Granted a shot at redemption, St. Thomas Aquinas’ 400-meter star Arman Hall came up golden at the the IAAF World Youth Track and Field Championships in Lille, France on Friday.
Hall originally qualified in the 200 meters but was switched to the 400 and rewarded that decision by winning the World Youth title in a personal-best 46.01.
It made Hall the first U.S. runner to win gold in the long sprint at the IAAF World Youth Championships and erased the disappointment of finishing third at the USA Youth Track & Field Championships on June 29.
Hall lowered his then world youth-leading 46.22 to post the third-fastest time for a Florida prep runner and second-fastest in meet history, trailing only the 45.24 set by Grenada’s Kirani James two years ago.
St. Thomas Aquinas track coach Alex Armenteros, who followed the race live online at home, said Hall, who also came in as the world youth leader in the 200 (20.82) remained upbeat after his uncharacteristic showing at the U.S. Youth Trials in South Carolina.
“Sometimes we don’t get a second chance but thank God Arman got one and took full advantage of it,’’ said Armenteros. “His biggest goal was to be a world champion in the open 400. He ran hard through the rounds knowing this is what he wants and he went after it.”
Hall wasted little time seizing control of the race, making up the stagger on Japan’s Takuya Fujma in the first 100 meters before pulling away from Kenya’s Leken Kishoyian on the straightaway.
Bahamian rising superstar Shaunae Miller erased any hope of Miami Jackson High School phenom Robin Reynolds giving the U.S. a sweep by winning the womens title in 51.84.
Reynolds, who qualified by winning the USA Youth Track & Field 400-meter womens title in 52.84, finished fourth in a personal-best 52.72 trailing Miller, Canada’s Christian Brennan (52.12) and Jamaica’s Olivia James (52.14).
Miller became the first woman to win a World Junior and Youth 400 title and joined Usain Bolt, among others in a select group of athletes, who have swept titles at the World Youth, World Junior, and IAAF World Championships.