Ayomide Folorunso wins on home soil as nine finals are contested on day three in Naples
It was an action-packed third day of athletics at the World University Games in Naples as nine events ended at the podium.
There was everything you’d expect from an international championship with photo finishes and tactical races as well as constantly changing positions with every throw and jump.
The men’s 1500m proved to be a thrilling spectacle with eight athletes still in contention at the bell following a slow start. Polish athlete Michal Rozmys (3:53.67) was able to break to come away with the victory down a heavily populated final straight with the next seven athletes behind him all finishing within two seconds of Rozmys’ time. Britain’s Mike Wilson finished fifth in 3:54.50.
Britain’s hopes of at least doubling their athletics medal tally came in the qualifying rounds of the women’s 100m hurdles and 5000m.
Twice BUCS champion Jessica Hunter progressed in the hurdles, finishing second in her heat in 13.51 (+2.8m/sec).
Previous World University Games bronze medalist Jess Judd also looked comfortable in her 5000m, leading the field through the first 10 laps before easing up over the last two to qualify fifth.
With other athletes kicking at the bell, Judd looks to be the best rested competitor going into the final later this week.
The University Games often witnesses lesser known athletics nations thrive. This was no clearer than in the 400m events in which Mexican athletes Paola Moran Errejon (51.52) and Valente Mendoza Falcon (45.63) took top honours.
Italian Ayomide Folorunso took victory in the women’s 400m hurdles final in front of a delighted home crowd in 54.75.
Australian Catriona Bisset, who earlier became the first Australian woman for 10 years to break the two-minute barrier, took the gold in the women’s 800m in 2:01.20, holding off German athlete Christina Hering (2:01.87).
In the field events, Bulgarian Tihomir Ivanov dominated the men’s high jump, winning the competition in a season’s best of 2.30m, jumping 6cm higher than the next competitor.
Lithuanian Liveta Jasiunaite waited until the fifth round to throw the gold-winning distance of 60.36m in the women’s javelin, 21cm further than Japan’s Haruka Kitaguchi. Meanwhile Azerbaijan athlete Nazim Babyev won the men’s triple jump with 16.89m.
Aaron James Booth held on to finish third in the decathlon 1500m to win the overall competition with an impressive 7827 points, a personal best for the New Zealander.
Results can be found here.