Austrian heptathlete Sarah Lagger in the 100m hurdles (© Hannes Riedenbauer/Austrian Federation)
If previous form is to be believed, then the girls’ heptathlon should come down to a head-to-head duel between world youth leaders Ukraine’s Alina Shukh and Austria’s Sarah Lagger.
Lagger, in particular, looks set to have an extremely busy week; she’s entered in both the 100m hurdles and long jump in addition to the heptathlon, a workload which would see her competing on all five days of the championships.
In May, the 15-year-old Lagger became the youngest athlete to break the 6000-point barrier in the youth heptathlon, scoring 6014 in Leibnitz. At the time, it was the highest score achieved in a youth heptathlon using the lighter throwing implements, which were introduced at this level two years ago.
However, Ukraine’s Shukh has since usurped Lagger at the head of the world youth lists courtesy of a 6039-point performance in Kirovohrad in recent weeks.
At that event, Shukh ran personal bests of 14.20 in the 100m hurdles, 26.31 in the 200m and 2:15.87 over 800m. A 49-metre javelin thrower and 1.83m high jumper, she will take considerable stopping in Cali, but her battle for supremacy with Lagger should nonetheless be an intriguing one.
Others in the medal hunt could include Switzerland’s Geraldine Ruckstuhl, who posted a personal best of 5861 last month, Cuba’s Adriana Rodriguez, Sweden’s Bianca Salming and Ireland’s Elizabeth Morland.
Cathal Dennehy for the IAAF