Belarus's Churyla and Britain's Johnson-Thompson are world juniors winners | 14.07.2012
Belarus high jumper Andrei Churyla and British long jumper Katarina Johnson-Thompson added to Europe's gold medal haul at the IAAF World Junior Championships on the fourth day of the event in Barcelona on Friday.
Churyla was one of three men to go over 2.24m, before the trio all brought the bar down three times at the next height of 2.26m, but got the victory on the basis of fewer failures on the night.
He was the only one of the three men still in the competition at 2.24m to clear the decisive height on his second attempt and became the first Belarus winner at the World Junior Championships since 2004.
“To be frank, I did not expect this result. It was very unexpected. I was just praying that my rivals did not clear 2.26m as I'm not sure I could have gone any higher,” said Churyla, although he is the joint leader of the world's junior's in 2012 having recently cleared 2.28m.
Taking the silver medal at the same height was the delighted 17-year-old German jumper Falk Wendrich, who twice improved on his personal best during the competition.
He also broke the German youth record which had stood at 2.23m to Dietmar Mögenburg, the 1984 Olympic champion and former world record holder, since 1978.
“I met Dietmar for the first time in January and then on my birthday in June he wrote me a message on Facebook saying that I'd better hurry up and break his record,” beamed Wendrich, who is young enough to compete in next year's European Athletics Junior Championships and also the 2014 World Junior Championships.
Johnson-Thompson, who will contest the heptathlon at the Olympic Games, took the long jump title with a massive but wind-assisted leap of 6.81m in the third round, although she had some anxious moments while the judges measured the final jump of Germany's Lena Malkus.
However, finally Malkus' wind-assisted reading came up as 6.80m and the 2011 European Athletics Junior Championships gold medallist had to settle for silver on this occasion, although she had been lying back in sixth place at the start of the final round.
Jazmin Sawyers had the galling situation of registering a valid world-leading effort of 6.67m in the first round, which held the lead until her compatriot's winning jump two rounds later, and then fouling all five of her remaining efforts as she tried to adjust to the gusting and swirling wind.
Eventually, the 2012 Youth Winter Olympics two-man bobsleigh silver medallist took home a bronze, but was clearly unhappy at the outcome and broke down in tears at the end of the competition.
“I'm very disappointed because I felt I was capable of winning,” sobbed Sawyer.
Silver medals by European athletes on Friday were won by the Hungarian heptathlete Xenia Krizsan, who got a personal best of 5957 points, and the Russian walker Aleksandr Ivanov, who finished second in the morning's 10,000m walk in a personal best of 40:12.90.
Full results and event reports from the IAAF World Junior Championships can be found here.