Stunning sprints set the Tallinn track ablaze

Jodie Williams celebrates after winning the 100m
gold in Tallinn.

Two stunning sprinters lit up the Tallinn track on day two of the 21st European Athletics Junior Championships this evening as Britain’s Jodie Williams smashed a 26-year-old championships record to take the women’s 100m and Frenchman Jimmy Vicaut left his rivals floundering to win the men’s dash by a huge margin.

Indeed, there were shades of Usain Bolt’s brilliant Beijing victory in the way Vicault blasted away from the field to clock 10.07, just three hundredths outside the European junior and championships record set by Christophe Lemaître two years ago.

It was a superb performance as Vicaut stretched away down the entire length of the straight to break the tape with daylight to spare, an incredible 0.34s ahead of his nearest challengers.

They happened to be a pair of Britons as Adam Gemili snatched silver in 10.41, just 0.05s in front of his teammate, David Bolarinwa.

Williams was just as impressive as the Briton burned up the track in the women’s 100m final to take gold in 11.18, breaking the championships record by three hundredths and notching up another national junior record.

“Setting the championships record is just a little added bonus,” said Williams who begins her 200m campaign tomorrow.

Williams won with a quarter of a second to spare over Dutch sprinter Jamile Samuels while Germany’s Tatjana Lofamakanda Pinto sneaked ahead of Turkey’s Nimet Karakus for bronze.

The fireworks continued in the 400m finals where Hungarian Marcell Deák-Nagy took the men’s one-lap title with a Hungarian senior record of 45.42, just six hundredths outside Roger Black’s championships record, and Bianca Razor proved to be a cut above the rest in the women’s final.

The Romanian won with a brilliant personal best of 51.96 ahead of Belarussian hope Yulia Yurenya.

Dutch star Dafne Schippers hung on through a grueling 800m to add the European junior heptathlon gold to her world junior title after two days of “ups and downs”.

The flying Dutchwoman had a lead of just 14 points over Sara Gambetta before the final event and did just enough to stay ahead of her German rival, staggering home in eighth place in 2:22.40 with Gambetta just two places back.

That added 791 to Schippers’ score to give her 6153 overall, just 19 short of her European lead but 45 ahead of Gambetta who had to be satisfied with a personal best of 6108.

French Jimmy Vicaut left his rivals floundering to win the men’s 100m
dash by a huge margin.

It was a thrilling day in the field events too where Russia’s Sergey Morgunov snatched gold at the end of a pulsating men’s long jump final with the very last action of day two of the championships.

Morgunov won by 7cm from Poland’s Tomasz Jaszczuk with a personal best of 8.18 while his teammate Evgeny Antonov leapt from sixth to third in the final round to take bronze with 7.83.

But that doesn’t tell half the story of a final in which the lead changed hands seven times, including twice on the last two jumps as the evening shadows crept across the infield.

Earlier, Quentin Bigot had dominated the men’s hammer final bagging gold for France with a superb series of throws, and Yana Borodina added the European junior triple jump crown to the world youth title she claimed two years ago.

Bigot came to Tallinn with a 78-metre throw to his name and he exceeded that here with a fifth round effort of 78.45 as the top four in a quality final all hit personal bests.

Sergiu Marghiev took silver and extended his Moldovan record to 76.60 while Elias Hakansson, the surprise of the qualifiers, bagged bronze for Sweden with a final round throw of 74.99.

Shanice Craft won an all-German battle for gold in the women’s discus final ahead of her teammate and event leader Anna Rüh. Craft trailed her compatriot by more than two metres before these championships but it was she who came out on top when it mattered most, winning the title with a personal best of 58.65.

In the sprint hurdles semi-finals, Isabelle Pedersen was made to work hard by Russia’s Ekaterina Bleskina, but the Norwegian remains the one to beat in the women’s final tomorrow after posting 13.42, her best of the year.

Britons were again to the fore in the men’s semis with Jack Meredith and Andy Pozzi winning their heats. But Belgium’s Dario Seghers will be a threat as he was fastest in the round with 13.67.

Murat Kaytan was quickest qualifier from the men’s 3000m steeplechase heats. The Turk won heat one in 8:57.68 just ahead of Russia’s event leader Ilgizar Safiulin. Frenchman Romain Collenot-Spiret won the other semi in 9:03.90.

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