Yusleidys Mendieta of Cuba celebrates winning the Girls' Heptathlon in Lille (Getty Images) © Copyright
Report Lille, France

Girls' Heptathlon – Powerful Cuban 1-2 punch

Just moments after Rosalia Vasquez captured Cuba’s first medal of these Championships with her triumph in the Discus Throw, Yusleidys Mendieta and Yorgelis Rodriguez added two more with their stellar 1-2 finish in the Heptathlon.

Mendieta, who chiseled together a 77-point lead after day one, forged on to tally 5697 points, the best score in the world this year, topping her teammate’s 5671 by just 26 points.  Their battle was the second closest ever at these Championships – the 2003 title was decided by just 13 points – and both ended the weekend within the Youth all-time top-10, Mendieta taking position No. 6 and Rodriquez No. 7.

Mendieta was fifth after the first event where she posted a 14.05 personal best in the 100m Hurdles then followed with another PB, a 1.78m clearance in the High Jump to move into second place behind Belgian Marjolein Lindemans who cleared an impressive 1.84m.

A 12.66m toss in the Shot Put was enough to propel her into the lead, one she padded to 77 points over the Belgian after a 24.63 dash in the 200m, another personal best.

Meanwhile, Rodriguez, 11th after the hurdles, moved up to seventh after the High Jump and into fourth after the Shot Put. A 24.76 in the 200m moved her into third and solid medal contention.

Mendieta began day two with a 5.89m leap in the Long Jump, reached a PB 43.88m in the Javelin Throw before completing the competition with a 2:35.23 in the 800m, ending her stellar two days of competition in Lille with yet another personal best.

Rodriguez produced a strong second day of her own, steadily narrowing the gap first on the Belgian, and then her teammate with a 5.81m leap in the Long Jump, a 41.06m PB Javelin toss, and a 2:24.67 run in the 800m.

Lindemans maintained her form to take the bronze with a 4837 point tally, edging her teammate Nafissatou Thiam (4738) for bronze.

Astoundingly, each of the 31 finishers produced personal bests.

Bob Ramsak for the IAAF