day is magic in Kingston
David Martin (PA) for
21 July 2002 – Kingston
- Rarely has any major athletics championships produced the incredible scenes
witnessed tonight in Jamaica's National Stadium in Kingston when the host nation
won the IAAF World Junior women's 4x100 metres gold medal.
Already a 36,000
sell-out - just before the race started, spectators were trying to climb over
the walls to watch - a thrilling contest lived up to its billing as the
Jamaican's beat off a very strong challenge from the United States, with third
placed Great Britain out of contention.
The winning quartet of
Sherone Simpson, Kerron Stewart, Anneisha Mclaughlin and Simone Facey, were
under immense pressure throughout from the Americans, but on each leg there were
blistering displays, capped by a superb anchor leg from Simone Facey.
The 100m silver
medallist produced a magical dash up the home straight, fetching the host nation
across the line in a championship record - and second fastest ever - time of
The United States team
whose predecessors set the previous world junior record of 43.38 in 1999,
finished in 43.66 with the Britons running 44.22s their quickest of the year.
When Facey crossed the
line, the crowd already screaming at fever pitch erupted to a new ear splitting,
decibel level. The victory also prompted an overwhelmed Jamaican Prime Minister
P.J. Patterson to celebrate with a congratulatory kiss on the cheek of the
country's first lady.
Hardly had the
crescendo of sound died, than the joyous spectators, revelling and sharing their
side's joy, brought it back to its previous level when the men's 4x100m relay
got underway. The sense of anticipation of a further gold medal caused another
cacophonic eruption to every ones' ears.
However on this
occasion the Jamaican's met their match - although it took a world junior record
from the United States who with slick baton changing, stormed to victory in
It was the first time
39 seconds had ever been bettered at junior level, a testament of the skill of
the American selection of Ashton Collins, Wes Felix, Ivory Williams and Willie
Hordge. Both runners-up Jamaica and bronze medallists Trinidad and Tobago posted
new national records of 39.15 and 39.17.
The relay action
continued at a momentous level. The women's 4x400m saw the first three teams to
finish set new national records. Lashinda Demus clinched victory for the United
The winner of the 400m
hurdles in a world record time, passed Lisa Miller 30 metres from the line,
denying Great Britain defending their title. The US ran 3:29.95 the third
fastest ever achieved, the runners-up 3:30.46 and Russia 3:30.72.
The US also won the
men's race clocking 3:03.71 to hold off the challenge of Jamaica who set a
national record of 3:04.06. Japan were a surprise third in 3:05.80.
Having already won the
3000m final on Tuesday's opening day, Meseret Defar achieved a marvelous double
when also improving on the 5000m silver medal she won two years ago in Santiago
With seven rivals
together at the bell, a last lap burn-up - and a terrific kick from 150m - saw
Defar after making her break untouchable, as she won in 15:54.94.
Runner-up was her
Ethiopian team mate Tirunesh Dibabar who clocked 15:55.99 with Kenya's Vivian
Cheruiyot third in 15:56.04.
Caribbean champion Anay
Tejeda opened the last day's action in fabulous style. But for a following wind
of 3.4 metres-per-second, she would have smashed the long standing world and
championship records of 12.84 and 12.96s Aliuska Lopez set in Cuban colours in
1987 and 1988.
But it was still a
mighty impressive win by Tejeda in 12.81. Behind the Cuban gold medallist,
Poland's Agnieszka Frankowska was a distant runner-up in 13.16. There was also
plenty of space between her and bronze medallist Tina Klein of Germany who ran
With the wind again
over-the-limit (+2.6m/s), Antwon Hicks added to the US domination of the
championships, winning the 110m hurdles and his country's sixth gold medal in
China's Asian champion
Shi Dongpeng finished second in 13.58 ahead of Caribbean silver medallist Shamar
Sands of the Bahamas who clocked 13.67.
Surprisingly, given its
middle distance heritage, a Kenyan had never won the women's 1500m medal. Viola
Kibiowot winning in 4:12.57 rectified the default.
The tiny Kenyan
producing her fastest ever metric mile, easily held of Ethiopia's Berhane
Herpassa (4:13.59). A personal best of 4:14.32 won the bronze medal for Russia's
A dominating sprint
from Yassine Bensghir to the finishing line with half-a-lap remaining gained a
second 1500m gold medal for Morocco at the distance, in the last three
Clocking a personal
best 3:40.72 Bensghir destroyed the challenges aimed in his direction with a
second kick in the final 100 metres from Qatar's Abdulrahman Suleiman silver
medallist in 3:41.72, with Tanzania's Samuel Newera only 0.03sec in arrears.
This year's leading
performer Igor Janik took the javelin gold medal. The Pole threw 74.16m in the
opening round. Runner-up Valdislav Shkurlatov of Russia clinched the silver
medal with a last round effort of 74.09m. Third was Korea's Sang-Jin Jung who
couldn't improve on his opening throw of 73.99m.
The pole vault saw a
world leading performance of 5.55m as Maksym Mazuryk defeated fellow Ukrainian
Vladyslav Revenko on countback.
Third was Vincent
Favretto who clinched bronze with a 5.40m. The Frenchman's better sequence
gained him the medal from Stavrous Kouroupakis of Greece, Artem Kuptsov from
Russia and his team mate Jerome Clavier who all cleared the same height.