Carley Thomas (NSW) has run a fantastic tactical race and huge personal best of 2:01.13 to win silver in the 800 metres at the .
Thomas went out hard from lane eight and after coming out of the stagger was tucked in nicely in second through 200m. She held her position well and was third at the bell, with the two Ethiopians in front of her.
“I was just trying to stick behind the lead people and stay in touch and give it all I had at the end,” Thomas said.
She made a strong move down the back straight to move to second, fought hard on the bend and never lost form right to the line.
“I was just thinking it’s not over until I cross the line. I just had to get to the finish and go as hard as I could.”
“That was awesome. It was so much fun. It’s kind of surreal,” said Thomas of her brilliant win.
Ethiopian Diribe Welteji led at the bell and never looked like faltering. She ran the first sub two-minute race World U20 Championship history. Delias Sclabas ran a Swiss U20 record for bronze.
She had family and friends in the stadium who have been with her on this journey.
“The support crew is crucial. They were so excited and happy for me.”
Her time was a two second personal best, her second in two days, and moved her to number three in Australian junior history.
Thomas’s silver medal matches that of Georgie Clarke (VIC) in 2000, set when running at the Sydney Olympics as a 16-year-old.
Thomas is 17 and completing her final year of high school this year. She won two golds at the at the 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games in the 800m and 4x400m.
She is coached by Penny Gillies and will also contest the 4x400m here. This is the third medal at the championships for Australia following the 1-2 in the men’s decathlon.
Connolly brave fourth in flying 400m
Ella Connolly put herself right in the mix for a medal in the women’s 400m but has agonisingly short to place fourth.
The Queenslander got out well and ran strongly down the back straight as she has done throughout each of the rounds. She entered the home straight a close third just ahead of Indian sensation Hima Das who then powered home to an historic win. It was India’s first track medal at a major championship in 51.46 seconds.
Connolly’s time of 52.82, was just outside the season best 52.78 she ran in her semi-final. The silver was won by Romanian Andrea Miklos in a personal best 52.07 and American Taylor Manson (52.28) stepped up from her semi for bronze.
Mucci fourth after day one of heptathlon
Victorian Celeste Mucci is in fourth place after day one of the heptathlon with 3523 points. Mucci had a great morning session but the afternoon didn’t go as well.
“I was happy with my second fastest time for the hurdles and a PB in the high jump so they were the highlights of the day,” Mucci said.
“I had a rough afternoon session so I have to pick up a few points tomorrowwhere I can. I’m sure if I’m feeling good it should go alright.”
Mucci’s threw below her best in the shot put for 11.12 metres and ran 24.88 seconds for the 200m, to round out her day.
Camryn Newton-Smith (QLD) gave her all throughout the day but it didn’t go to plan and she lies 20th with 3195 pts.
“Everything was a little bit shakey (today),” Newton-Smith said.
“I almost had a tumble in the hurdles, I can laugh about it now, but everything is a little off my best. But I’m here and having a good time.
“Hoping for a better day tomorrow and looking for a PB in the 800m.”
Newton-Smith started the day hurdling superbly, and clearly led her heat before she crashed the final hurdle with her trail leg. She showed great strength to stay on her feet but it cost her valuable time finishing in 14.21 seconds. The Queenslander jumped close to her best in the high jump with a clearance of 1.65m. Her total of 1531 points had her in 17th ahead of the shot put and 200m.
Mucci was leading after the hurdles with 13.29 seconds, her second fastest time. Mucci produced a personal best jump of 1.77m with her 2022 pts after two events a career best start..
The heptathletes will contest the long jump, javelin and 800m on the final day of their competition.
Branco first 200m finalist in 20 years
Zane Branco (QLD) is the first Australian man to progress to a World U20 200m final in 20 years. His performance of 20.81 seconds (-0.6m/s) for second in his semi, is also the fastest ever by an Australian at a World U20s by a huge 0.19s.
He opted out of the long jump and 100m at these championships with the goal of making the 200m final, and it paid off. He looked relaxed in his heat and stepped up to new gear for the semi.
“I came here for a finals berth and that’s what I’ll walk away with, so anything from here is a bonus,” an elated Branco said.
“The track feels wet but fast. It’s just insane the atmosphere in here and I’m happy to make the final.”
The 18-year-old set the fourth fastest time of the semis behind British sprinter Charles Dobson (20.53) who won his semi.
Day looks to 200m after 100m semi
Riley Day (QLD) was the first Australian on the track in the women’s 100m semi-finals and the pace was on.
As she did yesterday in the heat, she was drawn with Twanisha Terry (USA). The American broke the championship record with a scorching 11.03 seconds.
Day ran a strong race to finish fifth in 11.67 seconds. It was 0.1 faster than her heat yesterday but still 0.1 short of what was required as a non-auto qualifier.
“Every race makes you better and better, and it gives you more experience,” Day said.
“I knew it was going to be a really tough semi out here tonight…so I tried to give it my all and that’s what I did.
“I’ll come out here tomorrow for the 200m.”
The 18-year-old finished ranked 12th for the 100m, with the 200m heat in the morning session tomorrow and the 4x100m on Saturday.
Murphy-Knight under 60s again but not enough to progress
Jarmillia Murphy-Knight ran under sub-60s for the second time these championships but it was not enough for the Queenslander to progress to the final of the 400m hurdles.
Coached by Dianne Sheppard, the 18-year old ran 59.69 to place sixth as she recorded her third-fastest ever time and place 20th overall.
“It’s a really big thing, coping with all the nerves and competing in front of so many people here and back home. I think I did a good job. I PB’d in the heats and did the best I could in the semis”.
Murphy-Knight had earlier set a personal best of 59.19 in the heats.
Davis not at his best in men’s 400m semis
Christian Davis (Vic) ran in the first of the men’s 400m semi-finals from the tight inside lane. The Victorian, who has not been at his best these championships, ran 47.86 to cross the line in seventh as his time placed him 24th overall. Davis had run 47.07 in the heats short of the 46.44 he ran in the semi-finals of the Commonwealth Trials back in March.
The youngster, will no doubt head home to Australia with plans to get back to that level.
“I enjoyed the experience. I have learnt a lot and I can’t complain”
It was a brave result from Davis after a challenging preparation. His father, Hilton, died unexpectedly in April and the 18-year-old Torres Strait Islander dedicated his runs at the championships to him. Coached by Anula Costa, Davis will be back in action in the heats of the 4 x 400m on Saturday (Day 5).