24 JUL 2010 General News Shota Iizuka won Japan's first

Men's 200m Final

Japan's Shota Iizuka celebrates becoming the first athlete from an Asian country to win a sprint medal at the IAAF World Junior Championships (Getty Images)Japan's Shota Iizuka celebrates becoming the first athlete from an Asian country to win a sprint medal at the IAAF World Junior Championships (Getty Images) © Copyright

Shota Iizuka won Japan's firstever sprint gold medal at a World Junior Championships tonight when he outlegged the field in the 200m final tonight.

Iizuka, who came in to the final with the fastest PB in the field and the current season's lead of 20.58, got an excellent start in lane three and a stride on the field immediately. However, came off the homestretch level with nearly the entire field. He found his gear on the homestretch and powered away, leaving Aliaksandr Linnik of Belarus, immediately outside him in lane four, a well-beaten second. Iizuka ran 20.67 to Linnik's 20.89.

Linnik pulled away from the field in Iizuka's slipstream, but the bronze medal came from far on the outside. Canada's Aaron Brown also ran a strong homestretch in lane 8, after running the curve blind. He ducked into third just at the line, taking bronze in a PB 21.00 with South Africa's Wayde Van Niekerk fourth in 21.02, also a PB. The result took some time to arrive on the video board, and so the crowd was nearly silent for some minutes until exploding in cheers when Brown's name came up third.