After claiming bronze in the boys’ 100 and 110m Hurdles, France finally struck gold courtesy of Sokhna Galle who took advantage of a tailwind blowing at 2.2m/s to land at a winning distance of 13.62, one she had never reached previously under valid conditions.
Galle’s winning jump came in the second round after the Frenchwoman was trailing in fourth following her opening 12.39.
Jingyu Li also stepped up in the second round landing at 13.29, she was solidly in silver medal position but it was clear the Chinese wasn’t satisfied with her performance just yet.
Spain’s Ana Peleteiro had taken the lead with her opening 12.92 (+3.6) and since no other girl this evening would break the 13 metre barrier Peleteiro would eventually secure bronze with her first jump. It wasn’t without a scare though as the Spaniard looked on as Russia’s Victoria Leonova also landed at 12.92 in the fourth round. However Peleteiro had a superior second best jump today at 12.88; Leonova would have to be content with fourth.
Sweden’s Lynn Johnson and the Ukraine’s Anna Krasutska also came oh-so-close to the bronze medal position with respectively their fourth and fifth efforts which the judges measured at 12.91. Johnson’s second best at 12.90, while Krasutska’s was 12.89!
With Turkey’s Esra Emiroglu also leaping to 12.90, only 2 centimetres separates no no fewer than five athletes!
There was another type of drama at the bottom of the standings as World Youth leader Khaddi Sagnia of Sweden was having a nightmare fouling her first two jumps and managing only 12.72 with her third. She was almost one metre off her personal best and ninth, it was the end of her championships.
It may have been close for bronze, it also was close for gold although in a much further dimension. Li looked determined and as she landed off her fourth attempt, the French supporters started to worry. Eventually the scoreboard showed 13.57, a new personal best yet still 5 centimetres off the gold medal.
Li’s fifth and particularly the final jump were also impressive both over the 13 metres barrier but as it turned out it would not suffice - 13.39 on the fifth and a red flag for a massive sixth left the Chinese in silver medal position.
An ecstatic Galle was crowned the World Youth champion before she took her final attempt, one she aborted to 12.19!
Little did it matter, France had its first gold on the week.
Laura Arcoleo for the IAAF
- Sokhna Galle of France wins the Girls' Triple Jump World Youth title in Lille (Getty Images) © Copyright