Peleteiro gives World Junior Championships hosts a big boost in Barcelona | 13.07.2012
Spanish triple jumper Ana Peleteiro provided the European highlight of the third day of the IAAF World Junior Championships on Thursday when she took the host country's first gold medal at the event in 12 years.
After setting a national junior record of 13.63m in Wednesday's qualifiers, Peleteiro knew she was in great shape and demonstrated it by adding one centimetre to her best in the first round of the final to take an early lead.
Peleteiro then produced a splendid second round effort of 13.96m before going out even further to world-leading 14.17m with her next effort.
Lithuania's Dovilé Dzindzaletaité will have given Peleteiro a few nail-baiting nervous moments as she also jumped 14.17m in the fifth round and then both women fouled their final attempts but the local heroine prevailed with a better second-best distance and quickly dissolved into tears.
"I wasn't able to hide them (the tears). I beat my personal best (and Spanish national record) more than half-a-metre, and I couldn't believe it," said an emotional Peleteiro.
Silver medals on Thursday went to Polish discus thrower Wojciech Praczyk, who threw 62.75m, and Croatian pole vaulter Ivan Horvat, who went over 5.55m, the same height as the Brazilian winner, but he was deprived of the victory because he had more failures during the course of the competition.
Nevertheless, Horvat was happy to have a medal hanging around his neck after no-heighting in the qualifying rounds of last year's European Athletics Junior Championships after going to Tallinn as one of the favourites.
Great Britain's Jessica Judd produced a brave run in the women's 800m and lead for much of the way but was overhauled by the United States' Ajee Wilson 30 metres from the line.
Nevertheless, Judd was delighted with her personal best of 2:00.96 in second place - just six-hundredths behind the American – and is young enough to be able to go for gold at next year's European Athletics Junior Championships in the Italian town of Rieti.
"I won a bronze at last year's World Youth Championships but didn't expect to get on the podium here. The homestretch seemed like the longest 100m of my life and there were moments when I thought I was going to get the gold but at least I can try again in two years time in Eugene," said Judd.
French hurdler Wilhem Belocian who, like Judd, was a bronze medallist at the World Youth Championships in Lille last summer, followed up his national 110m hurdles junior record in the semi-finals with another when the medals were at stake, finishing third in 13.29.
Full results and event reports from the IAAF World Junior Championships can be found here.