Pre-championships favorite Christian Atanay Napoles lived up his billing with a convincing victory in the triple jump on Friday (17), the fourth for Cuba in the event at the IAAF World Youth Championships.
The 16-year-old, who arrived in Cali as the world youth leader at 16.45m, produced his winning 16.13m leap in the first round, and into a -3.1m/s headwind, to secure a horizontal jumps sweep for the Cuban boys — Maykel Demetrio Massó won the long jump on Thursday — which was a first in IAAF World Youth Championships history.
“It felt good even though I didn’t improve my personal best,” said Napoles, who produced seven of the nine farthest leaps by a youth in the world prior to tonight’s final. “I always work hard to get a medal.”
The early evening’s swirling and shifting winds complicated matters for Napoles, who fouled four of his six attempts. His only other valid jump was measured at 15.97m, but it was an effort that only Du Mingze of China could better on the evening.
The Chinese appeared ready to challenge Napoles after opening with a 16.00m leap that added 18cm to his previous lifetime best.
He came within 10cm of 16 metres twice more before ending the competition with a 16.02m effort, his second PB on the night.
Julio Cesar Carbonell finished third with a 15.70m best to complete Cuba’s second double-medal-winning performance in the event at a World Youth Championships.
“My team-mate and I have been competing since we were children and I wish the best for him,” said Carbonell, who was competing outside of Cuba for the first time.
“The silver isn’t mine but I’m satisfied with my performance.”
Mert Cicek of Turkey nearly snuck by Carbonell with his final leap, a 15.68m lifetime best, but came up just three centimetres shy.
Bob Ramsak for the IAAF