Barely 30 minutes after the IAAF World Youth Championships, Cali 2015 got under way in the Colombian city, jaws dropped in the Pascual Guerrero stadium as Japan’s Abdul Hakim Sani Brown sped to a championship record of 10.30 in the first heat of the 100m on Wednesday morning (15).
Sani Brown, who has a Ghanaian father and Japanese mother, shaved 0.01 from the time set by Trinidad and Tobago’s Darrel Brown in 2001 and equalled his personal best which is also the best time by a boy this year.
Certainly the 962m altitude of the stadium helped, and expect to see some more superb times and distances in the sprints and jumps, but it was indicative of the fact that he has arrived in the Colombian city in fine form and could have the world youth best of 10.19, which belongs his compatriot Yoshihide Kiryu, in his sights.
Brazil’s Derick Silva was the next best when he won heat four in 10.42.
Almost as impressive was the US hurdler Alexis Duncan who sped to a world-youth-leading time of 13.13 in the girls' 100m hurdles, which took 0.07 off her best and moved her up to sixth on the all-time list.
Ecuador’s Maribel Vanessa Caicedo was the next best in a personal best of 13.32.
As is often traditionally the case, the decathlon – the first time it has been on the championship programme at this level as it has previously been an octathlon – also got underway on the opening morning.
Estonia’s Hans-Christian Hausenberg established a clear lead after two events with after being the quickest in the 100m with 10.83 and then coming out on top in the long jump with a leap of 7.53m.
Hausenberg has an advantage of 121 points over USA’s George Patrick, who is in second place.
Languishing down in 15th place at the moment is Germany’s event favourite Niklas Kaul but he is an outstanding thrower and will be expected to make up ground later in the competition.
Kenyans and Ethiopians dominate 1500m heats
The boys' 1500m heats went entirely to form with Ethiopia’s Mulugata Assefa looking comfortable when winning the first heat in 3:52.97, followed home by Kenya’s Lawi Kosgei.
Kosgei’s compatriot Kumari Taki then won reversed matters and won the second heat in 3:48.71, with Ethiopia’s Welde Tufa second.
Given this quartet’s pedigree and impressive showing in the heats, it would be a huge surprise if anyone else was among the medals.
Egypt’s Shehab Mohamed Abdalaziz quickly secured qualification for the boys’ shot put final when he sent his implement out to a personal best of 20.79m with his first attempt.
Also beyond 20 metres in qualifying were Poland’s Szymon Mazur with 20.77m and Sweden’s Wictor Petersson with 20.02m, both easily exceeding the automatic qualifying distance of 19.45m with their first efforts.
USA’s Josephus Lyles was the fastest boy in the 400m heats in 46.26 but just 0.01 behind him was Colombia’s Anthony Jose Zambrano in a national youth record of 46.27 to give the host nation enhanced hopes of appearing on the medal table at these championships.
Despite good conditions for high jumping, only six girls got over the automatic qualifying height of 1.80m but Czech favourite Michaela Hruba, a silver medallist at the IAAF World Junior Championships last summer, showed her experience and class when needing only two attempts – one each at 1.77m and 1.80m – to progress.
Russia’s Tatyana Ermanchenkova was also flawless among the six girls who got over 1.80m.
Canada’s Kyra Constantine made a big impression when she was the fastest in the first round of the girls’ 400m in a personal best of 53.20 but it was noticeable that many of the other expected medal contenders were running well within themselves at this stage of the competition.
Australia’s Darcy Roper gave all the other long jumpers something to think about when he flew out to 7.88m in the qualification round, a distance only he and the two Cubans, worldyouth leader Maykel Masso and Juan Miguel Echevarria, have beaten this year. Both the Cubans also qualified without too much difficulty.
Phil Minshull for the IAAF