Nine World Youth titles were decided during the penultimate afternoon of action in Ostrava, highlighted by a superb competition in the Girls’ Pole Vault, a home win in the Heptathlon and a competition record in the Girls’ hammer.
The Boys’ side of the competition was equally as exciting, with an enthralling battle in the Triple Jump, a sub-eight-minute win in the 3000m and a dominating display in the discus.
Perie makes it No.2
Before this edition of the IAAF World Youth Championships, no athlete had ever successfully defended their title. But today Romania’s Bianca Perie became the second athlete to do so, having seen Russia’s Tatyana Kalmykova pick up her second World Youth 5000m race walk title two days before.
Perie’s win comes as no surprise though. Since winning gold in Marrakech two years ago, the 17-year-old was also victorious at the World Junior Championships last year, despite being the youngest in the field.
This time she was one of the oldest in the competition, but she was even more dominant than she had been when winning her previous global titles and won by more than eight metres with a competition record of 64.61m.
Andriana Papadopoulou-Fatala won silver with 56.32m ahead of Slovenia’s Barbara Spiler, who threw 55.97m. The Cuban duo of Yuliet Hernández and Yirisleydi Ford – who came into the championships ranked second and third – disappointed somewhat. Ford failed to make the cut for the final eight, while Hernández did not register a legal throw.
Salel keeps pattern going
Kenya and Ethiopia have alternated the winners of the Boy’s World Youth 3000m title since these championships began. Abreham Feleke of Ethiopia won it last year, meaning it was Kenya’s turn for the title this year – and they did not disappoint.
Daniel Salel’s team-mate, Lucas Rotich, led through the first kilometre in 2:43 and they kept the pace going through the second kilometre. But the leading pack – comprising Salel, Rotich and Moroccan duo Hicham El Amrani and Moussa Karich – soon cranked the pace up and covered the final kilometre in 2:32.
Salel and Rotich both dipped under eight minutes to take gold and silver respectively, while El Amrani and Karich finished third and fourth.
Last-gasp effort wins it for Parnov
Australia’s Vicky Parnov had entered the Girls’ Pole Vault competition as the overwhelming favourite, having set a World Youth best just weeks before the championships with 4.40m.
But the 16-year-old was made to forget about records as her attention turned to regaining the lead she had held since entering the competition at 3.95m. Defending champion Ekaterini Stefanidi of Greece stole the lead with her first-time clearance at 4.25m – a height at which Parnov had failed.
The bar moved up to 4.30m and Parnov failed once more before nailing it on her last attempt. Stefanidi failed twice at 4.30m and once at 4.35m and had to settle for silver. Parnov, meanwhile, pulled out yet another third-attempt clearance – this time at 4.35m – to set a competition record before failing three times at a would-be world youth best of 4.41m.
Nesterenko out-classes discus field
Throwing sensation Mykyta Nesterenko of Ukraine won the Boys’ Discus gold medal to make up for a disappointing showing in the Shot Put. He could not quite match the 70.67m competition record he set in qualifying, but his 68.54m throw was still more than enough to beat Marin Premeru of Croatia, who picked up his second silver having finished second in the shot.
Andrius Godzius of Lithuania set a PB of 61.59m to place third – the best ever mark for a bronze medal winner at the IAAF World Youth Championships.
Ostrava-based Cachová wins Czech’s first gold
Heptathlete Katerina Cachová won the Czech Republic’s first gold medal of the championships and smashed her PB in doing so. But the other Czech athlete, Nikola Ogrodníková, would have surely challenged for gold had she not suffered three fouls in the Shot Put.
Despite scoring zero in that event, Ogrodníková still finished seventh overall. If she had managed to match her shot PB (12.01), she would have won by around 100 points.
Not to take anything away from Cachová’s victory, who set PBs in four individual events to score a World Youth leading 5641, improving her previous best by 160 points. Germany’s Carolin Schäfer was just one point off her PB in second with 5544 while her team-mate placed third with 5494.
Those were the third and fourth medals for Germany within 15 minutes, as Samira Burkhardt and Sophie Kleeberg had won silver and bronze in the Girls’ Shot Put just moments earlier. That event was won by the favourite, Aliona Hryshko of Belarus, who threw a PB of 15.91m to take gold.
Taylor adds gold to bronze
USA’s Christian Taylor won an exciting Triple Jump battle and came close to breaking the 16-metre barrier on his last attempt. In an extremely consistent series, Taylor took the lead in round three, lost it briefly in the fourth round when Russia’s Aleksey Fedorov jumped 15.59m, but soon regained the pole position.
On the very last jump of the competition, Taylor bounded out to 15.98m to become the first ever American to win the Boys’ World Youth Triple Jump title. Fedorov’s best mark remained good enough for silver, while his team-mate Gennadiy Chudinov jumped 15.54m to take bronze on count-back from Singapore’s Stefan Tseng Ke Chen.
Kenya takes inaugural Girls’ Steeplechase title
It was the first time the Girls’ 2000m Steeplechase had been held at the World Youth Championships, but the result was no surprise as Kenya made it a one-two, led by the current World Junior champion Caroline Chepkurui in 6:22.30.
Her team-mate Christine Kambua was not too far behind though, finishing second in 6:22.49. Between them they set the second and third best youth performances of all-time behind Catalina Oprea’s World best of 6:21.78. Norway’s Karoline Bjerkeli Grøvdal, the European 3000m Steeplechase record holder, was third in 6:25.30.
High quality in High Jump
For the first time in the admittedly young history of the World Youth Championships, all three Boys’ High Jump medallists cleared 2.20m. But the real drama started at 2.22m.
Australia’s Josh Hall entered the championships with a best of 2.12m, but improved on that by eight centimetres to take bronze. He had three close failures at 2.22m before bowing out of the competition, leaving Russia’s Sergey Mudrov and China’s Chen Wang to fight it out for gold.
The decisive moment came when Wang cleared 2.22m on his first attempt – a height at which Mudrov needed two attempts to clear. Both athletes had three extremely close attempts at 2.24m, especially Mudrov who had sailed well clear on his last try but just clipped the bar with his lower leg. It meant Wang became the second successive Chinese winner of the Boys’ High Jump.
Round-up of semi finals
After making the elementary mistake of easing up too early in his first-round heat, USA’s William Wynne made no such mistakes in the 400m Hurdles semi-final. The sprint hurdles silver medallist was the fastest qualifier with a World Youth leading time of 50.28, although he has run more than half a second faster over the senior height hurdles.
Wynne’s team-mate Reginald Wyatt was the winner of the other semi-final with 50.48, while South Africa’s PC Beneke scraped through to tomorrow’s final by finishing fourth in the first semi.
Jamaica’s Sharmaine Williams was the fastest qualifier in the Girls’ 100m Hurdles. She ran 13.46 to win the first semi final ahead of USA’s Jasmin Stowers. Julian Purvis was an equally as impressive winner of the other semi, which she took in 13.49.
All the expected challengers are through to the Boys’ 200m final, with two Jamaicans and two Japanese athletes making up half of the field. Ramone McKenzie looked scarily good in winning his semi-final as he cantered over the line ahead of Ramil Guliyev of Azerbaijan.
In the Girls’ 200m semi finals, Ashton Purvis, Barbara Leoncio and Rosângela Santos made up for their disappointments in the 100m by cruising through to the final. Joining them will be Nivea Smith of the Bahamas, South Africa’s Alyssa Conley, USA’s Chalonda Goodman, Russia’s Elza Vildanova and Algeria’s Souheir Bouali.
The six fastest under-18 girls in the world this year are through to the final of the 800m. Winny Chebet of Kenya won a fast first semi-final, with Sweden’s Sofia Oberg and Romania’s Elena Lavric winning the other two.
Russia showed their dominance of the Girls’ Long Jump with both entrants breezing through the qualifying round. Mariya Shumilova leapt 6.18m on her second try while Darya Klishina jumped 6.24m on her first. Both were the only automatic qualifiers, although Serbia’s Ivana Španovic was not too far behind with 6.09m.
The second heat of the Boys’ medley relay provided a glimmer as to who will be the likely challengers in tomorrow’s final. USA won with a World Youth leading 1:51.94, followed by Japan and then Jamaica – those three teams were the fastest qualifiers, although Bahamas, Saudi Arabia and Spain won their respective heats.
Jamaica, USA and Canada won the three qualifying heats for the Girls’ medley relay, but Ukraine’s Yuliya Baraley – the individual 400m winner – was passed by Japan’s Chisato Kitamura in the final few metres to miss out on the final qualifying spot.
Jon Mulkeen for the IAAF