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2008 IAAF World Junior

July 8-13, 2008 - Bydgoszcz, Poland

Men's Field Event Preview
by Mike Kennedy

(Editor's note: Since this report was written, we have received unoffical roster information that indicates the following changes in the men's running events: Zachry Mellon (800), Nectaly Barbosa (1,500), Mikel Thomas (3000sc), Oscar Spurlock (110 HH), Greg Lee (LJ) and Matt Byers (JT) finished in top two and were qualified but were not on team due to lack of passport or personal choice.

Dante Holmes (Delaware St.) replaces Mellon in 800; Duncan Phillips (Arkansas) replaces Barbosa in 1,500; Dylan Knight (UCLA) replaces Thomas in 1,500, Ron Brookins (Sacramento St.) replaces Spurlock in 110 HH; Christian Taylor (already in TJ) replaces Lee in LJ; no replacement for Byers in JT. Gil Roberts (Texas Tech) and Brian Miller (Texas A&M) 4 x 400 relay adds; Justin Murdock (Meade, Ft. Meade, Md.), Ryan Bailey (Oregon) and Dante Sales (unat) 4 x 100 relay adds.)

High Jump

The two U.S. qualifiers are both Ohio high schoolers and will have their work cut out for themselves. Ryan Fleck of Napoleon won the National Junior champion at 7-1½. two weeks after winning the Midwest Meet of Champions with a personal best of 7-2. Erik Kynard of Rogers (Toledo) was second to Fleck at the Junior nationals at 7-0 ¼ but earlier cleared 7-3 indoors. Kynard won the State Division I champion while Fleck won Division II. .

The two will be up against a formidable group. Bohdan Bonderenko of the Ukraine was third in the 2006 World Junior championships, clearing 7-5, and is the world junior leader this year with a 7-4 ½. clearance at Russian Junior nationals. Karim Samir Lofty of Egypt set a national record of 7-4 ½ in Eberstad, Germany and has cleared 7-2 ½ three times in June. Wan Chen of China was second at the Good Luck Beijing meet at 7-4 ¼.

Spain has two strong candidates. Miguel Sancho, who was fourth in the 2007 World Youth championships, has done 7-3 ¼ this year, and Alberto Bravo, who has a best of 7-2 ½. Sylvestor Bednarek of Poland was fourth in the 2006 World Junior championships at 7-3 ¾ but since that time has a best of just 7-2 ½. Umit Tan of Turkey won his national championship at 7-3 and Raymond Higgs of Bahamas set a national junior record of 7-2 ½. .

Pole Vault

The U.S. entrants, Maston Wallace of Texas, and Joseph Berry of Tennessee, both cleared 17-4 ¾ at the U.S. Junior championships, with Berry getting the win on fewer misses. Both should be in the medal hunt. Wallace set a personal best of 18-0 ½ in winning the Big 12 championship before going on to win the NCAA title at 17-6 3/4. Berry won the Southeastern Conference and then set a personal best of 17-9 in winning the NCAA Midwest Regional before finishing tenth in the NCAA final.

Raphael Holzdeppe of Germany was already at the head of this year's Junior class but what he did on June 28 just might have taken him out of the World Junior championship. He cleared 19-0 ½ to set the outdoor World Junior record to go along with his 18-8 ¾ indoor World Junior record. In 2006 Holzdeppe was fifth at the World Junior championships with a 17-4 ¾ clearance.

Karsten Dilla is Germany’s No. 2 vaulter with a best of 17-8 ¾ and that is four inches better than teammate Nico Weiler’s 2008 best. Weiler has spent the last two years attending Los Altos High CA where he was the two-time California State champion. Weiler, who won the 2007 World Youth championship, has not competed since winning the Golden West Invitational and is not likely to be named to the German team.

Poland should have a real contender in Pawel Wojciechowski, who set a national Junior record of 18-1 in June. However, it is interesting to note that Wojciechowski's second best clearance in a meet this year is just 16-8 ¾. Japan has two solid performers in Hiroki Sasase at 17-8 ¾ and Yuya Ariake at 17-0 ¾. Cheyne Rahme of South Africa, Anatoliy Bednyuk of Russia and Rasmus Jorgensen of Denmark have all cleared 17-0¾.

Long Jump

Marquise Goodwin of Rowlett High (Tx.) and Gary Lee of Fresno St. both leaped 25-0 at the Junior nationals, with Goodwin getting the win on a better second jump. For Goodwin it was a legal personal best. However, earlier in the year he won the Texas State 5A meet with a 26-1 ½ that was aided by a 2.6 meter per second wind.

In 2007 Lee was third in the California State meet at 23-7 ¼ and won the Arcadia Invitational at 24-2 ¼. This year he got his personal best of 25-1 ¼ in finishing sixth at the Modesto Relays. Lee showed great consistency finishing third in the Western Athletic conference, fourth at the NCCA West Regional and fifth in the NCAA final with a wind-aided 25-7 ½. .

Weng Yongfeng and Zhang Xiaoyi of China, are the No. 1 and 3 ranked Juniors in the world with their respective bests of 26-6 ¼ and 25-10 in Olympic Trials. Jamal Bowen of Panama, who had a 2007 best of just 24-1 in 2007 World Youth qualifying, has had three meets over 25-8 ¾ in 2008, including a best of 26-1 ¾ in May.

Stanley Gbabeke of Nigeria has done 25-9 ¼ in both 2007 and 2008. Dzmitry Astrouski of Belarus has a best of 25-8 and Marcos Chuva of Portugal has done 25-7 ¼ in winning a big Junior meet in Germany in mid-June. Tarik Batchelor won the Jamaica World Junior trials with a wind-aided 25-9 ¼ and has a legal best of 25-2.

Triple Jump

Austin Davis of North Carolina defeated Christian Taylor of Sandy Creek High (Tyrone, Ga.), 52-8 ¼ to 52-8, at the Junior Nationals, as both set personal bests. Earlier Davis finished third in the Atlantic Coast Conference, fourth in the NCAA East Region and eighth in the NCAA final with a wind-aided personal best of 53-3. In 2007, Taylor improved by almost three feet when he won a World Youth championship with a 52-5 ¼. The two will have to improve even more it they want advance beyond the World Junior qualifying round.

Teddy Tamgho of France is the world Junior leader at 55-3¼ outdoors and 55-7 indoors. Both times are national Junior records. Mohamed Youssef Al-Sahabi of Bahrain won the Asian championships in a national record of 54-7 ¼ to rank No. 2 in the world.

Sherif El-Sherif of the Ukraine, was fifth at the 2006 World Junior championships at 52-9 ½ and then after a quiet 2007 won the 2008 outdoor junior championships in 53-7 ¾. Earlier he was third in the indoor national championship at 54-5 ½. Ernesto Reve of Cuba, who will be eligible for the World Youth meet in Italy in 2009, has a best of 53-6 ½.

Wang Wenyu and Jiang Wei, both of China, have done 53-8 ¼ and 52-10, respectively. Wenyu has never competed outside of China. Wei was sixth in the 2007 World University Games with a 53-10 ¼ in Bangkok. Aleksey Fyodorov of Russia was second in the 2007 World Youth championships at 51-1 ¾ and has improved to 52-9 ¼.

Shot Put (6 kgs/13.2 lbs)

This is always a tough event to judge since the U.S. rarely uses the Junior weight of 13.2 pounds, with high schoolers using the 12-pound shot and collegians using a 16-pound ball..

Eric Plummer of Princeton won the Junior meet at 62-6 ½ and had a best of 59-11 ½ with the heavier shot. Daniel Block of Lake Park High in Roselle (Il.) was second to Plummer with a put of 62-1 ¼. Block won the State 2A title at 63-3 ¼.

Five athletes have thrown over 65-6 with the Junior shot. Aleksandr Bulanov of Russia, who won the 2007 European Junior championship at 65-5 ½, set a nation junior record of 67-6 ¼ in May. Emanuyele Fuamatu of Australia is the national Junior champion and has a best of at 67-4¾.

David Storl of Germany won the 2007 World Youth champion at 70-3 with the 11.2-pound shot. This year he has bests of 66-10 with the junior shot and 59-4 ¼ with the international implement. Orazio Cremona of South Africa has a best of 66-3 with the Junior implement but has a best of 61-10 with the international sphere. Grigoriy Kamulya of Uzbekistan won the Asian Junior championship with a personal best of 65-5.

Discus (1.75 kg/)

If there is one “lock” in the meet it is Mykyta Nesterenko of the Ukraine. Last year he won the World Youth meet at 224-10 and threw 231-10 in the prelims. This year he has set a World Youth record of 254-3 with the 1.5 kg. discus and also set a world Junior record at 230-1. And just think, he has two more full seasons to improve his Junior record. Nestorenko has also thrown the international weight discus 214-3 which just might be good enough to get him on his Olympic team.

Victor Hogan of South Africa has the second best mark in the world with junior implements at 209-9. Other long throwers with the junior implement include: Martin Premeru of Croatia at 203-6, who was second in the 2007 World Youth championships, Mikhail Dvornikov of Russia at 202-3, who was fourth in the 2007 European Junior championship, Brett Morse of Britain at 198-4 and Gordon Wolf of Germany at 197-0, who was fourth in the 2007 World Youth championships.

Geoffrey Tabor of Ardmore High in Oklahoma won the National Junior meet with a throw of 195-5 and Karl Gehrke of Moorpark Community College in California was second at 191-1. Tabor won the Oklahoma State 5A championship at 210-8 with the 1.62-kg discus and Gehrke has a best of 171-1 with the international weight discus. .

Hammer (6 kgs/13.2 lbs)

It has been almost 50 years since the U.S. has been a factor on the world scene in the hammer, with Harold Connolly holding the world record holder from 1956 to 1965, but based on the last couple of years that situation could be changing.

Walter Henning, who opened the year at North Carolina but has now transferred to LSU, was eighth in both the 2005 World Youth championships, where he threw 232-7 with the 5-kg weight , and the 2006 World Junior championships, where he threw 238-2 with the 6-kg ball. Henning has won the U.S. Junior championships in 2006, 2007 and 2008 and improved the junior record from 234-10 to 251-10 with the 13.2-pound hammer.

Conor McCullough of Chaminade in North Hills (Ca.) was third in the World Youth championships in 2007 at 249-3. He has also broken Henning’s national high school freshman, sophomore and junior class records, and last week broke Henning's high school record of 255-11 with a throw of 260-0 with the 12-pound (5.5-kg) implement. .

This year, Henning won the Junior nationals at 242-4 and McCullough was second at 233-5. Their bests this year are 251-10 and 247-11, respectively, to rank No. 2 and No. 4 in the world.

Denis Lukyanov of Russia, who was fifth in the European Junior championships in 2007, is the world leader at 257-3 and Javier Cienfuegos of Spain is third at 251-4. Andriy Martynyuk of the Ukraine, who won the World Youth meet in 2007, has a best this year of 247-7. Aleh Dubitski of Belarus has a best of 246-10 and Richard Olbrich of Germany has done 244-10.


The first thing you notice when looking at the 2008 world Junior list is the fact that there are no throwers in the top twelve from any of the Scandinavian countries. The second thing is that the list is led by an Egyptian. .

Prior to 2007, Ihab Abd El Rahman of Egypt was almost a non-presence. Then, in 2007, he was third in the African Junior championships and set a national Junior record of 233-5. This year he won his Junior championships and improved the record to 249-10. Another thrower who is new to the scene is Piotr Franckiewicz of Poland, who is the No. 2 ranked junior in the world at 240-9.

Franz Burghagen of German is No. 3 at 240-1. Poland also has a second contender in Robert Szpak who has a throw of 239-3. The first two Scandinavian throwers were Finlanders Toumas Laaksonen, at 234-8, and Jaakko Talvitie at 234-9. Laaksonen was the World Youth champion in 2007 with a throw of 261-6 with the 700-gram javelin. Junior and Senior throwers use an 800-gram javelin.

Luke Laird of Arkansas at 219-8 and Matt Byers of East High in Wichita (Ka.), at 218-10 were one-two at the Junior nationals. Laird was the Southeastern Conference champion, with a personal best of 228-4 and was 14th in the NCAA championship qualifying. Byers was second in the Kansas State 6A final with a personal best of 219-8. Both will be looking to set personal bests in Poland.


Chase Dalton of BYU won the Junior nationals at 7,202, and Weston Leutz of North Dakota State was second at 7,123 using the junior weights implements and 39-inch hurdles to rank in the top 10.

Eduard Mikhan of Belarus, who was seventh in the European Junior champions in 2007 with just 7,345 points, is the runaway leader with 7,809 points—over 500 points better than Danil Vasilyev of Russia, who has a best of 7,350, and Jacek Nabozny of Poland, who has totaled 7,326. The next six athletes, including Dalton, are separated by just 69 points.

World Junior Champs Index