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24 Aug 2014
Nanjing 2014, YOG, Olympic News
Nanjing 2014

Bukowiecki’s best shot is good enough for gold

Polish shot putter Konrad Bukowiecki dominated the field to win gold with a personal best of 23.17m, but then admitted he was still not entirely happy.

Konrad Bukowiecki wins shot put gold

“I feel bad because I wanted to make the Polish record [distance] of 23.23m but I was 6cm short, so I don't feel great,” he explained. “My main aim was to throw this record. The gold is a bonus, but I don’t feel satisfied.”  Having arrived at the 2014 Nanjing Youth Olympic Games after a string of successes, including first place in the 2014 IAAF World Junior Championships, Bukowiecki was considered by many the gold medal favourite. And he lived up to his billing, recording winning distance that was two metres and 17cm longer than that of silver medallist Andrei Rares Toader (ROU).

Japanese athletes go the distance

Meanwhile, on the track, there were impressive performances from the Japanese contingent, who claimed two gold medals. Nozomi Musembi Takamatsu surged to first place in the women's 3,000m final with a personal best time of nine minutes, 1.58 seconds. Her nearest rival was Alina Reh (GER) on 9:05.07. Minoru Onogawa (JPN) recorded a winning time of 42:03.64 in the men's 10,000m race walk. “My high school teacher recommended me to compete in walking,” he said. “For three or four days per week I walk so fast and the other days I run. It’s not painful because I train every day. “All I can say is that I am so happy. I trained a year for this gold medal.”

Hammer time for Xu

In the women's hammer event, the winner Xu Xinying (CHN) took gold with a distance of 68.35m, her best ever competitive result. But with three other throwers in the event with superior personal bests, Xu's performance was heralded as a minor shock, not least by the athlete herself. “The result was beyond my expectations,” she said. “The standards here are very high. The other competitors were nervous but I was nervous too, and I just told myself to ignore the ranking.”

Room for another medal?

Meanwhile, Australian Alex Hulley took silver behind Xu to complete a “room-mate treble”.  “Last night my friends, Jess and Sam picked up gold and bronze," she said of room-mates and compatriots Jessica Thornton, who won the women's 400m, and Sam Geddes, who took 100m bronze. “I was going absolutely crazy watching on TV and it spurred me on to win. Tonight we're going to have a great party. We share in groups of three in the Youth Olympic Village, so we must have the most successful room in the whole village."

The Noah show

Elsewhere, in the men's 200m final, Noah Lyles (USA) won gold ahead of Baboloki Thebe (BOT) and Chun-Han Yang (TPE) with a time of 20.80 seconds.  “This is the USA coming back and taking over the sprints,” he said. “This is just the start of the Noah show.” 

Other gold medal winners on the night included Yuliya Levchenko (UKR), who triumphed in the women’s high jump with a personal best of 1.89m, while Russia’s Alena Bugakova, won gold in the women’s shot put with a throw of 18.95m. The men’s hammer throw was won by Ukraine’s Hlib Piskunov, with a personal best of 82.65m, while Yomif Kejelcha Atomsa of Ethiopia won the men’s 3,000m in 7:56.20.

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