Justin Lagat wrote this piece about the third day of the IAAF U20 World Championships. The amazing 1,500m, the history making girls 400 meters and the fast girls 800 meters were his focus for day 3.
The men’s 1500m race was arguably going to be the most competitive and exciting race of the evening in Tampere given the start list. There was Samuel Tafera, the world indoor champion; George Manangoi, the world U18 champion; Justus Soget, famous for beating both Yomif Kejelcha and Paul Chelimo in the men’s 3000m indoor race in Glasgow and Jakob Ingebrigtsen, the European U20 champion in both the 3000m and 5,000m.
Soget took to the front at the start of the race to lead the rest in a relatively slow pace that kept the field bunched together. Tafera took his turn at the front increasing the pace gradually as they came to the bell. Manangoi didn’t seem a threat at the moment as he appeared boxed in. Soget managed to overtake Tafera on the final bend followed by Ingebrigtsen. With 100m to go, Manangoi seemed to slow down slightly just to get some space to move out to the outside lane. With a strong finishing kick, Manangoi was able to overtake Ingebrigtsen, who had just overtaken Soget, just at the finish line where he crossed in 3:41.71. Ingebrigtsen finished second in 3:41.89 ahead of Soget who came in at 3:42.14. For now, the Manangoi family members are the reigning world champions in both the junior and senior categories.
Diribe Welteji of Ethiopia dominated the women’s 800m race from the start to the finish winning the first gold medal for her nation at the championships. She was able to pace herself through the 400m mark in 58.98 to a new championship record of 1:59.74. The two athletes behind her also benefited from her pace as Carley Thomas of Australia ran a new personal best time of 2:01.13 to win the silver medal ahead of Delia Sclabas os Switzerland who ran a new U20 national record of 2:01.29 to win the bronze medal.
Even before the women 400m final, Hima Das of India had made a lot of fans from the impressive way she would finish her races so strongly on the home straight. When the time came for the final race, she never disappointed as she won it in 51.46 ahead of Andrea Miklos of Romania who finished 2nd to win silver in 52.07 and Taylor Manson of USA who took the bronze medal in 52.28.
Damion Thomas of Jamaica won the men 110mH in 13.16 ahead of compatriot Orlando Bennett in 13.33 as Japan’s Shunsuke Izumiya took third in 13.38. The women’s 100m title went to Jamaica as well with Briana Williams winning it in 11.16 as Twanisha Terry of USA and Kristal Awuha of Great Britain finished second and third.