Action from the pole vault (© Getty Images)
Japan has won silver and bronze medals in this event at previous IAAF World Youth Championships, but never gold. In 16-year-old Masaki Ejima, though, they have an athlete capable of ending that drought.
Ejima has topped the world youth lists since clearing 5.32m in Yokohama last month and, on this year's form, he goes to Cali four centimetres ahead of his nearest rival, Sweden’s Armand Duplantis.
Though Duplantis will wear the Swedish colours in Cali, he was actually born, raised and lives in the USA.
His father, Greg, was a 5.80m vaulter during a prolific international career while his mother, Helena, was an accomplished heptathlete.
Duplantis, just 15, cleared 5.28m in April this year and showed he is ready for a big showing in Cali with a 5.21m clearance in recent weeks.
Greece’s Emmanouil Karalis is another worthy of utmost respect; the 15-year-old holds a personal best of 5.25m. Some others possibly capable of springing a surprise include Russia’s Denis Akinshin, who has a best of 5.20m, and Japan’s Takaaki Yoshida, who has cleared 5.11m this year.
Cathal Dennehy for the IAAF