Hammer thrower Keri gives
Hungary first gold of the Championships
14 July 2001 Debrecen, Hungary The hosts of the IAAF/Westel World Youth Championships were rewarded with their first gold medal on the third day of the Championships by hammer thrower Andrea Keri in a thrilling contest that saw the young Hungarian throw three personal bests to earn her place on the highest step of the podium
Keri was facing stiff competition from Berta Castells of Spain and Maria Smaliachkova of Belarus and she responded splendidly, throwing down the gauntlet with her opening round effort of 56.16, the first of her personal bests and the leading performance of that round, with both Castells and Smaliachkova fouling their first attempts. In the next round, Keri upped the ante, producing a new PB of 57.64, only to see her lead demolished by the Spaniard, who threw 59.65 and seemed almost sure of victory (she has a seasons best of 61.62), but the roars of the home crowd spurred Keri on to greater things and she produced a winning 59.86 metres with her third effort. With Castells unable to improve on her second round performance, only Smaliachkova remained to threaten the Hungarian. She tried, producing 59.16 in her third round, but that was to be her best effort of the afternoon and Keri was the winner.
Tomorrow she will be rooting for her male counterpart, József Horváth, who already set a new Championships record of 77.72 metres in this mornings mens qualifying and perhaps hoping that he dreams like she did last night: "I had a dream alst night where I won the World Championships," reported Keri. "Today everything went according to that dream. It was my third throw that one the medal for me.
"Last year at the World Junior Championships in Chile, I promised Mihaly Orendi that I will do everything possible to win here in Debrecen. I still can not believe that I have won.. I would like to thank the crowd for their support, without them it would not have been possible."