Jamaican 16-year-old claims 200m title on penultimate day in Tampere, while Ireland and GB relay teams secure medal success

Briana Williams stormed into the sprinting spotlight on the penultimate day of the IAAF World U20 Championships in Tampere, Finland, completing a 100m and 200m double at the age of just 16.

Less than 48 hours after winning the 100m title in 11.16, the Jamaican dominated over double the distance, breaking the championship record with her time of 22.50 ahead of USA’s Lauren Rain Williams (23.09) and Poland’s Martyna Kotwila (23.21 PB).

“I was a bit tired and nervous before the race,” the winner, who is coached by 1997 world 200m champion Ato Boldon, told the IAAF.

“In the future, I want to be the youngest Olympic medallist in Tokyo 2020, but there are a lot of chances to succeed before then as well.”

She had gone into the championships with a 200m PB of 23.11 from April but moved herself to 11th on the world under-20 all-time list with her winning time, becoming the fourth athlete to do this double after Jamaica’s Veronica Campbell-Brown in 2000, Bulgaria’s Tezdzhan Naimova in 2006 and Anthonique Strachan of Bahamas in 2012.

There were also championship record-breaking performances in the pole vault and triple jump as Sweden’s world under-20 record-holder Armand Duplantis claimed gold after just two vaults – clearing 5.50m and 5.60m – before also soaring over 5.82m on his first attempt, while Cuba’s Jordan Diaz leapt out to 16.84m, 16.91m and then 17.15m for triple jump victory.


Relay medals for Ireland and GB

The relays saw a first gold medal of the championships for USA as their men’s 4x100m quartet clocked a world under-20 lead of 38.88 ahead of Jamaica with a national under-20 record of 38.96 and Germany with 39.22. The GB team had gone out in the heats after failing to get the baton around.

There was medal success for Great Britain and Ireland in the women’s event, as Molly Scott, Gina Akpe-Moses, Ciara Neville and Patience Jumbo-Gula combined to break the Irish under-20 record with 43.90 and Britain’s Kristal Awuah, Alisha Rees, Georgina Adam and Ebony Carr bagged bronze with 44.05.

After breaking the world under-20 record last year, Germany won the title in 43.82.

Medals were shared in the men’s high jump as Greece’s Antonios Merlos and Mexico’s Roberto Vilches both cleared 2.23m on their first attempts and couldn’t be separated on countback, so they both got gold, while South Africa’s world U18 champion Breyton Poole and USA’s JuVaughn Blake also both cleared 2.23m but on their second attempts so shared the bronze.

South Africa’s Sokwakhana Zazini added the U20 title to his world U18 gold after a close race in the 400m hurdles. His winning time was 49.42 ahead of Qatar’s Bassem Hemeida (49.59 PB) and Brazil’s Alison dos Santos (49.78 PB).

Alastair Chalmers was sixth in 50.27 after breaking the British under-20 record with 50.11 in the semi-finals.


There was a Kenya one-two in the men’s 5000m as Edward Zakayo took the title in 13:20.16 from Stanley Mburu Waithaka in 13:20.57. Jakob Ingebrigtsen gets bronze in a European under-20 record of 13:20.78. GB’s Tom Mortimer was 16th in 14:37.14.

Nash Lowis won the javelin title for Australia, throwing a PB of 75.31m, while Camryn Rogers became Canada’s first female world under-20 champion, throwing 64.90m in the first round of the hammer as there was just over a metre separating the three medallists. USA’s Alyssa Wilson secured silver (64.45m) and Cuba’s Yaritza Martinez bronze (63.82m).

The first gold medal on the penultimate day of the championships was won by Mexico’s Alegna Gonzalez as she claimed the 10,000m race walk title in a North American under-20 record of 44:13.88.

Gonzalez finished ahead of Turkey’s Meryem Bekmez with a national under-20 record of 44:17.69 and Ecuador’s Glenda Morejon with a South American under-20 record of 44:19.40.

The men’s final was much closer as, after 25 laps of the track, just six-thousandths of a second separated the top two. China’s Zhang Yao got the gold and David Hurtado of Ecuador the silver as they crossed the finish line in 40:32.054 and 40:32.060 respectively.

Guatemala’s Jose Ortiz bagged bronze with a time of 40:45.26.

Qualifying news

Both Britain’s Markhim Lonsdale and Alex Botterill qualified for the 800m final, running 1:47.73 and 1:47.97 respectively.

There was a world U20-leading time of 3:07.17 by the British quartet to make the men’s 4x400m final but the USA team went even quicker in their heat with 3:05.57.

USA (3:33.11), Jamaica (3:34.22) and Australia (3:35.48) lead qualifying for the women’s 4x400m final.

USA’s Tia Jones scorched through to the 100m hurdles final with 13.06, while Jamaica’s Britany Anderson clocked a 13.10 PB in her race.

Both Yauheni Bahutski of Belarus and Wang Yuhan of China achieved the qualifying mark of 60.00m to make the discus final but GB’s James Tomlinson won’t be joining them after a best of 54.95m.

Six athletes achieved the qualifying mark of 13.20m in the first round of the women’s triple jump, led by Aleksandra Nacheva of Bulgaria’s 13.68m.

» Results can be found here, while the July 19 edition of AW will include full coverage