Swedish sprinter Irene Ekelund at the 2013 World Youth Championships (© Getty Images)
Fired up after missing out on medals in yesterday’s 100m finals, Michael O’Hara of Jamaica and Irene Ekelund of Sweden were in fine form in this morning’s 200m heats on day three at the IAAF World Youth Championships in Donetsk.
Ekelund finished just fifth in the girls’ 100m final after being tipped as a medal contender. But the Swede was out for redemption in the 200m and sped to a world youth-leading 23.02.
Not only did it break her own national junior record, but it’s the fastest time in the world for three years by a youth athlete. It was also just 0.03 away from the championship record set back in 2005 by Cuba’s Aymee Martinez.
USA’s Ariana Washington and Ecuador’s Angela Tenorio, the silver and bronze medallists respectively in yesterday’s 100m final, won their heats. Britain’s Shannon Hylton was the second-fastest overall with her 23.58 heat victory.
Jamaica’s O’Hara was fourth in the boys’ 100m final yesterday, but looked more at home in the 200m this morning, clocking 20.96 to win one of the 13 heats.
The only athlete to run faster was Cuba’s Reynier Mena, the 100m bronze medallist and world youth leader, who clocked 20.91. China’s Mo Youxue, the 100m champion, also made easy work of his heat, winning in 21.53.
In a brutal first round where only the winner of each heat automatically advanced, followed by the next 11 quickest times, most of the main contenders made it through. Britain’s Thomas Somers smashed his PB with 21.09 for the third-fastest time of the day, while Nigeria’s Ejowvokoghene Divine Oduduru (21.24) and USA’s Noah Lyles (21.28) also set PBs.
Lake jumps world youth lead to take early Heptathlon lead
The final athlete left competing during this morning’s session was British heptathlete Morgan Lake and she treated the few remaining spectators to an exciting display in the High Jump.
After clearing 1.81m, she was the only athlete left jumping after Sweden’s Emma Stenlof failed three times at that height. She then cleared 1.84m on her third attempt before going over a lifetime best and world youth-leading height of 1.87m, also on her third time of asking.
But she didn’t finish there and cleared 1.90m on her first attempt to set a British youth record. Her height was just two centimetres away from the championship record in the individual event and would have been good enough to win High Jump gold at six of the past seven editions of the World Youth Championships.
Following a PB of 14.12 in the 100m Hurdles, Lake already leads by more than 100 points after just two events with 2067. Stenlof is second overall with 1946 with USA’s Alexa Harmon-Thomas in third, 1883.
Big favourites advance in Steeplechase, Hammer and Pole Vault
World junior champion Daisy Chepkemei made easy work of her qualification in the girls’ 2000m steeplechase, posting the fastest time of the day with 6:24.72. Her Kenyan team-mate Rosefline Chepngetich, the fastest youth girl this year, won the other heat in 6:46.32.
Ethiopia’s Weynshet Ansa, who finished just a couple of strides behind Chepkemei, was initially disqualified for a lane violation, but was later reinstated. Her compatriot Buzuayehu Mohamed made it through safely, finishing second in her heat. Italy’s Nicole Reina, France’s Julie Op’t’hoog and Australia’s Amy McCormick were among the other top qualifiers.
Hungarian team-mates Reka Gyuratz and Helga Volgyi are expected to put on something of an exhibition in the girls’ Hammer final after dominating the 2013 world youth lists. Both athletes made it safely through to the final, with Gyuratz leading the qualifiers with 71.72m.
As with some of the other throwing events, the Hammer has been made lighter for this edition of the World Youth Championships, so Gyuratz’s 71.72m is a championship record by default.
Aside from the Hungarians, Poland’s Katarzyna Furmanek (67.33m) and Australia’s Alexandra Hulley (67.31m) looked good in qualifying.
There were few surprises in the boy’s Pole Vault too, as medal favourites Devin King of the USA, Harry Coppell of Britain and Huang Bokai of China all qualified for the final automatically with first-time clearances at 4.85m.
But Alioune Sene of France, the fourth-best entrant heading into Donetsk, only managed 4.50m and failed to advance to the final.
Jon Mulkeen for the IAAF