Julia Ritter at the IAAF World Youth Championships, Cali 2015 (© Getty Images)
Taking firm control of the competition from the third round, Julia Ritter claimed a well-deserved victory at the IAAF World Youth Championships, Cali 2015 in the girls’ shot put to become the second to win this event at these championships for Germany.
Opening with a modest 16.75m toss, she was quickly overtaken by USA’s Sophia Rivera of the USA who reached 16.97m just minutes before crossing the infield to the javelin runway where she was competing simultaneously.
Ritter retook the lead with 17.27m with her second effort, only to be again bettered by Rivera, who responded with 17.66m.
The German hit back hard in round three, launching the 3kg shot to 18.34m, an effort beyond Rivera's personal best.
Ritter improved further to 18.53m, a personal best which solidified her seventh spot on the world youth all-time list, before closing out with 17.73m and 17.12m tosses.
“I cannot believe this,” said Ritter, who arrived in Cali with an 18.51m lifetime best to her credit.
“After the first attempt I thought that I would get nothing, but then I threw 17 meters and then the personal best. Now I know how Robert Harting and David Storl feel after such a success.”
Rivera meanwhile fouled in round three, produced a pair of sub-16.30m throws before regrouping in the final round, when she improved to 17.93m.
At the other end of the infield, she finished a respectable eighth in the javelin, where she threw 50.85m.
“I was only second, but I enjoyed it,” Rivera said. “And I would do it all again to compete in both finals.”
To accommodate her unique double duty, Rivera was accompanied by an official between competition areas where her quick preparation required, among other things, changing her shoes.
Kristina Rakocevic became the first double medallist at Cali 2015, adding bronze at this event to the silver she won in the discus throw on Wednesday.
The Montenegrin reached 17.49m in round three, just enough to hold of Poland’s Maja Slepowronska who putted 17.41m in round four.
Bob Ramsak for the IAAF