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Previews21 Aug 2021


Five things to follow on the fifth and final day in Nairobi

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Maja Askag wins the world U20 triple jump title in Nairobi (© Dan Vernon)

World Athletics U20 Championships competition comes to a close in Nairobi on Sunday (22) but first there are a thrilling 14 finals taking place during an action-packed session.

First up is the men's triple jump, before the women's and men's 400m hurdles, women's high jump, men's 800m, women's 1500m, men's discus, men's 3000m steeplechase, women's long jump, the women's and men's 4x100m relays, the women's 5000m final and then the women's and men's 4x400m relays.

Here are five things to follow on day five. 

4x400m relays

Women's final: 5:55pm. Men's final: 6:10pm local time

The last two events on the programme are the women's and men's 4x400m finals. In the women's event, Jamaica – a regular medallist in this event at senior and U20 level – will start as slight favourites ahead of Nigeria, who look tough to beat. Should she run and Nigeria win, 17-year-old Imaobong Nse Uko could get her third gold medal of the week after her wins in the 400m and mixed 4x400m.

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Much to the delight of those in the stands, Kenya led the first round of the men's event, qualifying for the final with the quickest time of 3:05.77. 

Their team finished fourth in their heat, but three years after their memorable victory in this event at the last World U20 Championships, Italy will be hoping for another medal and they can bring individual sixth-placer, Lorenzo Benati, into the team. The Nigerian team could feature two of the four mixed 4x400m medallists in Johnson Nnamani and Bamidele Ajayi, while individual 400m champion Anthony Pesela could join Botswana's quartet.

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Men's 3000m steeplechase

Final: 4:05pm local time

Even though fans cannot be in the stadium, athletes have still been receiving some strong support, especially those racing on home soil. 

Kenya's Amos Serem and Simon Kiprop Koech, who won the two men's 3000m steeplechase heats, will be looking to use the home advantage as they race against a field including Ethiopia's Tadese Takele, who has ran 8:09.37 when winning at the Ethiopian Olympic Trials in Hengelo in June. Ethiopia’s Samuel Firewu is an 8:20.27 performer this year, and Uganda’s Leonard Chemutai has clocked 8:40.88.

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Women's long jump

Final: 4:25pm local time

Fresh from their respective gold and silver medal wins in the triple jump, both Sweden's double European U20 champion Maja Askag and Spain’s Tessy Ebosele will be aiming for the podium again in the long jump.

For Askag, a second gold would make her the first athlete since 1994 to achieve the horizonal jumps double at the World U20 Championships.

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Men's discus

Final: 4:00pm local time

Going by his recent performances, Lithuania’s Mykolas Alekna looks set to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a global champion. The son of 2000 and 2004 Olympic gold medallist Virgilijus, Mykolas has thrown 69.77m this year, a mark which puts him second on the world U20 all-time list. Looking to challenge him will be Jamaica’s Ralford Mullings, who threw 66.61m in June.

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Women's 400m hurdles

Final: 3:00pm local time

Garriel White has raced in five finals over the 400m hurdles outdoors this year and she’s triumphed in every one. The icing on the cake was setting a PB of 57.28 to win the Jamaican U20 Championships, and the 18-year-old will be hoping to maintain her winning streak in the world U20 final. She could also return for the 4x400m final a few hours later.

Canadian athlete Savannah Sutherland has also remained unbeaten in her races over the same distance and set her lifetime best of 57.87 a month ago.

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