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Previews28 Jul 2022

WU20 Cali 22 preview: jumps


Jaydon Hibbert competes at the World Athletics U20 Championships Nairobi 21 (© Dan Vernon)

More than 1500 athletes from 145 teams are set to compete at the World Athletics U20 Championships Cali 22 between 1-6 August.

Here we take a look at women's and men’s jumping events at the Pascual Guerrero Olympic Stadium.

Women’s high jump

An exciting battle is expected between Estonia’s Karmen Bruus and Angelina Topic of Serbia, with the young duo both having equalled the world U18 best of 1.96m this year.

Seventeen-year-old Bruus – who has improved by a remarkable 16 centimetres this year – reached that height en route to a seventh-place finish at the recent World Athletics Championships Oregon22, equalling the senior Estonian record in the process.

A former combined events athlete, Bruus finished seventh at the European U18 Championships in Jerusalem in July – an event which was won by Topic.

The 17-year-old Topic will be looking to significantly improve on her sixth-place finish from last year’s World U20 Championships in Nairobi.

Other notable competitors include European U20 champion Britt Weerman – the 19-year-old Dutchwoman who has cleared a 1.95m national record this season – and Estonia’s Elisabeth Pihela, the 18-year-old who placed third at the 2021 European U20 Championships and fourth at the World U20 Championships.

Men’s high jump

The outstanding favourite will be South Africa’s Brian Raats, who has set a lifetime best of 2.26m this year – an improvement of six centimetres on his pre-2022 best.

Fifth in Nairobi, the 18-year-old looks capable of capturing his first major international title, but his rivals include a trio of 2.20m jumpers in the form of Kristjan Viggo Sigfinnsson of Iceland, Italy’s Edoardo Stronati and Bulgaria’s Bozhidar Saraboyukov.

Nineteen-year-old Sigfinnsson reached the 2.20m mark for a lifetime best during the indoor season, while Stronati, 18, registered his PB clearance twice in June.

Women’s pole vault 

The Moll twins from the USA could be the stand-out performers in this event.

Seventeen-year-old Amanda and Hana have cleared 4.51m and 4.47m lifetime bests this year respectively, with Amanda improving by six centimetres and claiming the US U20 title last month. Hana’s best mark, meanwhile, came during her indoor campaign.

France’s Elise Russis and Germany’s Chiara Sistermann have both vaulted 4.30m this year, while Finland’s Silja Andersson, Canada’s Heather Abadie and France’s Lea Mauberret are all close behind on this year’s world lists.

Men’s pole vault

France’s Anthony Ammirati will be aiming to add the global U20 title to his continental crown from last year. The 19-year-old went to seventh on the world U20 all-time list last year, vaulting a PB of 5.72m.

His season’s best is just two centimetres shy of that mark and he leads this year’s world U20 list by 17 centimetres. His nearest challenger will likely be European U20 silver medallist Juho Alasaari of Finland, who has progressed by 11 centimetres this year to 5.53m.

The most improved competitor in the field is Ammirati’s 17-year-old teammate, Mathis Prod Homme, who cleared 5.45m indoors and 5.40m outdoors.

Women’s long jump

Colombia’s Natalia Linares will be one of the host nation’s biggest medal hopes at the World U20 Championships.

She set a national U20 record of 6.68m earlier in July, and had a wind-assisted 6.79m leap within the same series. She is a much-improved competitor from the one who placed 12th at the World U20 Championships in Nairobi.

She will do battle with Bulgaria’s 17-year-old Plamena Mitkova, who herself has progressed by 42 centimetres this year with a 6.58m personal best, and Slovenia’s European U18 silver medallist Brina Likar, who has registered a 6.54m lifetime best this season.

Men’s long jump

Erwan Konate will defend his long jump title in Cali, but the French athlete faces a stern test.

USA’s much improved Johnny Brackins leads the world U20 list this year with his 8.06m lifetime best. He has two wind-legal eight-metre jumps to his name this year, as well as a wind-assisted 8.17m. The 19-year-old is also a talented hurdler and triple jumper.

Italy’s Mattia Furlani, who recently won the European U18 high jump and long jump titles, has an 8.04m PB to his name this year. The 17-year-old is entered for both events for Cali but appears to have better medal prospects in the long jump.

Brazil’s Gabriel Luiz Boza is also an eight-metre jumper at his best, while Cuba’s Aniel Molina has come within five centimetres of that barrier this year. His teammate Aljeandro Parada is also close behind in terms of ability.

Women’s triple jump 

Fifteen-year-old Sharifa Davronova of Uzbekistan may be one of the youngest in the triple jump field but she’s also one of the most talented. She has a PB of 13.92m from May and has backed it up with a 13.80m in June and several other jumps beyond 13.50m.

With a 13.72m lifetime best, European U18 champion

But Clemence Rougier’s confidence will have been boosted by her recent European U18 title and 13.72m PB – more than a metre farther than her pre-2022 best. The 17-year-old from France will be joined by teammate Sohane Aucagos, who was fourth at last year’s World U20 Championships and has a 13.61m season’s best.

Other contenders include Germany’s Anna Grafin Keyserlingk, Serbia’s European U18 silver medallist Teodora Boberic and Venezuela’s Fernanda Maita.

Men’s triple jump

At last year’s World U20 Championships, Jaydon Hibbert – then aged just 16 – took silver with a PB of 16.05m.

Fast forward to 2022 and the Jamaican – who will still be young enough to compete at the 2024 World U20 Championships – leads the world U20 list with his 16.66m PB from earlier this year. He also jumped a wind-assisted 17.05m to win the Carifta title in April.

Just one other man in the field has surpassed 16 metres this year: India’s Selva Thirumaran, who has a best of 16.03m.

Several other men are tantalisingly close to 16 metres this year, including Ethan Olivier from New Zealand (15.98m), Theophilus Mudzengerere (15.92m) and Canada’s Praise Aniamaka (15.89)

Nicola Sutton for World Athletics