U.S. runners sweep 1,600-meter relays at junior worlds
Kendall Baisden kicked the final 100 meters and the U.S. women won the 1,600 relay Sunday on the final day of the IAAF junior world championships at Hayward Field.
Baidsen, who will be a sophomore at Texas, pushed the women across the finish in 3 minutes, 30.42 seconds. Earlier in the week, Baisden won the 400.
”I was making sure, as always, that I run my own race, not get our too hard, so that I wouldn’t slow down on the homestretch,” Baisden said.
The U.S. men also won the 1,600 relay in 3:03.31 to cap the six-day international track and field event. On Saturday, the U.S. men and women also claimed golds in the 400 relays.
Kendell Williams won the 100 hurdles in a meet record of 12.89 seconds. Fellow American Dior Hall was second at 12.92, breaking the U.S. high school record set in 1989.
Williams, who just wrapped up her freshman season at Georgia, was the U.S. junior champion in the 100 hurdles, as well as the NCAA heptathlon champion and the NCAA indoor pentathlon champion.
”I got out well and went through the hurdles well but I could see Dior peripherally and that helped push me,” Williams said. ”This is my last junior meet and I wanted to go out with a bang. I think I did that.”
Alfred Kipketer of Kenya won the men’s 800 in 1:43.95. Countryman Barnabas Kipyego won the 3,000 steeplechase in a personal-best 8:25.59.
”I made a promise in my country that I will win this medal, and I kept my promise,” Kipketer said. ”This is very important to me.”
Morgan Lake of Britain won the women’s high jump at 6 feet, 4 inches. Lake also won the world title in the heptathlon earlier in the week, making her the first person to win both events at the worlds.
Dawit Seyaum of Ethiopia won the 1,500 in 4:09.86 on her 18th birthday.
Lazaro Martinez of Cuba won the men’s triple jump with a leap of 52-2 1/2, while Gatis Cakss of Latvia won the javelin with a throw of 242-11.
It is the first time the junior world championships have been held in the United States. Nearly 1,600 athletes from 170 countries are took part in the six-day event, which included athletes born from 1995-98.
There were reports Saturday that four Ethiopian athletes had left the meet and were unaccounted for. The Oregonian newspaper reported that University of Oregon police, along with the Eugene police and other law enforcement statewide were seeking to contact the athletes.
It is not believed that the athletes are in danger. It is not uncommon for athletes seeking asylum from unstable countries to use sporting events as a way to leave, although it is not known if the Ethiopians were seeking to flee their country.