14 JUL 2001 General News

Women 1500 metre final

Women 1500m final

Australia’s Georgie Clarke became the first athlete in the history of athletics to claim two World Youth Championships titles in two consecutive editions.

Winner of the 800m race two years ago, Clarke returned to European soil to compete in the 1500m race in Debrecen.

Following Latvia’s Inna Poluskina who was making the pace, Clarke achieved today the perfect tactical race. All the girls were still packed, going through the first 400m in 1:10.26. With two laps to go, Kenya’s Florence Kyalo who was running barefoot decided to make the move and placed herself in third position just beside Poluskina and Clarke.

The 800m mark was reached in 2:21.00 and no decisive break had come. With 600m to go Kyalo attacked but Clarke responded and never let her by.

At the bell, the 17-year old Australian who took part in last year’s Olympics semi final and in this year’s World Indoor Championships, launched the sprint. She was followed by Kyalo and Ethiopia’s Sntayehu Ejigu and Yeshewaget Demlew who had so far chose to remain in the group.

Clarke’s lead increased and she crossed the line in a new championships record if 4:14.08.

Kyalo clocked 4:15.71 a time which was sufficient for the silver medal and Eliju finished in third with a time of 4:17.51.

Clarke seemed to have learnt from last year’s experience when she was a favourite for victory in the World Junior Championships in Santiago, Chile, but could not cope with the preliminary rounds of both the 800m and the 1500m. She eventually won a silver and a bronze medals in Chile, which were disappointing for her.

A delighted Clarke said after her race: "It might have looked easy from the outside but it was all but easy. My next goal is to reach the senior World Championships final in Edmonton. I know I am still very young but I believe I can do it."

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