Lille, France15year-old Desiree Henry made sure the Girls’ 200m World Youth title would remain in the hands of Great Britain and Northern Ireland as she stormed through her final to clock a new World Youth leading time of 23.25 following in the footsteps of compatriot Jodie Williams who had been a double World Youth champion two years ago in Bressanone.
Having improved her personal best time to 23.38 to win her semi-final yesterday afternoon, Henry found herself drawn in lane 3 today with World Youth leader Shericka Jackson of Jamaica on her outside lane 4.
The Jamaican 16-year-old was visibly stunned when Henry stormed past her halfway through the bend her tactics obviously being that of giving it all out and holding on to the line.
As it turned out Henry did just hold on; she kept on digging a bigger gap with every step. Henry crossed the line her arms wide understandably pleased with her performance and with more than two tenths to spare over silver medallist Christian Brennan of Canada.
Brennan, who also grabbed silver in the 400m final behind World Youth leader Shaunae Miller, made her move with 80 metres to go, the diminutive runner speeding away from a trio of pursuers which also included Jackson.
Brennan was awarded with a new personal best time 23.47 – after she improved her 400m best to 52.12 earlier in the week – and there may be even more to come from the Canadian as she will line-up in the medley relay later today.
There was a fierce battle for the bronze medal which seemed to be the property of Galina Nikolova of Bulgaria but eventually Jackson had the best dip and overtook her with her last two steps. Jackson was credited with a below-par 23.62 in third as Nikolova would return home medalless despite a new personal best 23.64 which would see her remain in fourth; the same position that she grabbed in the 100m final.
"I'm so happy," Henry said. "Already in the semi I set a PB and we were so glad. Today I ran 23.25 and beat the Jamaican who was the world leader. Before the race, I just wanted to get to the starting line, anything was possible."
Laura Arcoleo for the IAAF