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World Under-20 Champs underway in Cali

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Published in Athletics
Tuesday, 02 August 2022 04:24
First medals decided in Colombia with some good British performances as Kenya and Ethiopia take the first gold medals

Kenya won the first gold of the World Under-20 Championships as Betty Chelangat’s 9:01.03 – her first race outside Kenya – headed Ethiopian Tsiyon Abebe (9:03.85) and Kenyan Nancy Cherop (9:05.98).

The Ethiopian runner-up, who reportedly is just 15 years old, has an 8:44.82 PB from the Rabat Diamond league.

Finland’s Ilona Mononen was the top European in fifth in 9:21.12 in hot conditions.

It did not go as well for Kenya in the men’s 5000m as they managed just a sixth and an eighth place.

Addisu Yihune, who ran 13:02.10 in Italy in May, showed he also has the finishing pace as courtesy of a 2:32 closing kilometre he won in 14:03.05 as Eritrea through Merhawi Mebrhtu (14:03.33) and Habtom Samuel (14:03.67) took the other medals.

Addisu Yihune (Marta Gorczynska for World Athletics)

Ireland’s Dean Casey (14:37.79) was the leading European in 13th (14:37.79) as Briton Johnny Livingstone struggled in the heat and was 19th in 15:01.59.

As expected, Letsile Tebogo, who impressed in Eugene with a world under-20 record, set another record here as his 10.00 (-0.6) was a championships best.

Malaysian Muhd Azee Fahmi also impressed with a 10.09 (0.8) in a different heat.

Britain’s Michael Onilogbo won his heat in 10.39 (-1.2).

Sammy Ball is well placed after a superb first day in the decathlon.

He opened with a 10.90 (0.9) 100m PB, followed with a solid 6.71m (1.4) long jump and shot (14.55m) and high jump (1.96m) before producing a near one-second PB at 400m with a fine 48.43.

Overnight that gives him a 4046 score putting him fourth, 99 points off of a medal position as Netherlands’ Gabriel Emmanuel (4276) – only 12th in last year’s European Under-20 Championships – leads from Sweden’s Jacob Thelander (4192) and Canada’s Nate Paris (4145).

Emmanuel’s marks were 10.68, 7.30m, 15.09m, 2.02m and 49.46.

Another Dutch athlete in great form was Matthew Sophia who was dominant in the 110m hurdles heats as his 13.10 was a world under-20 lead though no wind was recorded.

The only other athlete inside 13.60 was Antoine Andrews who set a Bahamas junior record 13.36 (1.6).

Zara Obamakinwa qualified superbly as the third best in the discus with a 51.99m PB. Her previous best was 50.19m.

Sweden’s Emma Sralla with 54.51m was clearly the pick of the throwers.

Gemma Tutton had a clear record in the pole vault qualifying and a 4.05m sufficed to make the final as joint best rather than the originally advertised 4.25m.

GB captain Sophie Ashurst also qualified but needed two jumps at 3.95m and three at 4.05m.

Cleo Agyepong qualified for the shot final with a throw of 14.63m as Uzbekistan’s Malika Nasreddinova headed the 12 qualifiers with a PB 16.13m.

Ethan Hussey qualified for the 1500m final with a 3:46.18 clocking. The 3:34.02 and top-ranked performer Reynold Cheruiyot of Kenya was easily fastest with 3:40.96.

Kenya also had the quickest women’s steeplechase qualifier with Faith Cherotich’s 9:38.18.

American Juliette Whittaker was the quickest women’s 800m heat qualifier with 2:04.92 as Abigail Ives easily qualified for the semi finals with a second place 2:07.35 in her heat.

However, Iris Downes failed to advance as her 2:10.56 left her 16 hundredths of a second short of an automatic qualifying spot.

Britain qualified fifth best in the mixed relay with their team of Brodie Young, Etty Sisson, Cameron McGregor and Poppy Malik recording 3:22.77 as USA topped qualifiers with 3:18.65.

Cuban Alejandro Parada was the pick of the long jumpers with a 7.95m leap.

Germany’s Tizian Lauria was the only shot participant to exceed 20 metres as he threw 20.15m.

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