Bárbara Leoncio was only ranked as the fourth fastest of the Girls’ 200m finalists, but that did not stop her from powering to victory to win Brazil’s first gold medal of the championships.
The race got off to a fair start and Leoncio was already a couple of metres ahead coming off the bend with the two American sprinters – Chalonda Goodman and Ashton Purvis – chasing behind.
Goodman gained some ground in the final 40 metres, but the long-striding Leoncio was able to hold her off. Purvis, meanwhile, seemed to ease up a bit towards the end, just as she had done in the 100m final.
This meant Nivea Smith of the Bahamas was able to edge ahead at the end to take bronze, with 100m silver medallist Rosângela Santos finishing fourth.
The two Brazilian sprinters were the only athletes to set PBs, running 23.50 and 23.75 respectively. Goodman’s silver medal-winning time was 23.54, while Smith ran 23.69.