LILLE, FRANCE – Arman Hall won the boys’ 400m in convincing fashion in a time of 46.01 to win gold and further secured Team USA’s spot atop the medal count on day three of the 2011 IAAF World Youth Championships.
At the end of day three, the U.S. leads the medal count with two gold, three silver and two bronze, for a total of seven medals. China sits in second place, with three medals.
In the boys’ 400m final Arman Hall (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) started strong and continued to push the effort as he made his way around the track. He stormed down the homestretch pulling away from the rest of the field to win by more than half a second in 46.01. Hall’s gold medal performance also gives him the fastest time in the world by a youth this year.
Unfortunately, the U.S. girls’ were unable to replicate Hall’s performance. Robin Reynolds (Miami, Fla.) was in good position on the final stretch battling with Shaunae Miller of the Bahamas. However, Reynolds appeared to hit a wall three meters before the finish line, and as her form broke down she faded to fourth. Reynolds’ effort was good enough for a season best performance of 52.72. Kendall Baisden (Franklin, Tenn.) finished sixth in 53.01.
The girls’ 800m final is shaping up to be a battle between the U.S. and the U.K. In the second heat of the semifinal, Katie Snowden of Great Britain and Amy Weissenbach (Los Angeles, Calif.) ran shoulder to shoulder to the finish, with Weissenbach taking second in 2:05.84 to advance to the final. In the third heat Ajee Wilson (Oakland, Calif.) narrowly beat Jessica Judd of Great Britain to advance in a personal best time of 2:03.17.
In the qualification for the discus finals, Shelbi Vaughn (Mansfield, Texas) launched her first throw 53.78m/176-5. Her throw was a personal best, automatically qualified her for the finals and was better than the rest of the field by exactly one meter. Chamaya Turner (Garden Ridge, Texas) was unable to get a legal mark during her three attempts.
In the boys’ 100m hurdle finals, Todd Gurley (Tarboro, N.C.) was unable to advance after tripping on the final hurdle. While he remained upright, he fell back to sixth place with a finish time of 14.10.
In the girls’ heptathlon, Kendell Williams ran the 200m in 25.07 and threw a personal best of 9.78m/32-1 in the shot put. At the end of the first day for the heptathlon, Williams sits in fourth place with 3289 points.
In the boys’ pole vault qualification, Jacob Blankenship (Buckeyelake, Ohio) easily advanced to the finals. Blankenship successfully cleared each height on his first attempts up to 4.80m/15-9.
In the first round of the girls’ 2,000m steeplechase, both Brianna Nerud (Glen Head, N.Y.) and Madeleine Meyers (Seattle, Wash.) advanced to the finals. Nerud ran in the first heat that went out at a quick pace and ran in a small chase pack fighting for the third and fourth place automatic qualifying spots. While Nerud finished sixth, her time of 6:38.80 was fast enough to send her to the finals. In the second heat, Madie Meyers moved to the front with the athletes from Kenya and Ethiopia, and held the second place spot throughout most of the race. Meyers finished in 6:34.80 to take second and automatically advance to the finals.
In the first round of the girls’ 200m, Bealoved Brown (Desoto, Texas) won her heat in 24.30 to advance to finals. The boys followed Brown’s example and both won their heats in the 200m as well. Aldrich Bailey clocked 21.46 and Rondald Darby (Oxon Hill, Md.) won his heat in 21.50.
Kendell Williams (Marrietta, Ga.) took the lead in the first event of the girls’ heptathlon. In her best event, the 100m hurdles, Williams ran the fastest time of the day in 13.74. After clearing 1.72m/5-7.75 in the high jump, Williams finished the morning session in fourth place overall with 1894 points.
Arman Hall – Boys’ 400m “I wanted to run even faster, but I PR’d and I’m happy I won – what else could I ask for! All I saw was the finish line and I wanted to get there first. I worked hard for this and God got me here, he is great!”
Ajee Wilson – Girls’ 800m “I thought the first lap was fast, but I didn’t want to panick. I just stayed up there and relaxed, then with 200m to go, I stepped it up. I could feel her [Jessica Judd] come up on me on the straight, and I just powered through. I’m really happy with my PR, and I’ll be even happier if I PR again in the finals.”
Amy Weissenbach – Girls’ 800m “It was harder than the first round . There was definitely more jostling, and I got stuck in a little awkward spot before I stepped out and broke away. I saw the girl from Britain and I saw I would qualify. In finals, I’ll go crazy and let all the energy go.”
Robin Reynolds – Girls’ 400m “I had tightened up and I couldn’t hold on. My form broke down and I didn’t have it. I just didn’t have the good finish I normally do. There is no reason why, I just didn’t execute as good as I should have.”
Bealoved Brown – Girls’ 200m “I wanted to see what the other girls were looking like. It’s a deep curve, and I had to lean a lot. I know in semis I’ll have to work harder.”
Madie Meyers – Girls’ Steeplechase “It was hard, but I knew if I was going to make it to finals I didn’t need to give it everything. I knew I was in the top four, so I just held my spot. If this was the final, I would have gone all out.”
Aldrich Bailey – Boys’ 200m “I just got two more rounds, I’m a little relieved. I just came off the turn and did what I had to do.”
Ronald Darby – Boys’ 200m “I just wanted to get out good and hold it on the homestretch. I want a medal really bad, I just have to have fun and do my thing.”