Under the watchful eye of World record holder and IAAF Ambassador Mike Powell, 17-year-old Marquise Goodwin became only the third American ever to win a World Junior long jump title and amazingly the first one since Seoul 1992, a year after he was born!
A student at Rowlett, Texas, Goodwin – a fitting name – opened with a season’s best 7.74m which would prove good enough for gold as not him nor any of his eleven competitors managed to jump within 10 centimetres of this mark.
Indeed, Dzmitry Astrouski of Belarus jumped a first round 7.64m which again, would stand as the second best mark of the day and good enough for silver.
So it looked as though the podium was going to be decided after two rounds as Mubarak Jasser Al-Jaseer’s 7.57m second effort remained in bronze medal position until Spain’s Eusebio Caceres last round.
Caceres, who after competing in the boy’s Octathlon last year in Ostrava’s World Youth Championships (he finished sixth after leading for most of the competition), decided to concentrate solely on the Long Jump this year.
The Spaniard was lying into fifth until he put together a bronze medal winning 7.59m upstaging the Saudi Arabian for the last step on the podium.
For our Finnish fans, we can mention the fifth place of Roni Ollikainen with a third round effort of 7.46m.
“It feels very nice to win,” said Goodwin. “I warmed up great and I was very focused. I came out here and did what I had to do. This is my first World competition so I knew I had to be prepared for it.”
About competing for the US team Goodwin added: “It’s great. It’s every young track athlete’s dream to be able to come out here and compete for your country. It’s wonderful to be here.”
“I was shooting for 8 metres but I won and that’s what I came here to do. I guess I just wanted it more than anyone else out there.”
Laura Arcoleo for the IAAF