After four days of competition at the IAAF World Junior Championships in Grosseto, Italy and with another seven finals to be contested today and ten in the final day on Sunday, an excellent eleven Championships record have already been registered.
In the space on just 30 minutes in the afternoon of Friday, three Championships record were set with Shalonda Solomon of the United States paving the way with a formidable 22.82-second run in the final of the200m.
The 2003 Pan American double Junior champion Solomon improved Veronica Campbell’s mark of 2000 by five hundredths of a second to deprive Anneisha McLaughlin of gold after the Jamaican had already lost by one hundredth of a second two years ago on home soil in Kingston.
The second record of the day was set by USA’s Kerron Clement who, despite messing up his steps when approaching the ninth and tenth hurdle clocked 48.51 an improvement of 38 hundredths of a second on Louis van Zyl Championships record of Kingston 2002.
The South African, also in yesterday’s race van Zyl had to be content with fourth place as Brandon Johnson in second imrproved his personal best and Ibrahim Al-Hamaidi of Saudi Arabia set a new Asian Junior record of 48.94.
The final and most impressive Championships record from yesterday came in the men’s 200m final where Italy’s Andrew Howe, already World Junior champion in the Long Jump, clocked a fantastic 20.28 Italian and European Junior record.
Howe shaved 16 hundredths of a second off Christian Malcolm competition record of Annecy 1998.
The most illustrious name to be erased from the World Junior Championships record list was undoubtedly that of double Olympic champion Haile Gebrselassie whose mark of Seoul 1992 was bettered by Uganda’s Boniface Kiprop in Wednesday’s 10,000m final.
Gebrselassie’s mark of 28:03.99 stood for almost 12 years and only just succumbed to Kiprop’s finishing time which was a mere 22 hundredths of a second faster.
In what can be described as the most thrilling middle distance race here in Grosseto, Abdelati Iguider of Morocco set a fantastic 1500m Championships record of 3:35.53 which erased the 14 years old mark of Moses Kiptanui.
Belarusian athletes set two Championships record with a 8126-point Decathlon of Andrei Krauchnaka and a 66.81m release in the women’s Hammer Throw by Mariya Smolyachkova.
16-year old Vivian Zimmer of Germany was the youngest athlete to improve on the competition best mark with a personal best 58.50m in the Javelin Throw while Meselech Melkamu of Ethiopia bettered the four year old mark of China’s Lili Yan with a 15:21.52 outing in the 5000m final.
There was always going to be a new Championships record in the women’s 3000m Steeplechase as the event was contested for the very first time in the IAAF Championships but the mark set by Gladys Jerotich Kipkemoi of Kenya of 9:47.26 was not only a Championships record but also an African and Kenyan record and the best junior mark in the world this year.
So far 8 continental records and 68 national records have been set and with another two days of competition all these figures will undoubtedly grow.