Gemili steals the show as European athletes shine at world juniors in Barcelona | 12.07.2012
|Adam Gemili of Great Britain clocked a national
junior record and a championship record 10.05 to
take the 100m gold at the World Junior
Championships in Barcelona on Wednesday.
The time was also the second fastest by a European junior ever and the second fastest by a European sprinter this year, Only France's 2010 European Athlete of the Year Christophe Lemaitre, who ran 10.04 in Rome in May, has gone faster than among European sprinters this year and Lemaitre is also the holder of the European junior record when he ran the same time as a teenager in 2009.
"It was very important here to back up the 10.08 that I ran in Regensburg (Germany) last month. As far as a sub-10 is concerned, who knows? I just know that there is a lot more to come," he added, after his triumph in the same stadium as his compatriot Linford Christie took the Olympic 100m gold medal 20 years ago.
"This is a massive stepping stone. Just making the final was an achievement but the fact I had the win is so amazing. It's going to help me a lot at the Olympics. I was trying to stay relaxed because I know if I tighten up when I run, I don't run as quick. You've got to stay relaxed and stay focused and try and execute a race.
In addition to Gemili, European athletes took three other gold medals on Wednesday, exactly half of those on offer.
Russia's Ekaterina Medvedeva started off the day well when she produced a burst of acceleration 600m from the line and took the 10,000m walk title in 45:41.74.
"I've been working hard for this since the World Race Walking Cup in May. I finished fourth there and was determined not to go home without a medal and hopefully a gold," reflected her country's first gold medallist of the Championships who hails from the Russian race walking Mecca of Saransk.
"I was disappointed not to get on the podium in Saransk as I was racing at home there. Since then, my training group were all joking that I have been sent to these Championships to get a gold medal."
Coming through for the silver medal was her team mate Nadezhda Leontyeva in 45:43.64, to make it a Russian one-two in the walk for the third successive World Junior Championships.
Long junper Sergey Morgunov added to the Russian gold reserves later in the day when the recently-minted world junior record holder flew out to 8.09m with his first jump. Nobody else could go over eight metres, and nor has any junior anywhere in the world this year, but Denmark's Andrej Trajkovski excelled to take the silver with a national junior record 7.82m, his country's first medal in the history of the Championships.
Sweden´s 17-year-old javelin thrower Sophie Flinck was in stunning form as she sent her spear out to 61.40m, new national junior and senior record, with her last throw to move up from third to first.
"This is amazing," said Flinck. "I certainly did not expect the result to turn out this way. I just tried to concentrate and do what I do best."
She only celebrated her birthday on Sunday and so will be eligible for next year's European Athletics Junior Championships in the Italian town of Rieti and also to defend her world title 2014, when the host city will be Eugene in the United States.
Serbia's Marija Vucenovic threw a personal best of 57.12m to take the bronze medal behind Flinck.
Another thrower to excel was Poland's 2010 Youth Olympic Games shot put champion Krzysztof Brzozowski who set a national record of 21.78m with his first throw. He couldn't improve on that distance but it gave him the silver medal.
Turkey's Nimet Karakus, fourth at last year's European Athletics Junior Championships in Tallinn was a delighted 100m silver medallist in 11.36 while Dutch decathlete Tim Dekker had a superb competition to finish third with 7815 points, adding almost 400 points onto his previous best.
There are good European prospects as well for some of Thursday's finals.
Five Europeans are in the women's 800m final after Wednesday's semi-finals were lead by Great Britain's Jessica Judd with 2:02.30. Her compatriot Emily Dudgeon was almost as fast, winning her race in 2:02.32, while Ukraine's Anastasiya Tkachuk was also an impressive winner of the opening semi-final in 2:02.50 with Iceland's Anita Hinriksdóttir just two strides behind her in a national senior record of 2:03.15.
Cuba's Yordan O'Farrill looks the class act in the men's 110m hurdles but France's Wilhem Belocian has been having a competition to remember and could yet surprise.
He lowered his personal best to 13.63 in his heat on Tuesday and the 2011 World Youth Championships bronze medallist then blazed to a new French junior record of 13.30 in his semi-final.