Maresa Kahsay, winner of the 2000m steeplechase at the 2013 World Youth Championships (© Getty Images)
Jamaica had their best day yet here in Donetsk at the IAAF World Youth Championships, taking gold in the boys’ 110m Hurdles and the 400m, while Ethiopia’s Marese Kahsay set a World youth best in the 2000m Steeplechase on the third day of action.
At last year’s World Junior Championships, Kahsay finished a distant seventh in the 3000m Steeplechase. He got closer to gold at this year’s African Youth Championships, missing out by just 0.02. But the Ethiopian won the title that mattered, taking gold in the 2000m Steeplechase in Donetsk ahead of the Kenyan favourites.
Nicholas Bett and Justus Lagat of Kenya led from early on, passing halfway in 5:39.90. Kahsay was close behind them for much of the way, then moved into second place before the bell. Lagat began to fade slightly, but Bett kicked hard for home.
Coming off the final barrier, Kahsay moved into his top gear and edged ahead to take gold in 5:19.99. Bett finished second in 5:20.92 to also dip inside the previous World youth best that had stood to Morocco’s Ouhaddi Nabil since 2006.
Lagat held on for third place in 5:30.00 as the top six finishers all set lifetime bests.
Hyde sets championship record to win 110m Hurdles gold
Just 24 hours after team-mate Yanique Thompson won gold in the girls’ sprint hurdles, Jamaica’s Jaheel Hyde made it double joy for the Caribbean nation by triumphing in the 110m Hurdles final.
He had looked a gold-medal prospect in the semifinals, where he sped to victory in a PB of 13.22. But he went even quicker in the final, clocking a national youth best and championship record of 13.13 to take gold, just 0.01 outside the World youth best.
USA’s Marlon Humphrey also set a PB to take silver in 13.24 with China’s Lu Yang finishing third, also setting a PB with 13.33. Cuba’s Roger Iribarne, the top-ranked athlete heading into Donetsk, finished outside the medals in fourth with 13.46.
US favourites overtaken in 400m finals
Ryan Clark and Olivia Baker led the 2013 world youth lists heading into tonight’s 400m finals, but the US pair were caught in the home-straight in almost identical races.
Clark held a three-metre lead coming off the final bend, but Jamaica’s Martin Manley was in the adjacent lane and cruised past him with 70 metres to go. Manley forged ahead and crossed the line in 45.89, the second-fastest time by a Jamaican youth after Usain Bolt.
Clark tied up slightly, but held on for second place in 46.46. Kenya’s Alexander Sampao took bronze with a PB of 46.78 with team-mate Ian Mutuku in fourth, 47.02.
Baker, meanwhile, similarly led as she entered the home straight. But once again it was the athlete in the lane to her right, Britain’s Sabrina Bakare, who overtook the US sprinter.
Bakare crossed the line in 52.77, smashing the PB she had set in the semifinal. She is Britain’s first ever World youth champion in the 400m, but she maintains her country’s streak of World youth champions in girls’ sprint events, following Desiree Henry in 2011 (200m), Jodie Williams in 2009 (100m and 200m) and Asha Philip in 2007 (100m).
Baker took silver in 53.38, while Jamaica’s Tiffany James ran 53.56 for bronze, holding off Vietnam’s Nguyen Thi Oanh (53.80).
Marincu and Patterson take jumps titles
Romania’s Florentina Marincu arrived in Donetsk as the top-ranked long jumper, but she will be leaving with a gold medal in the Triple Jump.
After leaping 13.67m in qualifying, Marincu bounded out to 13.75m in the opening round of the final, the best outdoor performance by a youth girl this year. China’s Wang Rong, who has broken 14 metres indoors this year, soon responded with 13.69m to move into second place, pushing Brazil’s Nubia Soares down one place.
Soares, who had jumped 13.60m, was then overtaken by USA’s Keturah Orji’s 13.61m. With her final leap of the competition, Orji improved to 13.69m, but Wang remained in second place on count-back.
With no further improvements in the final round, Marincu remained the leader with her 13.75m, just 11 centimetres shy of the championship record set by compatriot Cristine Spataru a decade ago.
In the other jumps final of the evening, the girls’ High Jump, Australia’s Eleanor Patterson lived up to her pre-event favourite status to take gold.
She opened her campaign with the bar set at 1.79m, going straight into the lead with a first-time clearance. She continued to clear each bar on her first attempt, jumping 1.82m and 1.85m.
Italy’s Erika Furlani, who had jumped a PB of 1.82m to move into second, exited the competition with a failure at 1.85m. But Patterson continued jumping, clearing that height on her second attempt, then setting a PB of 1.88m.
The bronze medal was shared between South Africa’s Julia de Plessis and Morocco’s Rhizlane Siba, both jumping 1.79m.
Exciting battle in Hammer final
Following the exit of Joaquin Gomez in the qualification round, Matthew Denny headed into the boys’ Hammer final as the top-ranked athlete. And when the Australian threw 77.37m in the first round, it looked as though he was set to take gold.
But Pavel Paliakou of Belarus took the lead in round three with a throw of 78.45m, backing it up with 77.92m with his following throw.
His team-mate Raman Zholudzeu then improved to 78.55m to move into second, but Denny then reclaimed the top spot with his penultimate throw of 78.67m.
It was all to play for in the final round, but it was Croatia’s Matija Greguric who seized the opportunity best, sending his Hammer out to a PB of 79.38m to snatch pole position.
He had a nervous wait as the other three took their final attempts. Zholudzeu didn’t improve, while Denny fouled. But Paliakou threw 79.02m to move into second as Denny was once again shunted down to third place.
Lake leads overnight in Heptathlon
After a great start this morning with PBs in the 100m Hurdles and High Jump, Britain’s Morgan Lake extended her lead in the Heptathlon with the best Shot Put mark of the day, 14.59m.
She ended the day with a 25.56 clocking in the 200m, marginally outside her PB, to bring her total to 3736 – some 113 points ahead of her PB pace.
Sweden’s Emma Stenlof remained in second place after setting a PB of 13.84m in the Shot and running 25.80 in the 200m, while Germany’s Celina Leffler moved into third overall after posting the fastest time of the day in the 200m with 24.48.
Relief for Hinriksdottir in 800m semifinals
Iceland’s Anita Hinriksdottir was one of the biggest favourites in Donetsk and she ran a superb 2:04.96 to win her 800m semifinal. But moments later she and second-placed Ethiopian Kokeb Tesfaye were disqualified for breaking too early.
Fortunately for Hinriksdottir, she was later reinstated by the track referee, though Tesfaye’s disqualification was upheld.
In the other semifinal, Ethiopia’s Dureti Edao won from Australia’s Georgia Wassall, both dipping under 2:06. The US pair of Raevyn Rogers and Ersula Farrow also made it through.
Finnish athletes led each group of the boys’ Javelin qualification with Lassi Saarinen throwing 78.65m and Oliver Helander 75.80m. Slovenia’s Matija Muhar was second-best overall with 76.73m, while Hungary’s Norbert Rivasz-Toth advanced comfortably with 74.01m.
But Swedish hope Simon Latzill, who was the third-best entrant heading into Donetsk, failed to make the cut with just 69.53m.
World youth leader Lazaro Martinez used a relatively short run-up in the boys’ Triple Jump qualifying, but the Cuban still managed to qualify with ease for the final, jumping 15.48m. USA’s Keandre Bates smashed his PB by 40 centimetres to lead the qualifiers with 15.70m, while Long Jump bronze medallist Fang Yaoqing also made it through with 15.63m.
Jamaica’s Obrien Wasome, the fourth-ranked youth triple jumper this year, finished down in 17th to miss making the final.
Jon Mulkeen for the IAAF