Darcy Roper (QLD) has produced Australia’s first medal at the 2016 IAAF World Under 20 Championships in Bydgoszcz (POL), winning bronze in the boy’s long jump with a mark of 7.88m (w: -1.0).
“I would have liked to get gold, a personal best would have won it, but it is what it is and that’s competing. It’s a season best so it means my season has gone onward and upwards since the beginning and I can’t complain,” Roper said.
The bronze medal adds to the silver he won at the IAAF World Youth Championships last year in Cali (COL).
“I’m pretty happy to back up again and it’s great to be here and have the whole team behind me,” Roper said.
“I think I was ranked 10th coming into this off season best jumps, so I knew that it had to be a totally different story on the day. I know now that I can perform on the day and pull it out when I need to pull it out.
Also in the long jump final was close friend and fellow Australian Shemaiah James (QLD), who finished 7th overall with a top mark of 7.59m (w: -1.6)
“I don’t think I would have been able to do it if it wasn't for Shem (James) being out there and in my ear,” Roper said.
Roper’s season best performance came in the second round, with his series also including leaps of 7.69m, 7.44m and 7.75m.
For more information on the IAAF World Under 20 Championships, including the event timetable and live results, please click here.
To view and download the Australian Team Media Guide, please click here.
SESSION TWO: THORTON CLOCKS PB TO ENSURE 400m FINAL START
A personal best of 52.12 has ensured Jessica Thornton (NSW) will progress to the girl’s 400m final on day three.
“I’m so happy right now, I was a little bit anxious about what was going to happen, I had a pretty hard semi and I came out and took the win. I didn’t expect to do that, so I’m very happy right now,” Thornton said.
If run two weeks ago Thornton's time would have been enough to ensure an individual spot at Rio 2016, but with the Qualification Period now closed internationally the result significantly boosts the strength of the women’s 4x400m relay.
“On the back straight I thought I might have gone out to hard but then I kept pushing and held on and ended up winning, I didn’t think I’d won but there you go,” Thornton added.
Australia’s fastest junior sprinter Jack Hale (TAS) finished 4th in his boy’s 100m semi-final with a time of 10.45 (w: +0.2). He will not progress to the final.
“It’s been a shocking preparation, so to throw down some decent times is great. It was a decent race out there, I tightened up a bit late and I think that cost me,” Hale said.
Hale indicated the world under-20 trip as a whole has been a positive experience.
“You definitely take a lot of positives away from it, coming away with an Australian under-20 record with 10.21 a few weeks ago is really nice but it would have nice to do it out here.”
Australia will feature two high jumpers in the final after Josh Connolly (QLD) and John Dodds (QLD) advanced with clearances of 2.16m.
After a disappointing IAAF World Youth campaign last year in Cali (COL), Connolly was motived to go one further in Bydgoszcz.
“I used it as motivation and got geed up enough to get an equal personal best,” Connolly said.
“It’s a good track, nice and springy and the crowd helped.”
After two gruelling days of competition Alec Diamond (NSW) put behind him a hard day one to score 7111 points and finish the boy’s decathlon in 18th position overall.
“It was pretty good, I had pretty terrible first day but the second day I’m pretty sure was a personal best… I happy how I put together the second day,” Diamond said.
It wasn't straight forward for Nick Andrews (NSW) in both his 110m hurdles heat and semi-final today with technical issues and a false start in the field adding to the drama on the day. Andrews won heat five with a time of 13.56 (w: +0.4), before missing out on the final with a time of 13.68 (w: +0.6) in semi-final three.
In a gutsy run Sarah Billings (VIC) pushed hard early in 800m semi-final two before finishing 6th in 2:06.86, while Lauren Ryan (VIC) produced a personal best of 9:21:21 to finish 13th overall in the final of the women’s 3000m.
SESSION ONE: WEATHERLY ADVANCES TO HAMMER FINAL
2015 IAAF World Youth Championships bronze medallist Ned Weatherly (VIC) threw his way into the boy’s hammer throw final in Bydgoszcz (POL) with a second attempt of 71.18m enough to qualify ninth overall in the final event of the morning session on day two.
“I got the job done, I’m in the final, I can't really say much more about it, Weatherly said.
“It’s a little disappointing, I would have liked to get my first throw out with the automatic qualifier, but hey it’s better to throw bad now than in the final.”
Fellow hammer thrower Nate Wilkins (QLD) failed to progress to the final after two failed throws and his only legal attempt of 65.32m leaving him in 19th place overall.
With only a few years of serious training and competing in the 110m hurdles, Jacob McCorry (NSW) was buoyant about his experience and what lies ahead after finishing fifth in heat three with a time of 13.85 (w:+0.7).
“I had a good start, I didn’t clip any of the hurdles but they were wearing me down on the 7th hurdle,” McCorry said.
“I’ve had a year and half injury free so that has been great, I only really started in year ten taking it seriously and I’ve got a lot to improve in this upcoming off season, hit the gym, get some speed work under my belt and hopefully come back for the Commonwealth Games in 2018.”
An excited Alana Yukich (WA) has advanced to the 400m hurdles semi-finals automatically after running 59.54sec and finishing fourth in heat four.
“I’m really happy with that, I just relaxed and enjoyed the race more than anything,” Yukich said.
It wasn’t to be for Julian Konle (WA) in the triple jump qualifying round after his final and only mark of 15.60m (w: -0.1) left him 20th overall.
One-lap specialist Lawson Power’s (VIC) missed out on progressing to the 400m semi-finals after a time of 48.36sec in heat five left him in 31st spot overall.
In the final track event of the day two morning session Sam Geddes (NSW) finished seventh in 100m heat four with a time of 11.98sec (w: +2.7) and didn’t make it through to the semi-finals.
What: IAAF World U20 Championships 2016
Where: Zawisza Stadium, Bydgoszcz, Poland
When: Tuesday 19 to Sunday 24 July
Social media: @AthsAust #Bydgoszcz2016
With thanks to Chris Kenner