Previews15 Jul 2016

Preview: women's 100m – IAAF World U20 Championships Bydgoszcz 2016


Candace Hill at the IAAF World Youth Championships, Cali 2015 (© Getty Images)

New names tend to emerge from World U20 Championships, but the three leading candidates for the women’s 100m title are already well-established names on the sprinting scene.

This race could be one of the highlights of the programme with home favourite Ewa Swoboda a bonafide medal contender. The 18-year-old won the European junior title last year but the Pole came to wider prominence this winter by setting a world indoor U20 60m record of 7.07 on home soil in Torun.

Swoboda lost just one race this winter but she didn’t get carried away about her prospects for the outdoor campaign. “I can't really think about what I can do in the summer but I doubt I'll go under 11 seconds this year. I think it'll be 11.15, 11.10,” she said after breaking the record.

Swoboda’s forecast has been largely accurate as she arrives at the championships as the third-fastest woman in the field after setting a lifetime best and national U20 record of 11.18 on her season’s debut in May. She ran in just the 4x100m relay at the European Championships in order to concentrate on her last championships as an U20 athlete.

But the woman to beat is the precocious Candace Hill, who was one of the stars of the World Youth Championships in Cali last summer. The 17-year-old claimed a sprint double, setting world U18 bests of 11.08 and 22.43 respectively before turning professional soon afterwards.

Hill acquitted herself well at the US Olympic Trials last week, just missing out on a place in the 100m final before reaching the semi-finals of the 200m.

The other leading contender is the Ato Boldon-coached Khalifa St Fort, who took the silver medal behind Hill in Cali last summer before becoming the youngest ever sprint medallist in World Championships history with bronze for Trinidad and Tobago in the 4x100m in Beijing.

St Fort comes fresh from finishing fourth at her national championships in a 11.16 PB and is expected to be called up for relay duty at the Olympic Games in Rio after the World Junior Championships.

Other medal contenders include British junior champion Imani Lansiquot and Nigeria’s Aniekeme Alphonsus, who have run 11.25 and 11.34 respectively this summer.

Steven Mills for the IAAF

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