A day after the longest standing men’s championship record was beaten with a 2.33m clearance in the high jump, Sweden’s Armand Duplantis broke another long standing record to claim the pole vault title on the final day of the European Athletics U20 Championships in Grosseto, Italy.
Duplantis’ performance was an art in economy as he ensured the gold medal with just his second jump of the competition by going clear at 5.55m on his first attempt. He then put the bar up to 5.65m and after two unconvincing efforts, Duplantis soared over the bar on his third attempt to break Maksim Tarasov’s championship record of 5.60m set in 1989 before attempting 5.80m
Armand Duplantis just misses out on 5.80m but he wins the European U20 title with a championship record of 5.65m! #Grosseto2017 pic.twitter.com/h1xliiZbSD— European Athletics (@EuroAthletics) July 23, 2017
Germany’s Bo Kanda Lita Baehre cleared 5.45m to secure the silver medal and France’s Romain Gavillon improved his lifetime best to 5.35m to claim bronze. 'My season is over now, I'll rest a bit and then trainings for the winter will begin,” said the Frenchman.
But for Duplantis, his season is far from over. The 17-year-old, who is still ranked third on the world lists with a world U20 record of 5.90m, will head to the World Championships in London next month where he is aiming to claim a medal.
Two out of three titles for Ingebrigtsen
Jakob Ingebrigtsen only made his debut at the 3000m steeplechase three weekends ago but the 16-year-old has already broken the long-standing European U20 record, qualified for the World Championships in London and now he has the continental title to his name.
Ingebrigtsen, who is also eligible for the next edition of this championships, was the fastest on paper by more than 10 seconds and despite sustaining some cuts and bruises from his fall in the 1500m final on Saturday evening, there was still plenty in the legs as the youngest athlete in the field coasted to his second title of the championships in 8:50.00.
Jakob Ingebrigtsen 'hasn't trained for the steeplechase' but he added the European U20 title to his European U20 record. pic.twitter.com/ZLL39EcvMZ— European Athletics (@EuroAthletics) July 23, 2017
Giger clocks 55.90 for 400m hurdles gold
Yasmin Giger coasted to a comfortable semifinal win but she had to battle all the way to reel in pre-race favourite Agata Zupin from Slovenia. Giger holds the Swiss U20 record on the flat and she used that flat speed to come through on the outside to claim the title and decimate her lifetime best in the process.
Giger’s pre-race lifetime best stood at 57.42 but the 17-year-old bypassed the 56-second mark altogether, stopping the clock at 55.90 to move to sixth on the European all-time U20 lists - missing Zuzana Hejnova’s championship record by just one-hundredth.
“I didn't expect to win the gold today but I had to be cool and just run till the end of the race. The atmosphere really helped because when you hear the crowd cheers for you, you can only go faster,” said Giger.
Zupin also broke the 56-second barrier for the first time in her career, setting an outright national record of 55.96 to move to eighth on the European all-time U20 lists. Last year’s European U18 champion Viivi Lehikoinen from Finland also took more than a second off her lifetime best, improving from 57.65 to 56.49 to win bronze.
Alessandro Sibilio came through late in the semifinal but dead last at the halfway point, the Italian had too much of a deficit to make up in the final as France’s Wilfried Happio claimed gold in a national U20 record of 49.93. Sibilio made a late charge to claim silver in 50.34 - nearly two seconds faster than his pre-championships lifetime best - with David Jose Pineda third in a Spanish U20 record of 50.41.
GOLD FOR FRANCE!— European Athletics (@EuroAthletics) July 23, 2017
Wilfried Happio wins gold in a national U20 record and European U20 lead of 49.93. #Grosseto2017 pic.twitter.com/82aYr3aY3o
Lamou shatters triple jump lifetime best
France also claimed the triple jump title as expected but the source of the title was a surprise. World indoor U20 record-holder Melvin Raffin had to settle for bronze with 16.82m behind 17-year-old Andrea Dallavalle from Italy (16.87m) and Martin Lamou, who improved his lifetime best from 16.34m to a European U20 lead of 16.97m in the second round.
Having won world U18 and world U20 titles in the last two seasons, Czech Republic’s Michaela Hruba capped her stellar junior career by clearing 1.93m in the high jump before three attempts at a championship record of 1.96m which would have added one centimetre to a mark jointly held by Yelena Yelesina and Mariya Kuchina.
There was an upset in the 800m final as Croatia’s Marino Bloudek fended off European U20 leader Markhim Lonsdale, 1:48.70 to 1:48.82 while Jemma Reekie put her fourth place finish in yesterday’s 3000m final behind her by claiming the 1500m title in 4:13.25. In the 5000m, the Netherlands' Jasmijn Lau won gold in 16:38.85.
Serbia has another star in the making as Milica Gardasevic followed in Ivana Spanovic's footsteps by winning the long jump title with 6.46m while Poland's Oskar Stachnik won the discus title with a season's best of 62.01m.