Sergey Morozov of Russia wins the 10,000m Race Walk final at the World Youth Championships (Getty Images) © Copyright
General News Marrakech

Russia takes second double in the Race Walk

Sergey Morozov won a fourth successive ten kilometres track walk title for Russia at the IAAF/Maroc Telecom World Youth Championships in Marrakech on Saturday morning.

Morozov was content to follow the early pace until the last kilometre when assuming control of the race with Vladimir Akhmetov his Russian team mate on his shoulder.

The pair of close rivals had fought a close battle when sharing the world's leading time for the year of 42minutes 15.00seconds in Saransk in June.

But on this occasion Morozov always looked the stronger, powering away in the final 250 metres for a 5.08seconds victory in a time 42min 26.92sec.
 
Yusuki Suzuki who helped force the pace for the first seven kilometres, clinched third position in 42:43.22.

But it was a bonus for the Japanese walker, following the disqualification of China's Jianguo Zhao when he was lying in bronze medal position only 20 metres before the last lap.

There were two world leading 100 metres hurdles best performances of the year from Manuela Galtier and Natasha Ruddock when their medal campaigns got underway.

Galtier of France moved from fifth to top of the rankings list ahead of her Jamaican rival with a time of 13.24sec. Ruddock in her earlier race clocked 13.32sec.
 
Bianca Knight started her campaign to become the first girl ever to complete the sprint double when heading the list of 200 metres heat qualifiers.

The American winner of the 100m final on Thursday, cantered around her half lap of the stadium in the very fast time of 23.34sec, a stride short of her season's quickest 23.32sec.

Cuba's Aymee Martinez was the next best clocking, a summer's fastest of 23.75sec with another potential American medallist Khrystal Carter and Jamaica's Latoya King both running 23.90sec when winning their heats.

A reflection of how the Championships draws the best out of the visiting global competitors is that 23 youngsters, despite the scorching conditions, achieved personal bests.

There was an even bigger rush of speed in the men's 200m qualifiers, where the top four best performers and 22 other entrants achieved lifetime best performances.

Matteo Galvan in the last heat of the morning was fastest, the Italian breezing to a time of 21.22sec, Kosuke Kurisake of Japan runner-up in his race sharing a time of 21.30sec with Cuba's Jorge Valcarel winner of the seventh heat.

Harry Aikines-Aryeetey the 100m gold medallist from Great Britain was also untroubled,progressing in a time of 21.45sec and like Knight, clearly aiming to become the first boy to win both titles at the same Championships.

Vira Rebruk from the Ukraine headed the list of javelin qualifiers, her effort of 55.67 metres not falling far short of the 56.82m championship record set by China's Zue Juan two years ago in Sherbrooke.

Li Zhang and Ynthi Coetzee also went over 50 metres, the Chinese throwing 53.33m while the South African had a mark of 50.70m.

Yana Panteleyeva's poor long jump of 5.97m saw her relinquish the heptathlon leadership and fall to third place in the fifth event.

There was still good news for Russia with Tatyna Chernova moving into top spot thanks to a leap of 6.13m while Diane Rach's 6.09m clearance pushed the German into silver medal position.

The standings before the start of the javelin discipline  later today saw Chernova holding a score of 4252 points.

But it is still a close contest, with Rath sitting on 4232pts and Panteleyeva still very much in contention with a tally of 4228pts.