m for silver and South African Rudolph Pienaar took bronze (7.53m).
Marty Post for the IAAF
1999 Galfione on track