World Youth champion Isabelle Pedersen ran the best race of her short career tonight in Moncton to claim the women’s 100m Hurdles World Junior title in a new national junior record 13.30.
Pedersen improved with each one of her races here in Moncton building her confidence to perfection as she approached this evening’s final. After a season’s best time 13.49 in yesterday’s semis, Pedersen further improved her all-time fastest time by no fewer than 16 hundredths of a second and that is despite heavily hitting hurdle number 3.
As the finalists were asked to move up to the set position, they were held on for what looked like an incredibly long time. Pederson was not the least disturbed and she set off fastest of the whole field. She was convincingly in the lead over the first couple of barrier and even her mistake hitting the next one did not affect her beyond the next couple of strides.
She kept on powering through her rhythm between the hurdles so much more smooth than in the previous rounds.
Three lanes on her outside Germany’s Jenna Pletsch, who incidentally beat Pedersen in the opening round two days ago, was rapidly making up ground and it looked as though she had timed it right to catch the Norwegian on the line.
As it turned out, she was still 5 hundredths of a second adrift but securely in silver medal position.
It took a photo finish reading to award Miriam Hehl the bronze medal at 13.46 as Jamaica’s Danielle Williams was credited with the same time, a personal best but still not worth a medal tonight.
Pederson is the second ever World Junior champion for Norway and the first since 1994. The last medal won by a Norwegianin the history of these championships, a silver in 2006, was interestingly taken by Christina Vukicevic, another sprint hurdler.