German discus duo roll back the years | 16.07.2012
The new discus world junior champion is Anna Rüh who won gold with the final throw of the competition (62.48) in a high-class duel with compatriot, Shanice Craft (60.42) who collected silver on the final day of the IAAF World Junior Championships in Barcelona on Sunday. Bronze went to the USA’s Shelby Vaughn (60.07).
It was not a competition for the faint-hearted. Vaughn was in the lead until the very last throw with the only 60m effort of the competition.
Then Rüh stepped into the ring. At this stage she was lying in third with 58.48. She whipped round, released the implement and to the amazement of the crowd she had won gold.
For Craft, silver on the last day was to be added to the shot gold she had collected on the first day of the championships.
But she also contributed to the excitement and needed strong nerves. She had been in the lead until Vaughn and Rüh overtook her. Then with her final throw she went into silver-medal position.
But the last word was to lie with the American, since she was throwing last, but it was not to be and it was gold and silver to Germany.
“I could not have gone home only having thrown 57m,” admitted Rüh.
“I was under pressure and had to do something about it.”
As in the preliminaries, Rüh was out of sorts and had in fact not reckoned on winning old at all.
For Craft it was her second medal in six days and was “an unbelievable feeling”.
She had not felt as good as she did in the shot final. All the discus throwers had problems with the circle.
“The fact that Anna managed to put one out there gave me a real shove,” admitted Craft.
“I wanted to hear the German national anthem, I wanted the one-two,” she said.
With discus gold and silver, Rüh and Craft join an elite list of successful junior discus throwers.
In 1986 there was an equally successful German duo who collected gold and silver: Ilke Wyludda and Franka Dietszch.
All told, Germany has won 10 discus medals in the history of these championships.
In fact, Wyludda still holds the championship best performance with her 68.24 from 1988.
This year, triple world champion Dietszch was in charge of the discus squad in Barcelona.