Miklos and Mignon show their speed in Tbilisi

Miklos and Mignon show their speed in Tbilisi
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Romania's Andrea Miklos took gold over 400m with a brilliant European leading time of 52.70 at the Tbilisi 2016 European Athletics Youth Championships.

Andrea Miklos produced arguably the most dominant performance of the championships thus far in the girls’ 400m final.

The Romanian improved her European leading mark to 52.70 but what was most impressive was the 17-year-old’s margin of victory. Miklos finished nearly two seconds clear of Poland’s Karolina Lozowska (54.56) with Norway’s Josefine Erikson third (55.26).

And with that performance, Miklos might have even clinched herself a place on the Romanian 4x400m team for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro next month.

Another sprinter to excel was 16-year-old Marine Mignon in the girls’ 200m final. Mignon qualified as the second fastest in the semi-finals but the Frenchwoman saved her best for the final. Mignon didn’t get out of the blocks well but she powered down the home straight to claim the gold medal in 23.35.

Factoring in her reaction time of 0.531, could she have even broken the 23-second barrier with a better start?

Britain claimed silver in the girls’ 200m courtesy of Alisha Rees in 23.70 but they went one better in the boys’ 200m. Jona Efoloko claimed the title in 21.15 with Kasper Kadestal claiming Sweden’s second medal in the boys’ sprints in Tbilisi in 21.18.

The Brits took a one-two in the girls’ 800m. Anna Burt impressed in the last 200m in the heats and semi-final but after kicking hard down the back straight, the 15-year-old was overtaken on the top bend by team-mate Isabelle Boffey who claimed the title in 2:07.19 ahead of Burt (2:08.54).

Towards the end of the programme, Jake Heyward added to the British medal tally by winning a tactical boys’ 1500m in 4:00.64. He covered the last lap in 54.24.

By contrast, the girls’ 2000m steeplechase final was a fast race from the gun in spite of the temperatures which rose up into the mid-30s in the Georgian capital. Denmark’s Anna Mark Helwigh defied the conditions to break her world youth leading mark by six seconds in 6:34.52 ahead of Hungary’s Tira Pavuk (6:41.70) and Croatia’s Lora Ontl (6:43.60).

Marisa Carvalho was heavily favoured to win the 100m hurdles title after setting a European youth best of 13.07 in the semi-finals but the Portuguese multi-eventer clipped at least three hurdles - including the last set of barriers - and trailed in last in 14.74. With Carvalho out of the running, Italy’s Desola Oki came through for the title in 13.30.

Hungary claimed silver in Amsterdam last week courtesy of Balasz Baji but they went one better in Tbilisi. Daniel Eszes claimed the 110m hurdles title on the dip in a European-leading mark of 13.39 - and just 0.01 off the world youth lead - ahead of Belgium’s Tuur Bras (13.42) and Britain’s Jason Nicholson (13.45). The top four finishers all broke their lifetime bests in the final.

The trend of athletes sealing the gold medal with their last attempts continued in the girls’ hammer with Czech Republic’s Katerina Skypalova going out to a lifetime best of 66.58m to defeat Belarus’ Tatiana Baranovich (66.16m) and Finland’s Kiira Vaananen (66.00m).

There was a gold medal for Finland in the pole vault with Alina Stromberg clearing a lifetime best of 4.15m on her third attempt while Germany’s Luka Mihota cleared 2.18m to win the high jump.

Alexandra Emelianov claimed her second gold medal in twenty fours in Tbilisi. A day after winning the discus title, the Moldovan claimed the shot put title in a lifetime best and world youth lead of 18.50m ahead of Germany’s Jule Steuer (17.97m) and Italy’s Sydney Giampietro (17.45m).

A week after Zigismunds Sirmais won the European javelin title in Amsterdam, Latvian throwers claimed gold and bronze in Tbilisi. Matiss Velps led the world youth rankings heading into the event but the pre-competition favourite had to settle for bronze with his team-mate Kristaps Jaunpujens claiming the title with 77.01m to replace Velps at the top of the rankings.  

The first set of medals were handed out in the morning in the boys’ 10,000m walk. Lukasz Niedzialek from Poland and Mitika Kaliada from Belarus had a fantastic tussle on the last lap but the latter was subsequently disqualified for lifting.

Niedzialek stopped the clock at 44:06.49 and with Kaliada disqualified, the Pole’s winning margin stretched out to nearly one-and-a-half minutes ahead of Turkey’s Abdulsalem Imuk (45:30.41) and France’s David Kuster (45:42.09).

Belarus did claim an unexpected gold medal in the boys’ 400m final with Ihar Zubko clocking a European-leading mark of 47.16 ahead of Romanian favourite Mihai Pislaru (47.46).

At the halfway stage in the decathlon, Frenchman Makenson Gletty leads with 3947 points ahead of Britain’s Sam Talbot (3883) and Spain’s Pol Vila (3866).