Eduard Mihan continued on course for the World junior decathlon title during the morning session of day three at the IAAF World Junior Championships in Bydgoszcz.
The Belarussian began the day with a 71-point lead over Serbia’s Mihail Dudas and now, with eight of the 10 events completed, he leads by 118 points on 6547. Germany’s Jan Felix Knobel had a good morning, topping the pole vault order with 4.60m and moving up from third to second with 6429, while Dudas dropped to third, 41 points behind.
Mihan, who was only seventh in last year’s European Junior Championships, started the day with a PB of 14.54 in the 110m hurdles in finishing behind American Weston Leutz, who was quickest overall with 14.23. Another lifetime best followed in the discus with a mark of 44.43m. Then with a clearance of 4.40m in the pole vault, he equalled his outdoor best as Knoebel ensured he gave himself a slight chance in the last two events this evening with his excellent javelin to come.
Kiplagat qualifies in chase
World leader Benjamin Kiplagat was among the 12 qualifiers for the steeplechase final. The Kenyan, after finishing fourth in the World Cross Country Championships junior race this year, looks set to improve on his 10th from two years ago.
Kenya’s Jonathan Muja Ndiku (8:42.32) and Ethiopia’s Legese Lamiso (8:48.61) were the two heat winners.
Favourites through in the 200m
The favourites went through safely to the semi-finals, led by Meritzer Williams of St Kitts and Nevis in a time of 23.64. American Tiffany Townsend, the quickest in the field with 22.75, won her heat, along with Sheniqua Ferguson of the Bahamas, another of the trio of athletes to have run below 23 seconds this year.
Nickel Ashmeade was quickest from the men’s 200m heats with 20.86. The Jamaican, who won silver and bronze respectively in the 100m and 200m at last year’s World Youth Championships, was followed into this evening’s semi-finals by France’s Christophe Lemaitre, who set a PB of 20.91.
European junior 200m silver medallist Robert Hering was third quickest through with 21.08. Also through as a heat winner was American Antonio Sales, who was one of the favourites for the 100m before he was disqualified for a false start in the semi-finals.
However, Jamaica’s Ramone McKenzie, the second-quickest junior in the world this year, qualified only as fastest loser with 21.55.
Holzdeppe into pole vault final
In the pole vault qualification, Raphael Holzdeppe had an easy day at the office. While the other competitors battled through heights ranging from 4.70m to 5.15m, the German, who last month set a World junior record 5.80m, took just one attempt at 5.20m and succeeded.
In the women’s 400m hurdles, Britain’s Meghan Beesley was the quickest to progress to the final. The European junior finalist, who hit a hurdle in her heat and nearly fell, finished strongly to clock a PB 57.24.
However, American Takecia Jameson, the fastest in the World this year, looked easier in winning the other semi-final in 57.31.
Australia’s Henry Frayne added a massive 63 centimetres to his PB with an Oceania record of 16.40m to top the qualifiers for the triple jump final.
“I have been jumping beyond my PB off a short run-up in Australia recently, so I was hoping for a big jump here, but I wasn’t sure I would do so well,” he said.
Jamaica’s Shermaine Williams, the World youth silver medallist, was among the fastest qualifiers for the semi-finals in the 100m hurdles. The 2008 World junior No.1 clocked 13.38 as she finished second in her heat behind Belarussian Alina Talai (13.34).
World youth champion Andriy Martynyuk of Ukraine was the second-best qualifier in the hammer with 72.83m. Akos Hudi of Hungary led the way with 72.86m.
Paul Halford for the IAAF