Track and Field

Day four report: TGI Friday for sprint fans – IAAF World Junior Championships, Oregon 2014

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Athletics fans of a certain generation will remember the 60s worldwide hit ‘Friday On My Mind’ and more than a few were humming The Easybeats' famous standard in Hayward Field after Trentavis Friday took the 200m title at the IAAF World Junior Championships, Oregon 2014 on the appropriate day of the week.

Friday sped around the curve and clocked the stunning time of 20.04; the fastest time ever seen for what the locals in Eugene like to call the furlong. He was only deprived a championship record – which still belongs to Italy’s Andrew Howe at 20.28 from 2004 – thanks to a slightly over-the-limit following wind of 2.3m/s.

However, a rough calculation suggests that if the wind had eased just a little, then Howe would no longer be the record holder.

Day three report: Ooh la la, Belocian becomes the first junior hurdler under 13 seconds – IAAF World Junior Championships, Oregon 2014

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Wilhem Belocian carried on the French tradition of producing outstanding hurdlers – think Guy Drut, Ladji Doucoure and the number one man in the world at the moment Pascal Martinot-Lagarde – when he became the first junior athlete to run the 110m hurdles faster than 13 seconds with a world junior record of 12.99.

Belocian’s time over the 99cm barriers meant that world junior records (subject to ratification) have been set on successive days at the IAAF World Junior Championships, Oregon 2014, after the 10,000m race walk standard was improved by Czech Republic’s Anezka Drahotova on Tuesday.

The European junior champion stormed out of the blocks first and the teenage talent steadily increased his lead with a seamless run over the 10 hurdles, with a 0.5m/s tailwind.

Belocian had talked about setting a world junior record from the start of the year and had clocked a European junior record of 13.15 recently but his margin of improvement over the previous world record of 13.14, set by the USA’s Eddie Lovett in 2011, was still jaw-dropping.

Come rain or shine, Drahotova's fine after world record walk

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Anezka Drahotova couldn’t hide her joy following her world junior record* in the 10,000m race walk, the first of the IAAF World Junior Championships, Oregon 2014, but is already setting bigger goals at the senior level.

“It is a very special feeling. I expected the world record. Before going to bed, I thought it would a dream to break it here, but first I wanted to win and then go for the world record. I was really motivated for this race,” a smiling Drahotova told reporters following her 42:47.25 performance at Hayfield Field on the second day in Eugene.

She credited her twin sister, Eliska, for a hand in the world record. “I appreciate having her by my side.” Eliska, third at the 2013 European Junior Championships, didn’t make it to the finish line on this occasion as she was disqualified.

In addition to 36 rivals on the start line, the versatile athlete had to battle steady rain during the time she was on the track, but neither her opponents nor the elements proved to be much of an obstacle.

Day one report: Cheptegei adds to Ugandan gold reserves – Oregon 2014

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Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei, the only junior to run faster than 28 minutes this year, fulfilled his role as favourite for the men’s 10,000m by triumphing over 25 laps of the track at Hayward Field in 28:32.86 to take the first gold medal of the IAAF World Junior Championships, Oregon 2014, on Tuesday (22).

Cheptegei held off a strong challenge from the Kenyan duo Elvis Cheboi and Nicholas Kosimbei in the final two laps, finishing with final 400m of 59.6, to capture a memorable victory.

Cheboi came home second after being unable to respond to Cheptegei's final move with 200 metres to go, crossing the line in 28:35.20, while Kosimbei was third in 28:38.68.

After four events in the heptathlon, Great Britain’s Morgan Lake leads at the end of the first day with a total of 3821 points.

Kiplagat shows his class with 3:27.64 in Monaco – IAAF Diamond League

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Silas Kiplagat produced the shock of the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Monaco as he outsprinted a Kenyan compatriot who had been targeting a world record here, Asbel Kiprop, to win the 1500m in 3:27.64 on Friday (18).

Kiplagat’s thrilling performance made him the fourth fastest man in history.

His mark was, of course, the best run this year, and an IAAF Diamond League record, trimming 0.08 off the time Kiprop set in winning here last year.

For the two-time world champion, who finished in a season’s best of 3:28.45, it was a huge anti-climax after he had prepared for a supposed attempt on Hicham El Guerrouj’s 16-year-old world record of 3:26.00 by setting the fastest 800m time of the year, 1:43.34, at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Paris earlier this month.

“At 1200m I knew the race was too slow,” said Kiprop. “We went through in 2:47 and I had asked for 2:45. In the home straight, I could see the others behind me on the big screen and I knew they would get back on me. I could see Silas coming closer and closer. It was a tough race.”