Christopher Taylor clocks 45.27 400m in Cali, while Catherine Reid bags bronze for Britain in women’s event
Jamaica’s Christopher Taylor improved his own 400m world age-15 best to 45.27 on Friday night to win at the IAAF World Youth Championships in Cali, Colombia.
The mark, which consolidates his sixth place on the world youth all-time list between a certain Kirani James and Usain Bolt, missed James’ championships record set in 2009 by just 0.03.
“It was very hard to race today, the guys were so strong,” said Taylor, “but I am happy to clinch the first gold medal for Jamaica in this championship.
“It is fantastic to run here in this stadium with that amazing crowd.”
The 15-year-old, who had led the world youth rankings heading into the competition with 45.55 from Kingston in June, had moved up on the world all-time list after running 45.30 in the semi finals.
He had cruised through the first two rounds but in the final faced a bit more pressure from USA’s Josephus Lyles and Keshun Reed. Lyles improved his PB to 45.46 to take silver ahead of Reed who ran 45.96.
In fourth, fifth and sixth place respectively, Jamal Walton of the Cayman Islands (45.99), Botswana’s Karabo Sibanda (46.03) and Australia’s Louis Stenmark (46.29) all ran personal bests. Racing in front of a home crowd, Anthony Jose Zambrano clocked 46.57 for seventh after having run a lifetime best of 46.27 in the heats.
In the girls’ event, Catherine Reid took almost a second off her PB to bag bronze for Britain in a race won by Bahrain’s Salwa Eid Naser in a world-leading and personal best time of 51.50.
On a day that had seen Great Britain win a European junior 1-2 in the event in Sweden, Reid proved that there is plenty of promise in this event for the nation in the future as she improved on the 53.20 PB she had run in the semi finals with 52.25 to win a medal as her team-mate Hannah Williams, the sister of European and Commonwealth medallist Jodie, clocked a 53.24 PB in sixth.
Naser had started reasonably conservatively, with USA’s Lynna Irby looking dominant in the first half of the race. But the battle began in the final 200m and Naser stormed down the home straight and across the line to become Bahrain’s first female world youth champion with Irby securing silver in 51.79.
“It is amazing to win the first gold medal for my country. I am so proud and it is my biggest success by far,” said Naser, the 2014 Youth Olympics silver medallist. “I have done athletics since I was seven years old and my personal highlight was the Youth Olympics in China, but this success is much more valuable to me.”
Reid, who moves to joint seventh on the 2015 UK senior rankings with her medal-winning time, said: “I was just desperate for a medal. I’ve been so hungry for it since the semi final and I’m so happy that I have done it.
“My brother told me, run the first 200m hard because everything will come out in the last 200m and it did.”
Seven of the eight finalists clocked PBs and Williams, who ran hers in lane eight, said: “I came sixth? I can’t believe it! To come away with a PB is just amazing.
“I’m so happy for Catherine, she wanted this so much. As I was in lane eight, I just went for it and it was just an amazing experience.”
Championship records fell in the boys’ 1500m and boys’ hammer on day three of the competition. On an eventful day for the 1500m, with Genzebe Dibaba breaking the women’s world record in Monaco and Asbel Kiprop going to third on the men’s all-time list with his run at the same Herculis meeting, Kenya’s Kumari Taki front ran his way to world youth victory and clocked a 3:36.38 lifetime best to take 0.39 off Robert Biwott’s two-year-old record.
Silver was claimed by Ethiopia’s Mulugeta Assefa in a 3:41.10 PB as Kenya’s Lawi Kosgei, who had tried to stick with his winning team-mate in the first half of the race, ran 3:41.43 for bronze.
Describing his victory as a “wonderful success”, Taki, who moved to 10th on the world youth all-time list following what was his first competition outside of Africa, said: “It was amazing to improve my personal best and set a championship record. I hope to compete more on the international level.”
Britain’s James Gormley was pleased with how he executed the race to finish fifth in 3:48.31 and said: “Usually when I go out on the track I surprise myself but today I really can’t believe how well I have done. I decided to run from the back and work my way through and it just worked so well. I am chuffed to bits!”
Over in the hammer and Ukraine’s Hlib Piskunov threw a championship record of 84.91m to take the title ahead of his team-mate Mykhailo Havryliuk with 78.93m. Britain’s Jake Norris finished seventh after his first-round throw of 72.58m.
Kenya claimed a 1-2 in the girls’ 2000m steeplechase, Celliphine Chepteek Chespol getting the win ahead of Sandrafelis Chebet Tuei – 6:17.15 PB to 6:17.15. France’s Matteo Ngo took the 110m hurdles title in a 13.53 PB in an incredibly close race as just 0.04 separated the first six athletes.
World junior silver medallist Michaela Hruba of Czech Republic won the high jump title by eight centimetres with her clearance of 1.90m as GB’s Ada’ora Chigbo finished joint sixth with 1.75m, while Christian Atanay Napoles added the triple jump title to the long jump gold his fellow Cuban Maykel Demetrio Masso had won the night before, leaping 16.13m in the first round for victory.
Britain’s Michelle Hughes had been among the athletes to get off to a strong start in the heptathlon, clocking a big PB of 13.91 to win her 100m hurdles heat. That time was the eighth quickest overall, with the top six times coming from the final heat, led by Cuba’s Adriana Rodriguez with a 13.43 PB. Hughes’ fellow Briton Niamh Emerson ran a 14.18 PB.
Rodriguez leads the competition after four events with her 3678 points, while Hughes’ total so far of 3292 points places her 14th and Emerson sits 15th with 3283 points.
Also on Friday, USA’s Candace Hill continued her winning ways in Cali, the 100m champion clocking 23.93 to take the first 200m heat and secure a spot in Saturday’s semi final. That time was third quickest overall as her team-mate Lauren Rain Williams led with her 23.41 into a -1.1m/s wind.
GB’s two representatives in the boys’ 200m were among those to safely progress – Toby Harries running 21.12 and Cameron Tindle 21.19 to win their respective heats. South Africa’s Tlotliso Gift Leotlela was the quickest in the first round, running 20.82, and 100m champion Abdul Hakim Sani Brown of Japan will be among those to join them in the semi finals after also safely progressing.
Britain’s Carys McAulay also secured her place in the 800m final as Italy’s Marta Zenoni went quickest in the second round with 2:05.47.
Ethiopia’s Wogene Sebisibe and Vincent Kipyegon Ruto of Kenya won the 2000m steeplechase heats in 5:31.32 and 5:34.52 respectively. GB’s William Battershill also secured a spot in the final as a fastest loser with his time of 5:56.35.
Britain’s George Evans was among the athletes to achieve the automatic qualifying mark of 58.50m to make the discus final along with the likes of Sweden’s shot put bronze medallist Wictor Petersson. Joel Leon Benitez was another GB athlete to automatically qualify as he cleared 4.95m to make the pole vault final.
» Full results can be found at iaaf.org. World Youth Championships action resumes at 9.30am local time, 3.30pm in the UK, on Saturday