Battling two days of winds, rains clouds and even a bit northern French summer sun, Australian Jake Stein rode a wave of personal bests en route to a World Youth best 6491 point tally in the Octathlon.
The 17-year-old Stein produced career best in six of the eight events over the two days to eclipse the previous World best of 6482 points set by Cuban Yordani Garcia at the 2005 World Youth Championships in Marrakech.
“This is the best day of my life, all I can say is that I’m stoked,” Stein said. And he should be.
Opening his two-day test with an 11.52 dash in the 100m, Stein moved from 14th to second courtesy of a 7.22m effort in the Long Jump, the second best of the competition.
After a break for lunch, Stein returned with an overwhelming victory in the Shot Put, reaching a personal best 17.22m, more than a metre better than the next best putter. He closed out the day with another personal best, this time running 51.32 in the 400m to carry a cozy 153 point lead ore Russian Evgeniy Likhanov into the second day.
Stein picked up where he left off at the start of day two, clocking 14.25 in the 110m Hurdles to notch a third consecutive personal best. Collecting 942 points, he upped his tally to 4238 points, 241 up on Swede Fredrick Ekholm who took advantage of Likhanov's rugged showing in the hurdles to move up from fifth place.
Stein's PB parade continued in the High Jump where he topped 1.98m on his first attempt. Ekholm, a 2.08m high jumper at his best, topped 2.04m, the second best clearance of the competition, to chisel 55 points from Stein's lead. But that’s the closest he would come.
Stein forged on with a 59.65m toss in the Javelin, another personal best – Ekholm reached 45.31m – to up his tally to 5756, an unapproachable 399 ahead of the Swede. Concluding the finest competition of his young career, Stein didn’t let the quickly passing clouds and sudden rainfall that shrouded the stadium in darkness dampen his parade. He ended the two-day multi-event challenge with a 2:52.93 run in the 1000m for 735 points to break Garcia’s six-year-old standard by nine points.
Ekholm held on for silver tallying 6127 points, while Brazil’s Felipe dos Santos, who closed with a 50.13m effort in the Javelin and a 2:44.38 run in the 1000m, took bronze with 5966 points.
Likhanov led after the first two events - 11.44 in the 100m, 7.46m in the Long Jump - before dropping to second, couldn’t bounce back later on the second day, and had to settle for fourth with 5943 points.
Bob Ramsak for the IAAF