2018 Tampere, Finland Diary: Day 2, IAAF U20 World Champs, Exciting 3000m for women, big day for Japan, big surprise in mens' 100m final! A view from Kenya


996367000.jpgEric Harrison (bronze) , Lalu Zohri (gold), Anthony Schwartz (silver), Men's 100 meters, photo by Getty Images for IAAF

We are catching up on our coverage of the U20 IAAF World Championships. Held in Tampere, Finland, we will provide you, our readers with some insights into the meet so far, and with the amazing audio, video and content from the IAAF team in Finland as well as the fine USATF team covering the US athletes. This event looks like a big hit in terms of performances and that is what is key.

In an exciting women 3000m race where fourteen athletes out of the total seventeen who finished the race registered their personal best times, two team mates from Japan; Yuna Wada and Nazomi Tanaka, ran a well calculated race to ensure that they won the gold medal for their nation.

Soon after the gun went off, the Japanese pair started to break away from the rest. In many of the distance track races, when a less known athlete breaks away from the field, no one takes them seriously as they would soon falter and get overtaken as the race progressed. The two girls crossed the first 1,000m in 3:00.55, about 50m ahead. It was almost in an even split that they crossed the 2,000m point in 6:03.19. The gap was almost constant and it was beginning to look obvious that some of the pre-race favorites had not taken the two girls seriously as a trio of one Kenyan and two Ethiopians began a frantic chase to try and catch up with the Japanese.

Kenya's Mercy Chepkurui gave up the chase with about 600m to go. The two Ethiopians seemed to be gaining ground on the two leaders, but appeared to have made the decision to close the gap when it was already too late. With about 300m to go, one of the leading girls began to lose her strength and the two Ethiopians overtook her to secure the silver and bronze medals, but could not catch Tanaka who went ahead to win the race in an impressive personal best time of 8:54.01 as she led 13 athletes behind her to register their personal best times as well.

It was a special day for Japan at the championships as Yuki Hashioka also won a second gold medal in the men's long jump after jumping 8.03m. Tomoka Kuwazoe also won a silver medal in the women Javelin Throw which resulted in Japan moving to the top of the medal table at the end of the day.

One of the surprises of the day happened in the men's 100m final in which Lalu Zohri of Indonesia won it in a new national record time of 10.18. It was as though the officials from his country did not even expect a podium finish from him as he could hardly find his national flag to do the lap of honor after the win.

Alina Shukh of Ukraine won a gold medal for her country in the women's Javelin Throw while Madison-Lee Wesche of New Zealand won the women's Shot Put Throw.
For the Kenyan fans, it was exciting to see Mary Moraa sail through to the finals of the women 400m.

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