Joshua Cheptegei wins the 10,000m at the 2014 IAAF World Junior Championships in Eugene (© Getty Images)
Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei, the only junior to run faster than 28 minutes this year, fulfilled his role as favourite for the men’s 10,000m by triumphing over 25 laps of the track at Hayward Field in 28:32.86 to take the first gold medal of the IAAF World Junior Championships, Oregon 2014, on Tuesday (22).
Cheptegei held off a strong challenge from the Kenyan duo Elvis Cheboi and Nicholas Kosimbei in the final two laps, finishing with final 400m of 59.6, to capture a memorable victory.
Cheboi came home second after being unable to respond to Cheptegei's final move with 200 metres to go, crossing the line in 28:35.20, while Kosimbei was third in 28:38.68.
After four events in the heptathlon, Great Britain’s Morgan Lake leads at the end of the first day with a total of 3821 points.
Lake topped the lists in the high jump, in which she jumped a British junior record of 1.94m and the best ever mark by a junior heptathlete, and the shot put to establish her lead.
Her closest pursuer is the Netherlands’ Nadine Visser, whose first-day total stands at 3652 points.
Visser won the 100m hurdles first thing in the morning with a sizzling 13.24, itself the best mark in a World Junior Championships heptathlon, and was second in the 200m to end the afternoon.
Cuba’s defending champion from 2012 Yorgelis Rodriguez, a little below-par, was third with 3561 points.
Dubler decathlon delight
At the halfway point in the decathlon, Australia’s Cedric Dubler leads with 4329 points.
Dubler set three personal bests, including an impressive 7.74m in the long jump, which was the best distance ever seen in a decathlon at the World Junior Championships, and 48.75 in 400m.
Russia’s European junior champion Evgeniy Likhanov, who took the lead after the high jump being the equal best high jumper with Dubler at 2.09m, finished the first day in second place with 4281 points.
Norway’s world youth champion Karsten Warhom, the leader after the first two events, came back to the fight for the medals by running the fastest time in 400m with 47.22. It propelled him to third place in the standings with 4238 points, two ahead of Russia’s Roman Kondratyev.
In the morning’s 100m heats, the US sprinters threw down the gauntlet to the rest of the world.
World junior record-holder (subject to ratification) Trayvon Bromell reinforced his status as the favourite by winning his heat in a speedy 10.13, a full 0.1 faster than his compatriot Kendal Williams, who was another heat winner.
Another sprinter who made a major statement of intent was Great Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith, who flew to 11.18, the fastest time in the women’s 100m heats.
Next best in the original heats was her compatriot Desiree Henry, who clocked 11.36 when winning her heat.
However, Ecuador’s Angela Tenorio was initially disqualified for a false start in the heats but her team lodged a successful appeal and she had an individual re-run at the end of the first day’s programme.
With a target time of 11.79 to qualify for the semi-finals, and the rapt attention of the crowd, the world youth bronze medallist scorched down the track in 11.27.
Kenya’s Jonathan Kiplimo Sawe was impressive in winning the first 1500m heat in 3:41.35, the fastest of the three heats by far.
In fact, all three non-automatic qualifiers for the final came from this heat.
Behind Sawe, Slovenia’s Jan Petrac showed a useful turn of speed to come home second in 3:43.15, a national junior record.
Omoregie on form
Former European junior record-holder David Omoregie was slick over the barriers in the 110m hurdlers heats, the Briton clocking 13.24, the third-fastest time ever at the IAAF World Junior Championships.
The two other expected gold medal contenders, France’s Wilhem Belocian and Jamaica’s Tyler Mason, were also comfortable heat winners in 13.40 and 13.44 respectively, the second and third fastest times of the morning.
The formbook was followed in the women’s hammer as Ukraine’s Alona Shamotina and Hungary’s world youth champion Reka Gyuratz, the top two juniors in the world this year, were one and two in qualification, throwing 64.78m and 63.73m respectively.
The women’s 800m heats saw all the likely protagonists progress to the semi-finals, with Iceland’s Anita Hinriksdottir the fastest in 2:03.41.
However, there was one notable casualty in the women’s pole vault when Venezuela’s area junior record-holder and world youth champion Robeilys Peinado crashed out at her opening height with three failures at 3.75m.
The judges decided to call a halt to the competition after 4.10m rather than raise the bar to the automatic qualifying height of 4.15m and advanced 14 athletes to the final, including three athletes who had cleared 4.00m at their first attempt but went no higher.
Poland’s Maria Andrejczyk led the way in the women’s javelin qualifiers with 56.23m, with Sweden’s event favourite and defending champion Sofi Flink the only other woman to throw farther than 56 metres with 56.04m.
There were only six automatic qualifiers who threw over the qualifying standard of 53.00m, but both Andrejczyk and Flink made it look easy, needing only one throw apiece.
There were eight men under 47 seconds in the men’s 400m heats, led by Japan’s Nobuya Kato with 46.23.
Event favourites Tyler Brown from the USA and Machal Cedenio from Trinidad and Tobago both won their heats with plenty to spare in 46.45 and 46.60 respectively.
Norway’s Nadia Akpana Assa was the best of the women’s long jump qualifiers with a national junior record of 6.39m but there were problems for several jumpers.
Among them were Nigeria’s Ese Brume who has jumped 6.68m this year and China’s Asian junior silver medallist Wang Rong. Neither woman could get close to six metres and were eliminated.
Phil Minshull for the IAAF