A near one-metre improvement enabled US shot putter Adrian Piperi to secure the first gold medal of the IAAF World Youth Championships, Cali 2015 inside a breezy Pascual Guerrero Stadium on Wednesday evening (15).
In a competition which witnessed a blizzard of personal best marks among the leading contenders, it was the Texan who prevailed courtesy of a mighty second round heave of 22.00m, 94cm further than his previous best – a distance he was to coincidentally match with his final throw.
Behind, both Szymon Mazur of Poland (21.77m) and Wictor Petersson of Sweden (21.56m) also shattered their best marks to claim silver and bronze, respectively.
In fact, in a results sheet that will lift the heart, the top seven were credited with lifetime bests.
Petersson led after round one with 20.87m followed by Mazur 20.44m, with Piperi making an early claim on bronze with 20.02m before the competition exploded into life in round two.
Firstly, South African Burger Lambrechts, hurled the 5kg ball out to 20.87m to precisely match the distance first achieved by the Petersson. In a bizarre quirk, the fast-spinning Swede then registered 20.87m for the second time to briefly lead.
However, Piperi made the competition much more clear cut, punching the air in delight after recording a monster 2015 world youth leading distance of 22.00m to take a firm control of the competition.
The main mover in round three was the giant Pole, Mazur who advanced from fifth to a solid silver position, adding 49cm to his personal best with a 21.66m effort.
There was no overall movement in the top three in round four, although both Mazur with 21.77m and Petersson 21.56m solidified their silver and bronze medal positions.
Round fives and six provided no change to the overall picture, although Piperi, with the gold medal in his pocket, further demonstrated his superiority today by once again hurling the shot out to 22.00m with the final act of the competition.
He held his hand aloft in triumph following the throw. a worthy winner.
Steve Landells for the IAAF