Much like the 100m, the men’s half lap is shaping into a battle between the rising US and South African sprints corps.
With world U20 leader Christopher Taylor opting for the 400m, US junior champion Eric Harrison is the fastest in the field courtesy of the 20.39 personal best that propelled him to the Big-10 Conference title on 13 May. He was nearly as fast when he returned to the same Bloomington track for the junior nationals, clocking 20.44.
Thando Dlodlo leads the South African charge as he arrives in Tampere with sprint double ambitions. He clocked a 20.41A personal best from the national championship in mid-March, but he’s competed sparingly since, so it’s unclear what form he’ll be bringing to Finland. He’ll be joined by 18-year-old Ruben Els, who also clocked his 20.70A lifetime best more than three months ago. But he too hasn’t competed since April.
Meanwhile, Harrison will be teamed with Khance Meyers, a first year university student at tiny Hinds Community College in Mississippi, who equalled his 20.62 personal best at the national junior championships where he finished behind Harrison.
Australia brings Zane Branco, who clocked his lifetime best of 20.68 when taking the national junior title in March. Illustrating solid form more recently, he sliced a massive 0.23 from his 100m best with a 10.33 clocking in Jamsa, Finland, on 1 July.
Another nine entries have all dipped under 21 seconds this season, and all should be in the medal mix.
Great Britain comes armed with the nearly evenly matched Charlie Dobson and Jona Efoloko, who’ve improved to 20.73 and 20.79 respectively this season.
There’s Bahamian Joel Johnson, who finished second at the Carifta Games in April improving his best to 20.90. He’s displayed 10.31 100m speed this season, too.
And don’t discount Jamaican Michael Bentley who arrives on the heels of his impressive 10.31/20.90 double victory at the national junior championships.
MORE ON CHRISTOPHER TAYLOR
Christopher Taylor is a Jamaican 400 metre runner. He won the 400 metres event at the 2015 World Youth Championships in Athletics in Cali, Colombia in 45.27 seconds, a Jamaica Youth Record. Taylor also won the U-18 400 metres at the 2015 CARIFTA Games in a championship record time of 46.64. On March 19, 2016, Christopher Taylor delivered an extraordinary performance at the ISSA High School Championships in Jamaica, breaking national records and making a massive contribution in bringing his school, Calabar High School, to their 7th consecutive victory. He also won the 2018 Jamaica Senior National Championships with a personal best and NJR of 44.88.
PREVIEW: WOMEN’S 100M – IAAF WORLD U20 CHAMPIONSHIPS TAMPERE 2018
USA’s Twanisha Terry will take on Jamaica’s Briana Williams over 100m in what is possibly one of the most eagerly awaited clashes of the championships.
Terry became just the fifth U20 athlete in history to run 100m within 11 seconds, clocking a PB of 10.99 earlier this year. She has two other wind-assisted sub-11-second clockings to her name this season and finished third at the NCAA Championships and first at the US Junior Championships.
The 19-year-old will head to Tampere off the back of a long and busy collegiate season, but she’ll take confidence from the fact that she set a PB in her final race of 2017 at the end of what was a similarly hectic high school campaign.
The prodigious Williams, three years Terry’s junior, will be one of the youngest women in the 100m in Tampere but also one of the fastest.
She clocked a world age-15 best of 11.13 earlier this year, just days before turning 16. More recently she has tested herself against esteemed opposition, placing fifth in the 100m at the senior Jamaican Championships and finishing within 0.2 of double Olympic champion Elaine Thompson and multiple world and Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce.
Terry will be aiming to keep the world U20 100m title in US hands after Candace Hill’s victory in 2016, while Williams hopes to become the first Jamaican winner of the title since Veronica Campbell-Brown in 2000.
Daija Lampkin set a PB of 11.34 to finish second at the US Junior Championships, but the -1.1m/s headwind in that race suggests she is capable of a faster time in better conditions.
Germany’s European U20 silver medallist Keshia Kwadwo is the fastest European U20 athlete this year and has been closing in on the 11.33 PB she set in 2017.
Britain’s Krystal Awuah, Ireland’s European U20 champion Gina Akpe-Moses and Nigeria’s Commonwealth 4x100m bronze medallist Joy Udo-Gabriel could also be a factor in the medal hunt.
Purdue athletics director Mike Bobinski announced Thursday that Norbert Elliott has been tapped to lead the Boilermakers’ track and field and cross country programs.
“It made great sense to look first within our own staff for our next head coach,” Bobinski said in a press release. “We have a proven and talented coach who has been instrumental in the recruitment and development of many of our most successful student-athletes. I am excited for him to lead our program.”
Elliott has been with Purdue for six years, serving as the associate head coach since July of 2015. Since then, he has worked with sprinters, hurdlers, horizontal jumpers and relay teams.
The women’s track team finished eighth at the 2018 NCAA Outdoor Championships, as well as being 2017 Big Ten NCAA Outdoor Champions. They placed 14th in the last two NCAA Indoor Championships.
The men’s team finished 13th at the 2016 Indoor Championship and 15th at Outdoor Championships.
“I am truly honored,” Elliott said in a press release. “We will continue to build on all our successes. I am excited and can’t wait to hit the ground running in this new adventure.”
During Elliott’s time at Purdue, the women’s sprinters and hurdlers experienced success with eight-time All-American Devynne Charlton leading the way.
Throughout his career, Elliott has coached more than 50 All-American athletes and eight NCAA