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World Junior Record for Carolina Kluft

World Junior record for Carolina Kluft
David Martin (PA) for the IAAF

20 July 2002 - Sweden's Caroline Kluft defended her World Junior Championships heptathlon title in the best possible style of any great champion when smashing the world record in Kingston.

In the final contest of the seven events competition, Kluft was set a target of running 2:13.88 or quicker to break the 1983 mark of 6465 points achieved by East German Sybille Thiel when winning the European junior title in Schwechat.

After a stunning competition where she set two personal best performances on each day, Kluft rose brilliantly to what was a tough challenge. Hitting the front almost immediately she covered the first lap in 65.45.

Then racing against the clock, this year's European Indoors senior bronze medallist, made history when crossing the finishing line in 2:13.55 and amassing the new record score of 6470 points. Second with a score of 5727pts was Kazakhstan's Olga Alekseyeva with Russia's Olga Levenkova third on 5712 points.

Kluft who started the Championships with a personal best tally of 6274 points, worked tirelessly in both sessions. After achieving personal bests for the 100m hurdles, high jump - with a national junior record of 1.92m on day one, she excelled again in the javelin and more importantly, the 800m.

Her incredible victory in the harsh heat and humidity, saw Kluft follow in the footsteps of Svetla Dimitrova. The Bulgarian won the first two championship crowns beginning in 1986.

Kruft insisted she hadn't planned attacking the world record. "I didn't know anything about it until after the first day. I came here to take the gold medal and improve my personal record."

Admitting she was nervous before tackling the vital two track circuits, Kruft said: "I just wanted the crowd to help me do it. I'm very good when people scream at me and make lots of noise."

Ten years after Haile Gebrselassie won the World Junior 10000 metres title - after being punched in the back by a disillusioned rival in the finishing straight - there was another authorative Ethiopian victory.

After winning this year's World junior cross country title, no one doubted, as is the tradition, much more would be heard of Gebre-egziabhe Gebremariam, another awesome Ethiopian teenager.

In a style reminiscent of the great "Emperor Haile" himself, Gebremariam - who only once and very briefly put his nose at the front of the field with four laps remaining - won a second global gold medal with a searing sprint finish, in 29:02.71.

The 10,000m debutant and his team mate Sileshi Sihine, waited until the final circuit before destroying the challenge of Solomon Busiendigh who had for almost the final 3000 metres, towed them around their 25 laps encounter.

First Sihine hit Busiendigh with a hurtful burst which silenced any hopes of a third successive Kenyan win. Then he himself had nothing left in the tank when his more able colleague burst for the finishing line at the beginning of the final straight.

Sihine finished in 29:03.74 with Busiendigh clocking 29:05.96 - good running in the intense heat and humidity of Jamaica's National Stadium. Tonight belonged to Ethiopia. But after nine championships, Kenya still lead by a score of 5-4.

Earlier there had been success for Kenya. The two fastest men in the race, Michael Kipyego and David Kirwa easily achievd a one-two in the 3000m steeplechase after shaking off the challenge of Abubaker Ali Kamal around the last lap.

Kipyego won easily from his team mate in 8:29.54. Kirwa clocked 8:31.44 ahead of Kamal who, if not virtually stopping when misjudging the last barrier, would have ran an even faster Qatar record of 8:33.67.

Ivana Brkljacic repeated her hammer victory of two years ago in Santiago de Chile. The Croatian raised her championship record by almost three metres to 65.39m. Second was this year's world leader Martina Danislova of Slovakia who threw 63.91m. The bronze medal was claimed by Russia's Yuliya Rozenfeld wit a personal best 60.83m.

Blanka Vlasic defended her title in great style. The Croatian lifted her world leading junior mark for this year by two centimetres to 1.96m. In a low key event the silver medal was claimed by Poland's Anna Ksok who jumped 1.87m beating the Australian Petrina Price on countback.

There was an Oceania record for shot put winner Valerie Adams. The New Zealander claimed the gold medal with her opening throw of 17.73m. Ying Zhang of China and Laura Gerraughty from the US were second and third with bests of 16.76m and 16.62m.

Thre triple jump was won by David Giralt. The Cuban's winning jump of 16.68m came in the second round. Runner-up was China's Li Yanxi only two centimetres behind with a personal best. The bronze medal went to Russia's Aleksandr Sergeyev who cleared 16.55m.

Sunday night's 4x100m relays promise to be superb races. In the men's the United States produced the fastest time of the semi finals running a world leader of 39.18.

The previous best of 39.95 had already been beaten in the first race. Jamaica held off Trinidad and Tobago both Caribbean nations setting national records of 39.38 and 39.50.

Brazil also made progress with a South American record time of 39.75 with Germany producing their fastest this year with a 39.85.

The women's races contests were equally impressive. Three times gold medallists Jamaica ran a world leading 43.85. Then there was also a slick performance from the US quartet, winner of their heat in 43.92.