Lauren Rain Williams in the 200m heats at the IAAF World Youth Championships, Cali 2015 (© Getty Images)
After a thrilling end to the decathlon on Thursday, it was the turn of the girls’combined event exponents to start going through their paces at the IAAF World Youth Championships, Cali 2015 and, slightly surprisingly, it was Germany’s Lisa Maihofer who led the way after two events in the heptathlon on Friday morning (17).
Maihofer, from the town of Bargau just east of Stuttgart, made an impressive start and took 0.24 off her 100m hurdles best with a time of 13.69 in the opening event of the morning.
She then cleared 1.79m in the high jump, one of three girls to do so, although she was slightly disappointed not to get over the next height of 1.82m as she has recently raised her personal best to 1.84m
Her two-event tally of 1989 points put her 38 ahead of Cuba’s Adriana Rodriguez, who was the fastest girl in the hurdles with a personal best of 13.43 before going over 1.73m in the high jump.
Surprisingly, the two favourites for the heptathlon languish a long way down the overall standings at this stage, Austria’s Sarah Lagger is eighth and Ukraine’s Alina Shukh is 15th. First Lagger and then Shukh have revised the girls’ heptathlon world best this summer.
Wictor Petersson has already got one medal to his name from these championships after winning the shot put bronze and the Swedish thrower looks a good bet to leave with another after hurling the discus out to a personal best of 64.83m in the qualifying rounds.
Only one boy, South Africa’s Werner Visser, has thrown farther this year and he was the next best in qualifying with 61.93m.
Williams serene and swift
After the girls’ 100m on Thursday night, several of the main protagonists quickly returned to the track to contest this morning’s 200m first round.
However US sprinter Lauren Rain Williams didn’t contest the shorter distance and her freshness showed as she sped to the fastest time over what her compatriots like to call the furlong, winning her heat impressively in 23.41 into a -1.1m/s breeze.
The next best was France’s Estelle Raffai, a full half-a-second slower in 23.91.
Williams’ compatriot and 100m winner Candace Hill was third fastest when winning her heat in 23.93, although she admitted that despite the lack of celebrating and the necessity of quickly getting back to business on the track, she was still tired following the euphoria of her 100m victory.
South Africa’s Tlotlise Gift Leotela was the fastest in the boys' 200m first round, winning the last of eight heats in 20.82.
However, also qualifying comfortably by winning their heats were the 100m gold and silver medallists, Japan’s Abdul Hakim Sani Brown and Brazil’s Derick Silva, running 21.19 and 21.07 respectively.
Typically, the qualifiers in the boys’ 2000m steeplechase were led by runners from Kenya and Ethiopia.
Wogene Sebisibe was an impressive winner of the faster second heat, the Ethiopian winning in a personal best of 5:31.31 and coming home just ahead of his Kenyan rival Geoffrey Rotich, who was second in 5:32.00.
The finish was a reverse of the positions in the first heat won by Kenya’s Vincent Kipyegon Ruto, who won in 5:34.52 with Ethiopia’s Tegenu Mengistu a rather distant second in a personal best of 5:42.01.
Romania’s Georgina Iuliana Anitei established her medal credentials when she bounded out to 13.33m on her first attempt to lead the girls’ triple jump qualifiers.
Phil Minshull for the IAAF