The World Under 20 Championships are getting underway on Monday at the Pascal Guerrero Stadium in Cali. More than 1500 athletes from 140 countries will fight for a medal in the Colombian city which had already hosted the World Under 18 Championships in 2015, when Armand Duplantis and Sydney McLaughlin won their first international titles in the men’s pole vault and in the women’s 400 metres hurdles respectively.
Letsile Tebogo (men’s 100 metres):
Letsile Tebogo from Botswana won the gold medal in 10.19 and the silver medal in the 200 metres in 20.38 in Nairobi last year. This year Tebogo clocked 9.96 in Gaborone and broke the world under 20 record with 9.94 in the 100m heats at the World Championships in Eugene. Tebogo also clocked 10.12 in the 100m on his Diamond League debut at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene last May.
Puripol Boonson (men’s 200 metres):
Puripol Boonson will aim to become the first athlete from Thailand to win a medal in the history of the World Under 20 Championships after clocking 20.19 in Almaty in Kazakhstan.
Steven McEnlroy (men’s 400 metres):
Steven McEnlroy won the US under 20 title in 44.93 beating Ashton Schwartzman (45.23). They lead the world under 20 list ahead of South Africa’s Busang Collen Kebinatshipi, who clocked 45.40 last April.
Tina Clayton and Shawnti Jackson (women’s 100 metres):
Seventeen-year-old Jamaican sprint star Tina Clayton will defend the world under 20 gold medal she won last year in Nairobi in 11.09. Clayton also won the gold medal in the 4x100 relay in 42.94 with a Jamaican team featuring her twin sister Tia Clayton.
Clayton broke the Jamaican under 20 record held by Briana Williams with 10.96 to win the National under 20 record in Kingston last June.
Clayton will face 17-year-old US sprinter Shawnti Jackson, who won the US under 20 title last June in 11.07 in Eugene and improved her 60m PB to 7.18 at the Millrose Games in New York last February. Jackson is the daughter of Bershawn Jackson, who won the world title in the men’s 400 metres hurdles in Helsinki 2005.
Brianna Lyston (women’s 200 metres):
Bryanna Lyston from Jamaica starts as the favourite in the women’s 200 metres. Lyston clocked 22.52 into a headwind of -2-2 m/s last April at the Boys and Girls Championships and won the Carifta Games in 23.16 in Kingston last May.
Dejanea Oakley (women’s 400 metres)
US 400m sprinter Dejanea Oakley competed in the mixed relay at last year’s World Under 20 Championships in Nairobi, but she made a big progress improving her PB to 51.81 this year. She will face her compatriot Mekenze Kelley, who improved her PB from 53.65 to 51.98. The Canadian hopes are carried by Ella Clayton, who finished sixth at the World Championships and improved her PB to 54.10 to 52.04 this season.
Matthew Sophia (men’s 110 metres hurdles):
Dutch hurdler Matthew Sophia set a national under 20 record of 13.23 into a headwind of -0.4 m/s in the men’s 110 metres hurdles over the 99 cm barriers in Willemstad last March and won the Carifta Games in 13.74 into a headwind of -2.0 m/s. Sophia also won the silver med in the 4x100 relay.
Sophia will face US hurdler Malik Mixon, who won the US title in a wind-assisted 13.28 (+2.6 m/s). Mixon will be joined by TJ Caldwelll, who clocked a wind-assisted 13.40 at the US Under 20 Championships and a PB of 13.40 this year, and Stepan Schubert from Czech Republic, who won the national under 20 title in 13.40 last June.
Roshawn Clarke (men’s 400 metres hurdles):
Roshawn Clarke from Jamaica won the national under 20 title in Kingston with 49.39 last June.
Izmail Nazir from Turkey improved his PB to 49.59 at the Mediterranean Games in Oran (Algeria) and could follow in the footsteps of his compatriot Berke Ackam, who won the world under 20 gold medal in Nairobi last year.
The other major medal contenders are 18-year-old Matic Ian Gucek from Slovenia, who finished fifth at last year’s edition of the World Under 20 Championships in Nairobi, Yeral Nunez from Dominican Republic who set a national record of 50.07 last month, and Japan’s Daiki Ogawa, who won the Japanese Under 20 title in Osaka in 50.50.
Kerrica Hill (women’s 100 metres hurdles):
The name to watch is 17-year-old Kerrica Hill, who won the Jamaican under 20 title in the 100m hurdles in Kingston in 12.98 last June. Hill also holds a PB of 11.16 over the 100 metres flat distance. Hill will face her compatriot Alexis Hames, who set a PB of 13.13 to finish second at the Jamaican under 20 Championships.
The best US hurdler in the line-up is Jalaysiya Smith, who set her PB of 13.05 in the semifinals of the NCAA Championships and won the US under 20 title in 13.21 last month. She will be joined by Eddiyah Frye, who finished runner-up to Smith at the US Under 20 Championships in 13.26.
The European challenge is led by Hawa Jalloh from Germany, who won the national title improving her PB to 13.23, Anna Toth from Hungary, who improved the national under 20 record to 13.23, and Maril Jessop, who set a seasonal best of 13.36 this year.
Alessia Seramondi (women’s 400 metres hurdles):
Alessia Seramondi from Italy set the fastest under 20 time in the world this year in the women’s 400 metres hurdles with her PB of 57.29 at the National Under 20 Championships in Rieti earlier this month. Seramondi will face Akala Garrett, who won the US high school with a world under 18 lead of 57.46, Louisiana State University Michaela Rose from the USA, who clocked 57.62 in the 400m hurdles and 2:02.49 in the 800 metres, Oneika McAnnuuff, who clocked 57.68 this season.
Middle distance races:
Sembo Alemayehu (Women’s 3000 steeplechase):
Seventeen-year-old Ethiopian runner Sembo Alemayehu set the world under 20 seasonal lead in the 3000m steeplechase with 9:09.19, when she finished second in the Paris Diamond League meeting last June. In the French capital she set her second consecutive world under 18 best after the 9:18.98 she set at the Continental Tour Gold meeting in Hengelo. Alemayehu finished fifth in her heat in 9:21.10 at the World Championships in Eugene, but she did not get through to the final.
The previous world under 18 all-time best had been held by Kenya’s Celliphine Chepsol with 9:24.73 since 2016. Alemayehu will be joined by her compatriot Meseret Yeshaneh, who holds a PB of 9:33.34.
The Kenyan challenge is led by 18-year-old Faith Cherotich, who won the world under 20 bronze medal in Nairobi last year and clocked 9:12.04 at altitude last May, and Pamela Kosgei, who clocked 9:54.20 this year.
The best European runner in the line-up is Marta Serrano from Spain, who finished sixth in the World Under 20 Championships in Nairobi last year and improved her PB to 9:48.64 at the National Senior Championships in La Nucia last June.
Noah Kibet (men’s 800 metres):
Noah Kibet won the bronze medal in the 800 metres at the World Under 20 Championships in Nairobi in 2021 in his lifetime best of 1:44.88 and the silver medal at the World Indoor Championships in Belgrade. Kibet will compete against his cousin Brian Kiptum, who won the Kenyan Under 20 Trials. Kibet won his first Diamond League race in Doha last May and finished fourth in the Continental Tour Gold meeting in Hengelo in 1:44.89 missing his lifetime best by just 0.01.
Peter Maru (men’s 5000 metres):
Ugandan 19-year-old runner Peter Maru clocked a PB of 13:07.42 in the 5000 metres in the Diamond League meeting in Oslo last June. Maru finished fifth in the 1500 metres at the World Under 20 Championships in Nairobi last year. He trains with Olympic 10000m bronze medallist and world half marathon record holder Jacob Kiplimo, who won the 10000m world under 20 silver medal in Tampere 2018.
Claudia Hollingsworth (women’s 800 metres):
Australian 17-year-old Claudia Hollingsworth won the Oceanian 1500m title this year. Last year she set a lifetime-best of 2:01.60 in the 800 metres and an Oceanian under 20 record of 2:36.72. She ran a seasonal best of 2:02.34 in Sydney last March. Her coach is Craig Mottram, who won the world 5000m bronze medal in Helsinki 2005. Hollingsworth previously combined her athletics career with Australian football.
Salaheddine Ben Yazide (Men’s 3000 metres steeplechase):
Morocco’s 19-year-old Salaheddine Ben Yazide set the world under 20 lead clocking 8:19.63 at the Wanda Diamond League in Rabat. Ben Yazide could follow in the footsteps of his compatriot Soufiane El Bakkali, who won the Olympic gold medal in Tokyo 2021 and the world title in Eugene 2022.
Angelina Topic and Karmen Bruus (women’s high jump):
Serbia’s Angelina Topic and Estonia’s Karmen Bruus have equalled the world all-time under 18 best performance this season.
Bruus finished seventh at the World Championships in Eugene at the age of 17 with 1.96m, equalling the Estonian senior record.
The Estonian teenager improved her lifetime best during this season and finished seventh at the European Under 18 Championships in Jerusalem.
Seventeen-year-old Angelina Topic won the European Under 18 gold medal with 1.92m and cleared 1.96m at the Serbian Senior Championships in Krusevac. Topic also finished sixth at the World Under 20 Championships in Nairobi last year. She is daughter of 1990 European champion Dragutin Topic, who cleared 2.37m in his career, and Biljana Topic, who won the world under 20 bronze medal in the triple jump.
Other major contenders are last year’s European Under 20 champion Britt Weermann from the Netherlands, who set the national under 20 record with 1.95m, 18-year-old Elisabeth Pihela from Estonia, who won the European Under 20 bronze medal in Tallin and placed fourth at the World Under 20 Championships in Nairobi in 2021.
Brian Raats (men’s high jump):
Brian Raats from South Africa improved his lifetime best by six cm to 2.26m this season. Raats placed fifth at the World Under 20 Championships in Nairobi 2021. Raats will face three jumpers who set a PB of 2.20m this year: Viggo Sigfinsson from Iceland, Edoardo Stronati from Italy and Bozhidar Saranboyukov from Bulgaria. Sigfinsson cleared 2.20 during the indoor season in Rekyavik and 2.15m outdoors in Mannheim. Stronati cleared 2.20m twice last June in Florence and at the Italian Championships in Rieti.
Italian “Mr. Jump” Mattia Furlani won two European Under 18 gold medals in the high jump and in the long jump in Jerusalem this summer. Furlani cleared a seasonal best of 2.16m at the Italian Under 18 Championships in Milan and 2.15m at the European Under 18 Championships. Last year Furlani placed seventh at the European Under 20 Championships in Tallin 2021 competing against athletes, who were three years older than him.
Furlani is the son of former high jumper Marcello Furlani, who cleared 2.27m and a contemporary of Marco Tamberi (father of Olympic champion Gianmarco Tamberi) in the 80s; his mother Kathy Seck is a former International-level sprinter of Senegalese origin. Mattia’s sister Erika won the world under 18 silver medal in Donetsk, the European Under 23 bronze medal in Bydgoszcz in 2017 and cleared a lifetime best of 1.94m in 2020.
Erwan Konaté (men’s long jump):
Erwan Konaté from France will aim to win his second consecutive world under 20 title one year after winning the gold medal in Nairobi with 8.12m. Konaté also finished third at the European Under 20 Championships in Tallin 2021.
US Johnny Brackins set the world under 20 lead in 2022 with his PB of 8.06m in Lubbock last May and also produced a wind-assisted 8.17m in Austin last March. Brackins set a PB of 13.62 in the 110m hurdles.
Mattia Furlani is also entered in the long jump. Furlani won the Italian Under 18 at the National Youth Championships in Milan breaking Andrew Howe’s national record by 26cm with 7.87m the European Under 18 gold medal in Jerusalem. Last July he won the European Under 18 gold medal in Jerusalem improving again his record to 8.04m.
Jaydon Hibbert (men’s triple jump):
Jamaica’s Jaydon Hibbert won the world under 20 silver medal in the triple jump at the age of 16 with a PB of 16.05m. Hibbert leads the world under 20 list with his lifetime best of 16.66m at the Boys and Girls Championships in Kingston and won the Carifta Games with a wind-assisted 17.05m. He also set a lifetime best of 7.87m in the long jump.
Anthony Ammirati (men’s pole vault):
Nineteen year-old Frenchman Anthony Ammirati will chase a world under 20 title in the men’s pole vault after his European under 20 gold medal from last year in Tallin. Ammirati set his PB of 5.72m last year moving to seventh on the world under 20 all-time list. Ammirati leads the world under 20 list with his clearance of 5.70m from last June’s French Championships in Caen.
Ammirati will renew his rivalry against European under 20 silver medallist Juho Alasaari from Finland, who improved his PB to 5.53m this year.
Twins Amanda and Hana Hall (women’s pole vault):
US seventeen-year-old twin sisters Amanda and Hana Hall have cleared 4.51m and 4.47m this year. Amanda won the high school competition at the Texas Relays with 4.51m and won the US under 20 title with 4.35m on 25 June beating Hana on countback. Hana set her lifetime best of 4.47m indoors last January.
Sharifa Davronova and Clemence Rougier (women’s triple jump):
Fifteen-year-old Sharifa Davronova from Uzbekhstan improved her PB to 13.92m last May in Tashkent and backed up this result with the second best performance of her career of 13.80m in Almaty.
Davronova will take on 17-year-old Clemence Rougier from France, who won the European Under 18 title in Jerusalem improving her PB to 13.72m, and another French jumper Sohane Aucagos, who finished fourth at last year’s World Championships in Nairobi and set a seasonal best of 13.61m.
Natalia Linares (women’s long jump):
Natalia Linares from Colombia set a national under 20 record of 6.68m and leapt to a wind-assisted 6.79m last July in Valledupar and could be one of the biggest medal hopes for the home team.
Linares will face 17-year-old Plamena Mitkova from Bulgaria, who improved her PB by 42 cm to 6.58m this year.
Mine Van Nierk (women’s shot put):
Mine Van Kierk from South Africa won the silver medal at the World Under 20 Championships in the discus throw in Nairobi last year and will double up in the shot put and in the discus throw.
This year Van Kierk set the African Under 20 record with 17.55m in May 2021 and leads the world seasonal list with her shot of 17.19m set at Hayward Field in Eugene. Van Nierk studies at the University of Oregon.
The South African thrower will take on Turkey’s Pinar Aykol, who set her PB of 17.65m in May 2021 and set her indoor PB of 17.46m last February.
Another potential medal contender is last year’s European Under 20 bronze medallist Nina Ndumbuisi from Germany, who improved her indoor PB to 17.27m and set an outdoor seasonal best of 17.01m.
Tizian Lauria (men’s shot put):
Tizian Noah Lauria from Germany leads the world seasonal list with his PB of 21.15m set at the Wurf Gala in Riederich. He has thrown beyond the 20 metres barrier this year and took the win at the Bauhaus Juniores Gala in Mannheim with 20.63m.
Lauria will face his compatriot Lukas Schrober, who won the national under 20 title with 20.16m in Ulm at the age of 17.
Two medal candidates are Jamaican shot putters Christopher Young and Kobe Lawrence. Young took two wins at the Jamaican Championships with 19.14m and at the Boy and Girls Championships with 19.37m. Lawrence beat Young at the Carifta Games in Kingston throwing beyond the 20 metres for the first time in his career with 20.02m.
Emma Sralla and Cedricka Williams (women’s discus throw):
Emma Sralla from Sweden and Cedricka Williams from Jamaica have thrown beyond the 56 metres barrier this season. Sralla broke the national under20 record last April. Williams won the Jamaican under 20 title improving her PB to 56.21m in Kingston last June.
Mine Van Nierk improved the African under 20 record to 54.22m last March and won the world under 20 record in Nairobi last year.
Mika Sosna (men’s discus throw):
Mika Sosna from Germany broke the world under 20 record with the 1.75 kg discus with her throw of 71.37m in Schonebeck. Sosna improved the previous record of 70.13m set by Ukraine’s Mykyta Nesterenko in 2008. Sosna won the national under 20 record with 64.92m beating Marius Karges, who also threw over the 64 metres barrier with his PB of 64.11.
Jamaica’s Kobe Lawrence won the Jamaican Under 20 and Carifta Games titles and placed second at the ISSA/Grace Kennedy Boys and Girls Championships. Lawrence, who threw 62.67m this year at the Jamaica Under 20 Championships, is planning to double up the shot put and the discus throw.
Rachele Mori (men’s hammer throw):
Rachele Mori broke the Italian under 20 record with 68.04m at the International Meeting in Lucca on 28 May to lead the world seasonal list. Mori, who is the niece of Fabrizio Mori (400 metres hurdles world champion in Seville 1999) finished second to Sara Fantini at the Italian Senior Championships in Rieti and won the Italian Under 20 Championships in the same venue. She placed sixth at the World Under 20 Championships in Nairobi and threw beyond the 65 metres barrier this season.
Adriana Vilagos (women’s javelin throw):
Adriana Vilagos from Serbia won the world under 20 in Nairobi at the age of 17 with 61.46m and the European under 20 silver with 60.44m. Vilagos set the national under 20 record of 62.76m and has won eight of her ten competitions this season, including the Balkan Championships, Mediterranean Games, Serbian Championships and Serbian Under 20 Championships.
Vilagos will face McKyla Van de Westhuizen from South Africa, who won the silver medal at the African Championships and finished sixth at the World Under 20 Championships in Nairobi 2021.
Artur Felfner (men’s javelin throw):
Artur Felfner from the Ukraine set the world leading mark of 84.32m in the men’s javelin throw moving up to fourth in the world all-time list led by last year’s Olympic champion Neeraj Chopra. Felfner won the European Under 20 gold medal in Tallin and finished second at the World Under 20 Championships in Nairobi last year.
Felfner will take on Keyshawn Strachan from the Bahamas, who won the Carifta Games and set the national record of 79.89m this year, 17-year-old German thrower Max Dehning, who won the Junioren Gala in Mannheim improving his PB to 78.80m, the German under 20 title in Ulm with 76.37m and the Halle meeting with 78.05m.
Miklos Cseko (men’s hammer throw):
Miklos Cseko from Hungary leads the world seasonal list with the PB of 78.44m he set at the international Under 20 Match in Maribor earlier this month. Cseko has thrown beyond the 75 metres barrier this season.
The other medal candidates are Greek throwers Nikolaos Polychroniu and Ioannis Korakidis, who set PBs of 77.72m and 77.52m this season.
Saga Vanninen (women’s heptathlon):
Finnish rising star Saga Vanninen won gold medals in the women’s heptathlon at both the European Under 20 Championships in Tallin with a national under 20 record of 6271 points and at the World Under 20 Championships in Nairobi with 5997 points.
Vanninen set her seasonal best of 6193 points in Oulu last June. She also finished 10th at the Hypo Meeting in Goetzis last May.
Vanninen will face Sandrina Sprengel, who won the German under 20 title with a PB of 6015 points beating Serina Riedel (5894 points).
The Estonian tradition will be carried on by Liisa Maria Lusti, who improved her heptathlon PB to 5836 points and has a PB of 1.86m in the high jump.
Jacob Thelander (men’s decathlon):
Jacob Thelander from Sweden finished seventh at the European Under 20 Championships in Tallin last year. He improved his PBs to 7823 points in the decathlon and 2.10m in the high jump.
Thelander will take on Pol Ferrer from Spain, who won the national under 20 title improving his PB by 400 points to 7623.