Days three and four at the Bydgoszcz World U20 Championships delivered face plants, wiggles, freedom and liberty. It's part two of the Bydgoszcz Wrap!
Main image: Angelica Moser celebrates after first time clearances from 4.40m up to 4.55m seal gold with a pole vault championship record
Eat my Mondo
There are innumerable ways to win gold. We don’t recommend the way that Kumari Taki claimed the men’s 1500m title on Thursday.
Scampering to the line in a frantic finish, the 17-year-old Kenyan decided the best way to hold off the late drive from Ethiopian Taresa Tolosa was to go low.
Very low, in fact. Mondo never tasted so good.
Candace Hill is a different athlete to the one who turned up for her first world champs at the world youths in Cali 12 months ago.
The American signed a professional contract earlier this year on the back of her stunning performances in 2015, when she won youth titles over 100m and 200m, setting world U18 bests in both events along the way.
Pressure is a strange thing. So is running for a living rather than fun.
Hill looked businesslike in the Bydgoszcz build-up. She duly completed the deal over 100m on Tuesday night. Mission accomplished and pressure lifted, on Wednesday morning the 17-year-old starlet couldn’t contain the smile that lit up Colombia last year.
A different athlete, but the same effervescent girl at heart.
Freedom and liberty
Polish fave Ewa Swoboda's surname appears in the title of Wolność i Swoboda by grown up Polish boyband Boys (the title translates into English as Freedom and Liberty).
That’s reason enough for the DeeJay at the Zawisza to play the rather catchy ditty every time Swoboda has taken to the track. He even squeezed in a two-second blast before the 100m final, a time when steely silence is the normal order of the day.
It did the trick, as the world junior i60m record-holder took silver “by less than half a finger” (as she claimed post-race, though 0.05 is more like three hands) behind Hill.
Good excuse for another round of Freedom and Liberty (listen here).
Have you ever been to a triple jump party?
Thursday night was a Cuban-led salto, paso, salto exhibition both on the jumps runway and in the stands.
The Crocodillos in the crowd – led by long jump gold medallist Maykel Masso and ably supported by friends from Puerto Rico – set the tone for a 1-2, fog horning, slow clapping, and even demanding silence when their men were up.
The relentless enthusiasm from the close-knit Caribbeans who’d packed the stand by the sand saw the momentum grow as the competition wore on.
Lazaro Martinez took gold with 17.06m in the penultimate round. His compatriot Cristian Napoles claimed silver with a best of 16.62m scored with his final effort.
Felicitaciones to all.
Allez Les Bleus!
Félicitations aussi a Yanis David and her rowdy French supporters. Team France belted out a powerful rendition of the Marseillaise to mark David’s long jump gold (6.42m) and her teammate Hilary Kpatcha’s bronze (6.33m) on Friday night.
Best of all, David claims she is better at the triple jump, and will go again in the hop, step, jump final on Saturday morning.
In theory the 4x100m is simple. Run 100m, pass the stick to the next person, rinse and repeat till you get back to where you started. But the relays heats on Friday afternoon proved that in practice they can be pure chaos.
The women’s prelims saw five of 17 teams fail to finish or get DQd. That’s a chaos factor of 29%.
In the first of those races the chaos applied to three out of the five teams. Baton drops by the Dutch and the Czechs and a lane violation by the Jamaicans meant Spain and Ecuador progressed to the final by virtue of being the only two teams to legally finish the race.
The mind boggles. But then, the mind can boggle when it’s not your legs doing the running or your hand doing the passing.
The Oosterwegel wiggle
Though Emma Oosterwegel didn’t make an assault on the medal places in the women’s heptathlon, she did score three personal bests (in 200m, shot put and the 100m hurdles) over the course of the two days of competition.
Three opportunities for her coaches to do the Oosterwegel wiggle. It is really a thing, and it is coming to an athletics stadium/dance floor near you soon.
Can we play you every week?
Teenagers are meant to be sleepy creatures. Sarah Lagger is not a typical teenager.
The 16-year-old won heptathlon silver at the European youth championships in Tiblisi, which finished just five days before she began the seven eventer in Byd'.
Though she didn’t perform out of her skin in any particular event in Poland – she didn’t get a win in any – the world youth silver medallist achieved the consistency necessary to succeed in multi-event competition.
Adriana Rodriguez had led from event one through six, but Lagger reeled her in on day two, and crossed the line more than seven seconds faster than the Cuban in the 800m finale to take the overall win.
“I'm totally overcome with emotion. I don't even know what happened yet,” she said.
You just won Austria’s first ever medal in the history of these championships, Sarah. And a gold one, at that.