World Youth Games - Day 4

     Saturday marked the second-last day of action in France at the World Youth Games and accordingly there were ten finals held near Paris.   Nnenya Hailey of the United States had a very memorable day, as she won the World Championship in the 400 Meter Hurdles.  Her time of 57.93 was not only good enough for the victory but is the best mark in the world this year.   Sarah Carli of Austria earned second in the event with 58.03 and Surian Hechavarria of Cuba was third with 58.37.  Sage Watson of Canada ran 61.04, which was good for 8th in the world.

    While American athletes did not garner any Silver medals on Saturday, they did manage to claim two of the bronze variety.   US Junior Champion Shelbi Vaughan earned a medal in the Discus final with her toss of 52.58.   Rosalia Vasquez of Cuba won the event with 53.51, while Yan Liang of China placed second with 52.89.   Justin Fondren of the US contributed the nation’s other bronze medal for the day by finishing third in the High Jump final.   Competition in the event was very close and the top three finishers in the event all cleared 6.13.   The final placement was based upon misses with Gael Levecque of France having the fewest & being credited with the victory.   Usman Usmanov of Russia claimed second.

     Americans may not have made it to the medal stand in the Women’s 1500 meters but they gave a good account of themselves along the way with solid times in Lille.   Faith Kipyegon of Kenya went out early and led after 400 meters with a time of 64.45.  She lost the lead during the second lap but held the lead through 1200 Meters (3:21.15) and went on to secure the victory with a time of 4:09.48.   Runners from Ethiopia took the next two places with Senbere Teferi, the leader midway with 2:12, earning second with a time of 4:10.54.   Genet Tibioso was third with 4:11.56 & Georgia Peel of Great Britain came home fourth with 4:16.36. You can not fault anyone, who fails to come in first yet performs well, and such is the case of Cami Chapus of California, who ran her personal best (PB) time of 4:17.34 and took fifth.   Hannah Frazier of the US also had a PB with her time of 4:20.65, when she placed ninth in the event.

      The Women’s Pole Vault title went Desiree Singh of Germany, who went 4.25.   Sydney White of the US placed eighth with 4.00, which marks her personal best as well.   Pavel Parshin of Russia triumphed in the 10K Race Walk for men with 40.51.31. Kenny Perez of Columbia went 40:59 to stake his claim to second over two Mexican walkers, while Tyler Sorensen of the US was fifth with 41:23.14.  

     There were no Americans or Canadian in the Men’s 800 Meters but the times were most impressive.  It is almost stunning to note that one had to run 1:44 to obtain a medal.  Leonard Kosencha of Kenya ran 50.85 at the half-way mark en route to a winning time of 1:44.08.  Mo Aman of Ethiopia ran 1:44.58 for second edging Kenyan Timothy Kitum, who ran 1:44.98.   In other finals Latario Collie-Minns of Bahams won the Triple Jump (16.06), Egor Kuznetsov of Russia took first in the 400 meter Hurdles for men (50.97) & Louisa James of Great Britain secured a Hammer victory with 57.13.

     Hope remains for Americans in both the women’s and men’s 200 meter Dash after the semi-finals in the event were held today.   Bealoved Brown of the US placed fourth in her heat and secured the last berth in tomorrow’s finals with 23.80.  Desiree Henry of Great Britain won her heat with the fastest time of the day (23.38) to move on to the finals & Canada’s Chrtian Nrannan won her heat with 23.48.  Sadly Khamica Bingham of Canada placed third in her heat with 23.89, a personal best, and just missed qualifying for the finals.  She had the fastest time, that failed to qualify making her ninth in the world overall in the event.   For the men there will be two Americans and one Canadian in the men’s 200 meter finals tomorrow after Aldrich Bailey of the US won his heat with 21.29, a personal best, and Ronald Darby finished second in his heat with 21.08.   Canada’s Andre Azonwanna earned third in the first heat (21.21) to qualify but Wesley Best (21.91) did not make the final cut in the event.