Being the youngest in the field didn’t deter Talea Prepens, nor did the fact that it was just the sixth 200m final of her fledgling career. The 15-year-old produced her second PB of the championships to win the girls’ 200m title in 23.51, becoming Germany’s first winner of a world U18 title in a flat sprint event.
Having won her heat and semifinal, the latter in a PB of 23.64, Prepens lined up for the final as the fastest in the field. Drawn in lane five, she had 100m champion Mizgin Ay in the lane outside of her and 100m silver medallist Magdalena Stefanowicz further round the bend in lane eight.
Prepens was not intimidated, though. She trailed Ay and Spain’s Jael Bestue, in lane four, coming off the bend, but maintained her form well. She soon passed Ay and then overtook Bestue with about 40 metres remaining, running through the line in 23.51.
Bestue finished second in a PB of 23.61, while Ay also set a lifetime best to take bronze, the Turk crossing the line in 23.76.
Brazil’s Lorraine Martins replicated her finish from the 100m, once again finishing fourth.
“Running on such a big stage is a big experience for me,” said Prepens, who would have been too young to compete in Nairobi had she been born just four days later. “I feel good having won a gold medal and I’m looking forward to more such opportunities in future.”
Jon Mulkeen for the IAAF