The first event completed on the last day of the World Youth Games, held in France had a northwest flavor with Maddie Meyers of the Northwest School in Seattle was in the thick of things. Norah Tanui of Kenya , the favorite, took the lead from the start and ran away from the competition. She separated herself by the first water jump, which saw Tejinesh Gibisa, I think, fall. Running essentially her own race Tanui zipped home in a very solid time of 6:16.41.
Lilian Chemwena ofKenya ran in second for the better part of the race but Fedwa Madane of Morocco overpowered her in the last lap to claim second in a time of 6:20.98. Motu Megersa of Ethiopia earned fourth in a time of 6:28 and Gebisa followed in 6:29. Maddie certainly gave a fine account of herself, although Tejinesh Gebisha of Wthiopia nipped her at the very end (6:29.08) but Maddie established a new national mark with her sixth place effort of 6:29.20. Brianna Nerud, also representing the US, placed seventh in a time of 6:29.56. Glacier Peak’s Amy-Eloise Neale, who is still only fifteen-years-old and faced a field aged mostly seventeen, earned eleventh in a time of 6:37.27, although she represented Great Britain.
Desiree Henry came through for Britain in the Women’s 200 Meters and claimed gold in that event with a time of 23.25. Christian Brennan of Canada secured her second silver of the Games with a time of 23.47 and Shericka Jackson of Jamaica placed third (23.62). Bealoved Brown of the US was 8th with 24.8.
Included in the early results was the victory of William Sitonik of Kenya in the 3K. He was three seconds under World Record pace through the first kilometer and he held off late challenges in the final lap to earn the victory. His time of 7:40.10 was still a solid one. You will note that the United States had no one represent it in the 3K along with numerous other events and that was because, “ It is preposterous to see zero U.S. entries in this event (Long Jump but it refers to a good number of other events including the 3K) - only athletes believed to be Top 8 contenders were selected to the team. That leaves the medal hunt a total European affair. This comment was by Joe Battaglia of Universal Sports, which covered the World Youth Games. It does not say much for USA Track & Field, which brought only 41 athletes for thirty-nine events.
Ajee Wilson of Neptune City, New Jersey unleashed a powerful kick with a little more than 200 meters to go and pulled away to an emphatic victory in the Women’s 800 Meter run. Ajee’s time of 2:02.64 was her personal best and certainly at the right time and was set up by a brisk pace of 59.62 at 400 meters. Chunyu Wang of China closed well down the home stretch to take second in a time of 2:03.23. Jessica Judd edged America’s Amy Weissenbach, who fell or dove across the finish line to claim third 2:03.43 to 2:03.59.
Vincent Mutai of Kenya set splits of 55.45, 1;55.23 & 2:56.23 but Ethiopia’s Teshame Dirisa recorded the split that matter and won the men’s 1500 Meters with a time of 3;39.11. Mutai followed with 3;39.17 but, of course, the US did not bother to bring anyone in this event.
Arman Hall anchored the Medley Relay to a World Youth Record time of 1:49.47. Japan and France secured the next two spots. The American women placed second in the event behind Jamaica 2:03.42 to 2:03.92, while the Canadian team earned third with 2:05.72. They played the Slovenian national anthem after Robert Renner won the event with 5.25. Renner had cleared numerous heights with ease. Melker Jacobsson of Sweden placed second with 5.15 and Ohio’s Joe Blankenship earned bronze with 5.05. Also of note Reinhard Van Zyl of South Africa was victorious in the Javelin with an impressive 82.96. The US once again was not represented.