Llano and Wilkinson steal the show

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The penultimate day of the IAAF World Under-20 Championships in Bydgoszcz brought 11 medals for Europe - with hammer gold for Norway’s Beatrice Nedberge Llano and an historic walking triumph for Great Britain’s Callum Wilkinson. Llano, 18, was the only athlete not to foul in her series of four throws - and she improved with every one on her way to a memorable success which she hopes will cement a glorious future.

After starting with 62.30m, the Norwegian then stretched it to 63.55m, a key moment as Australian Alexandra Hulley threw 63.47m in that second round.

If Llano felt the pressure of Hulley, she responded in style with 63.81m in round three before a final effort of 64.33m to confirm the title was hers.

Hulley’s 63.47m brought silver with bronze for Finland’s Suvi Koskinen from her only legal throw - 62.49m in round one.
'It’s incredible,' said Llano. 'It means so much and after the hard work I have put in, I finally get paid for it. It means a lot to my country too.'

And looking to the years ahead, Llano said: 'I am just going to train hard and hopefully I will be at the Olympics in 2024.'

At 19, Wilkinson won Britain’s first race walking title since 1964 with his victory in the 10,000m walk.

Showing brilliant acceleration off the final bend, Wilkinson won in a world under-20 lead of 40:41.62 from Ecuador’s Jhonatan Amores (40:43.33), with Europe taking bronze as Türkiye’s Salih Korkmaz (40:45.53) finished third.

It was a glorious success for Wilkinson as he became the first Briton since 1964 Olympic 20km champion Ken Matthews to win a major global walking title.

He had been in control at the front from 4000m and had too much pace for the rest, leaving himself with enough speed to secure victory.

'I knew before the race I could do it but you still have to go and deliver. As I crossed the line it was a massive feeling of relief but also disbelief. I can’t believe I am world champion,' said Wilkinson, speaking to British Athletics. 'I am sure I’ll get called that at home and won’t even realise it’s me!'

Greece’s Konstadina Romeou (13.55m) and Romania’s Georgiana-luliana Anitei (13.49m) both produced personal bests as they won silver and bronze respectively in the triple jump as China’s Ting Chen (13.85m) took gold.

Romeou’s best effort put her in the lead in the first round before Chen’s top mark in the second round, the stage of the competition where Anitei leaped furthest.

With a third-time clearance at 5.45m, Sweden’s Armand Duplantis won pole vault bronze behind American Deakin Volz (5.65m) Australia’s Kurtis Marschall (5.55m).

Duplantis then tried twice at 5.50m and once at 5.55m as he looked to climb higher up the podium.

There was further bronze for Europe in the women’s 200m on a great day for France’s Estelle Raffai who ran 23.48 as Bahrain’s Edidiong Ofonime Odiong (22.84) won from Columbia’s Evelyn Rivera (23.21).

And then as the sprint relays brought Europe a silver and two bronze, Raffai was among the medals again.

First Germany’s men 4x100m quartet of Roger Gurski, Thomas Barthel, Niels Torben Giese and Manuel Eitel broke the national under-20 record (39.13) as they finished third behind the USA (38.93) and Japan (39.01) before there was double medal glory in the women’s event.

As the USA triumphed again, in 43.69, France’s Tamara Murcia, Cynthia Leduc, Fanny Peltier and Raffai combined for silver (44.05) and Germany’s Katrin Fehm, Keshia Beverly Kwadwo, Eleni Frommann and Chantal Butzek (44.18) took bronze.

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