Amber Bryant-Brock of The United States in the Girls 400m Hurdles qualifying at the 2010 Youth Olympic Games in Singapore (XINHUA/ SYOGOC-Pool/ Liu Jie) © Copyright
General News 19 August 2010 – Singapore

Fields set for Singapore finals – Youth Olympic Games, Day 3

SingaporeThe third day of qualifying rounds at the Singapore Youth Olympic Games (YOG) took place (19) today completing the fields for the finals of 36 events which begin in Bishan Stadium on Saturday (21).

Events that were contested included the girl's 200m, 1000m, 400m hurdles, Triple Jump and Hammer Throw plus the boy's 200m, 400m Hurdles, Pole Vault, Triple Jump and Hammer Throw. The boy's Shot Put also concluded as yesterday's final round of attempts had to be postponed due to rain.

One event that did not have any qualifying was the Medley Relay for girls and boys which will be the final two events of the athletics programme. The relay teams, who run legs of 100m, 200m, 300m and 400m, will represent the five Olympic regions (Africa, Americas, Asia, Europe and Oceania). With a mix of nations constituting these quartets, many a young sprinter could be handing off a baton to a teammate who just days before was a rival.

Epic Shot Put Battle Ahead

Before this year only one boy in history had reached a distance of at least 22.50m with the 5kg shot put, Marin Premeru with a World Youth Best of 22.79 in 2007. Then on 5 August in Stockholm, New Zealand's Jacko Gill became the second with a toss of 22.53m.

Now there are three. Poland's Krzysztof Brzozowski extended his personal best by half a metre with a 22.50 on his first throw. He then added a 22.21m and 22.30m for good measure. That surely caught Gill's attention, who qualified second best at 21.73m, setting up what could be another memorable gold medal showdown at these inaugural YOG.

In the Hammer Throw both the top boy's and girl's qualifiers were far down on the yearly top lists (eleventh and ninth respectively) although the furthest pre-YOG performers will be in the finals.

Eslam Ahmad Taha of Egypt led the way at 73.42m for the boys. Sebastian Dobkowski of Poland, a 77.73m hammer thrower, only had one fair attempt at 70.13m, but it was far enough to see him through to Monday evening's medal round.

Alena Navahrodskaya of Belorussia came to Singapore with a PR nearly seven metres behind top entrant (65.32m) Shelby Ashe of the USA. Navahrodskaya extended her best to 59.39m for the best qualifying mark, with Alexia Sedykh of France, Ashe and Xia Youlian, the next three safely in and expected to challenge her for the gold medal.

World Leader in Triple Jump

No youth boy had yet reached 16 metres in the triple jump for 2010 with Bulgarian Georgi Tsonov coming to Singapore as the closest at 15.91m. However, he is closest no more as Cuban Radame Fabar Sanchez wound up just one centimetre short of that standard. Ukrainian Yevgen Strokan also beat the previous world leader at 15.92m. Tsonov placed fifth and will go to the finals.

It took just one jump for Sweden's Khadijatou Sagnia to stamp her authority in the Triple Jump. The year leader (13.37m) hit the sand at 13.21m on her first effort. Sokhna Galle, 2010's number two (13.34m) placed second in qualifying in 12.92, but no other girl reached 12.50.

Wataru Tanaka of Japan, a 5 metres pole vaulter this year, almost went out at his opening height of 4.60m, but cleared on his third attempt. He ended up the only boy over 4.80m as six more at 4.70m will join him in the final, including world leader (5.26m) Ivan Horvat of Croatia.

Chinese revelation at 200 Metres

A look at the 2010 world youth list reveals that China's Lu Shangbin dominates the top of it with six of the seven fastest times. Lu was not competing so Xie Zhenye was that country's YOG representative and he was the Chinese who looked like the gold medal favourite. His time of 21.27 in his heat put .54 seconds of daylight between him and American Brandon Sanders. German Patrick Domogala had the second best time of 21.49 among the other three heats.

The girl's 200m heats were all run in relatively modest times, with only Nigeria's Nkiruka Florence Nwakwe under 24 seconds (23.98).

In the girl's 1000m, the 2010 leader, Anastasiya Tkachuk of the Ukraine and Africa's fastest, Tizita Ashame of Ethiopia, each won their round one race in similar fashion. They both led through 400 metres and 800 metres before crossing the line first in 2:43.55 and 2:46.34 respectively.

American Kendell Williams was one of the few 2010 world leaders not to be In Singapore, but she was actually too young to compete (born in 1995) so it was left to Amber Bryant-Brock to carry the USA banner in the girl's 400m Hurdles. She delivered with a victory at 59.46 in the first heat, finishing a few steps ahead of sub-59 hurdler Olena Kolesnychenko of the Ukraine. The second heat was even quicker with France's Aurelie Chaboudez (59.26) and Denmark's Stina Troest (59.35) posting the two fastest times.

Cuba's Norge Sotomayer, with a PR almost a full second better than the rest of the field, led the 400m hurdles qualifying at 51.74. The second seeded boy for the final will be Durgesh Kumar Pal who represents India's best chance for an athletics medal.

With Indians representing close to ten percent of Singapore's citizens and permanent residents there will surely be strong fan support for him in the Monday evening finals.
Marty Post for the IAAF