A blog of the experiences of Jim Spier throughout the World Juniors.
The electrical connection
I don't know why this has to be so difficult.
We're in the press tribune, 8 rows near the finish line, all about 50 feet long. They are not temporary, but have a faux granite top and are held up by a brick wall support. The chairs are permanent, and bolted to the concrete. They are lower than they should be and there's no moving them. So typing is difficult.
About every six feet on the concrete support below each desk is a small door about 1 foot square. Inside each door is a compartment about 1 Â½ feet deep. On that wall, in the back of the compartment, are the electrical sockets. They are about 1 foot off the ground. Each socket has a little door with a hinge. In order to access them, one must get down on one's hands and knees and feel around for the socket, while holding the little door open covering each socket. Not only that, but we Americans have to first install an adaptor for our American plugs. It's something that requires single hand dexterity, because two hands won't fit. So you have to somehow hold the little lid of the socket open with your thumb while guessing where socket it with the rest of the fingers on the same hand. Mike Kennedy and I have it down to a science by now, but it's no fun.
Day 3 Evening
Women's High Jump Final — Shanay Briscoe finished tenth, clearing 5-10.
Women's 200m Semifinals — Tiffany Townsend won her semi heat and automatically advanced to the final. Ashton Purvis finished fifth in her semifinal, missing a time qualifier by .01.
Men's 200m Semifinals — What was Antonio Sales thinking? He ran neck and neck with Jamaica's Nickel Ashmeade, then let up at the end, thinking he had qualified automatically. He did not, because he did not notice, two lanes over, Ramil Guliyev of Azerbeijan, who got the second place auto qualifier, albeit in the same time (20.90) as Sales. Sales will have to wait for two more semis to see if he gets in on one of the two fastest non-auto qualifying times. Curtis Mitchell! Wow! Who's he? He's a freshman from Daytona Beach, FL who just finished his freshman year at Southwestern JC in California. The tall American, looked stellar from lane 7, broke 21 seconds for the first time in a big way, running 20.74! Antonio Sales got lucky and did make the final.
Men's 400m Finals — This was a bit of a surprise, albeit a pleasant one. The money was on either O'Neal Wilder of the US or Kirani James of Grenada. But Wilder went out way too slow and Kirani James and Marcus Boyd appeared to be the candidates from the gold. Boyd, in lane 8, took control with 100 meters to go and won with a PR and World Junior Leader of 45.53. His prior best was 46.02
Men's 1500m Final — This was a great race. Everyone was in it, even Evan Jager, who was fourth with 1 lap to go. The sprint began then, with Kenyans and the Ethiopian swapping leads. They appeared to have the three medals locked up, but Algerian Imad Touil, in fifth with 30 meters to go, made a big charge on the outside of the pack to get the win. The Kenyans, who finished 2nd and 4th, seemed to be in shock. They both took a victory lap anyway, both with Kenyan flags.
Women's 400m Final — We knew it would be a challenge for the Americans, and it was. Nigerian Folashade Abugan was in control the entire race to win in 51.84. Jessica Beard was second in 52.09. Lanie Whitaker finished in 7th with 53.98.
Women's Triple Jump — There were no Americans in the final. We have a long way to go to catch up to the rest of the world in this event. Here are the top three and their performances:
1.Dailenys Alcantara - Cuba - 46-9
2.Josleidy Ribalta - Cuba - 45-5.25
3.Paraskevi Papahristou - Greece - 45-1
There was no one happier than Papahristou. It seemed that she was kissed by every Greek in the stadium. She was also handed a cell phone and spoke to a few people back home.
Decathlon — A great battle for the gold, with Jan Felix Knobel of Germany edging Edward Mihan of Belarus by 2 points, 7896 5o 789, 7896 to 7894! Into the final event, Mihan had to beat Knobel by 17 seconds. He beat him by 16.51 seconds, not quite enough for the gold. Weston Leutz of the US finished 10th with 7178 points, a personal best. Chase Dalton was right behind Leutz in 11th, scoring 7174 points,.
Women's Javelin — no American finalists, but a world junior record. Vira Rebryk of the Ukraine threw 206-8 on her 2nd throw
Ryann Krais' chances in the heptathlon
Ryann is on the verge of breaking Shana Woods' high school record in the heptathlon of 5533. She came painfully close in Albuquerque, save for the wind.
She has a formidable task ahead of her. The high school record seems possible, but getting a medal at the World Junior Championships will take an extraordinary effort. She is currently ranked fifth of all the competitors, and that is based on her windy 5522 mark at the Great Southwest.
Here is the current top 5:
6027 - Yana Maksimava - Belarus
5676 - Natalya Gizbulina - Russia
5659 - Carolin Schäfer - Germany
5524 - Helga Margrét Thorsteinsdóttir - Iceland
5522Aw - Ryann Krais - USA
Ryann usually has a very good first day. The javelin and shot put have been a challenge for her.
Maksimava is a 6-0 high jumper and a 45-8 shot putter, and obviously does other things very well. It appears that a score close to 5700 points will be required to get a medal. Here is the best of all possible worlds for Ryann
100hh - 13.60 - 1036
HJ - 5-9 - 916
SP - 36-0 - 593
200m - 24.25 - 957 - 3502 first day total
LJ - 19-6 - 831
JT - 120-0 - 602
800 - 2:14.0 - 907 - total - 5842
Of course this is very optimistic. But it is within the realm of possibility for her to score between 5600 and 5700 points