Martin Manley in the boys 400m at the IAAF World Youth Championships 2013 (© Getty Images)
Jamaica’s 16-year-old Martin Manley ran a tactically perfect 400m final for a surprise victory and to become his country’s first ever IAAF World Youth Championships gold medallist at the event as he set a new world-leading time 45.89.
It was an improvement of 0.76 on the personal best he set in his semifinal on Thursday and the second fastest time in the history of the Championships.
Drawn in lane six, one outside the US pre-event leader Ryan Clark, Manley watched his American arch-rival set out fast over the first 300 metres but then fade after the last bend he had nothing left in the tank when the time came to respond to Manley’s devastating finish in the 50 metres.
Making up ground step-after-step on the flagging American, Manley crossed the line with his arm raised in a victory salute well ahead of Clark, who managed to hold on to silver in 46.46, but it was 0.13 slower than his semifinal winning performance.
Manley’s is Jamaica’s second gold medal of these championships after Yanique Thompson’s win in a new World Youth best 100m Hurdles victory last night. Manley also moves up to second on the Jamaican all-time Youth lists at 400m behind one Usain Bolt.
Manley also moves up to second on the Jamaican all-time Youth lists at 400m behind one Usain Bolt.
In third place, Kenya’s Alexander Lerionka Sampao set a new personal best of 46.78 well clear of team mate Ian Mutuku who was third in 47.02.
Sampao’s bronze is Kenya’s third medal in the boys’ 400m in the history of the World Youth Championships and follows silver medals won by Julius Kirwa in 2005 and Alphas Kishoyian two years ago.