Three genuine gold-medal contenders made a premature exit from their respective events in Donetsk on the second morning of the IAAF World Youth Championships in Donetsk.
Jana Reissova was one of the biggest surprises of the first round of the girls’ 400m Hurdles yesterday. The Czech athlete looked set to improve significantly on her PB in today’s semi-finals, but she stumbled over the penultimate barrier and trailed home last.
The fastest qualifier for the final was Tia-Adana Belle of Barbados, who set a PB of 58.81 to win her heat. World youth leader Helene Swanepoel of South Africa was another semi-final winner, while Germany’s Lisa-Marie Jacoby could now be a medal contender after Reissova’s exit.
China’s Wang Yang, who was tipped to win medals in both hurdles events, hit the final barrier in his heat of the 110m hurdles and fell to the floor. He will now have to concentrate his efforts on the 400m hurdles semi-final later this afternoon.
The fastest of the day was Marlon Humphrey, who, like Wang, is doubling up in both hurdles events. The US athlete ran a PB of 13.42, while Wang’s team-mate Lu Yang was the second-fastest with his 13.45. Medal favourite Roger Iribarne of Cuba eased down to 13.92 to qualify from his heat.
There was a similar story in the boys’ Hammer qualifying where world youth leader Joaquin Gomez crashed out with three no-throws. Australia’s Matthew Denny, the other main favourite in the event, almost did the same but managed to pull out a valid throw on his final attempt, 74.41m.
South Africa’s Tshepang Makhethe had the best throw of the morning with 74.97m as thirteen athletes in total exceeded the automatic qualifying mark of 71.50m.
Championship record for Dereli
Given that the girls were competing with a 3kg implement for the first time in the Shot at the World Youth Championships, it was a given that a championship record was going to be established in this morning’s qualifying round.
Russia’s Alena Bugakova was one of the first to throw, recording a respectable 17.32m. But a few minutes later Turkey’s Emel Dereli, the outright favourite, smashed the young championship record with a 19.18m effort.
No other athlete in Donetsk has thrown farther than Dereli’s 19.18m and the 17-year-old showed exactly why she is one of the biggest favourites of any event at this year’s World Youth Championships.
Ford begins to challenge Warholm in Octathlon
Norway’s Karsten Warholm has led the Octathlon since the first event while pre-event favourite and world youth leader Santiago Ford of Cuba hasn’t been near the top of the standings.
Warholm had a great start to the day, posting the fastest time in the 110m hurdles with 13.86 then jumping 2.02m in the High Jump.
But as the athletes head into the afternoon session with two events to go, Ford has climbed from 11th place to fourth after leaping 2.05m in the High Jump. Maksim Andraloits of Belarus is still in third overall while Russia’s Feliks Shestopalov is fourth.
Compared to the Norwegian, Ford is far superior in both the Javelin and the 1000m, meaning there could be further changes in store this evening.
USA surprises Kenya in 1500m
Perhaps inspired by the likes of World bronze medallist Matt Centrowitz and Olympic silver medallist Leo Manzano, US athletes won two of the three 1500m heats.
Blake Haney ran away from the field in the final 300m to win the second heat in 3:51.95. His team-mate Grant Fisher won a closer third heat in 3:50.30, the fastest time of the day. The first heat was won by Ethiopia’s Mathiwos Yotota in 3:54.98, while Kenyan favourites Titus Kibiego and Robert Biwott both progressed.
US athletes performed well in the girls’ 800m heats too, where Ersula Farrow was one of the heat winners and team-mate Raevyn Rogers progressed comfortably in second place in her heat.
But the fastest of the round was, as expected, Iceland’s Anita Hinriksdottir who controlled her heat to win in 2:04.79. Ethiopia’s Dureti Edao was close behind, indicating she could be a medal threat in the final.
Normal service was resumed in the boys’ 3000m heats where Kenyan and Ethiopian athletes dominated. Vedic Kipkoech of Kenya controlled the race in the first heat to win in 8:26.25, followed home by Mogos Tuemay of Ethiopia.
Tuemay’s team-mate Yomif Kejelcha used his long-loping stride to run away from the field in the second heat, winning in 8:22.11 with Kenya’s Alexander Munyao in second, 8:25.30.
Elsewhere, the girls’ Pole Vault qualifying was a clear-cut affair. The automatic qualifying mark was set at 3.90m and exactly 12 athletes cleared it, including world youth leader Robeilys Peinado of Venezuela.
Jon Mulkeen for the IAAF