This is Justin Lagat’s day 1-afternoon report from the World Athletics U 20 Championships in Nairobi, at the Milo Stadium Sports. Follow Justin at @lagatjustin on twitter.
The women’s followed by the men’s 100m semi-finals started the afternoon session on track. Featuring prominently on the women heats was Namibia’s Beatrice Masilingi, although Jamaica’s Tina Clayton was the one with the fastest qualification time in heat 1 of 11:34, just one micro-second faster than Masilingi.
The Botswanan, Letsile Tebogo further improved his national under 20 record by ten more micro-seconds in the men’s heats and looks to be the main contender for the gold medal.
The first final on the track was the mixed relays. Watching it, the 4 x 400m mixed relay event is definitely going to get more exciting than their one-gender counterpart. It was evident in the way the atmosphere in the stadium turned electric as Poland, Nigeria, and India battled for the top three positions towards the end.
It was a sweet victory for Nigeria in the end as Poland settle for the silver medal ahead of India taking the bronze.
Finally, the much-awaited men’s 3000m final came as the final event of the evening. From the start, it looked to be a battle between Ethiopia and Kenya with their runners having personal best times of under 8 minutes. But with less than four laps to go, the two Ethiopian runners; Tadese Worku and Ali Abdilmana began to break away from the rest of the field, and Kenya’s Bernard Kipyegon, who had been following them closely appeared to have maintained a pace that might have been too fast for him as he began to suffer as others came to overtake him. With two laps to go, the Ethiopians were clear ahead, two Eritreans running together as a pair overtook the Kenyans as they followed the leaders in pursuit.
Worku saluted to the few crowds allowed into the stadium with about 50 meters to go as he went ahead to win the world under 20 title in a new championship record of 7:42.09. Abdilmana followed to win the silver medal in 7:44.55 ahead of Eritrea’s Habtom Samuel coming for the bronze medal in 7:52.79.
There was the final of the pole vault as well where South Africa’s MirÃ¨ Reinsdorf in a new under20 area record of 4.15m won the gold medal. The silver medal went to Elise Russis of France also registering a mark of 4.15m and the bronze medal went to Canadian Heather Abadie in 4:05m.