With a population of just over 60,000, it comes as no surprise that Bermuda has never won a medal at the IAAF World U20 Championships. That could soon change, though, as Iowa-based Jah-Nhai Perinchief jointly tops the 2016 world U20 list with a 2.26m lifetime best.
Bermuda might be small in size but the Caribbean island does have something resembling a high jumping tradition. Clarence Sanders holds the national record with a 2.36m clearance and finished fifth at the 1987 World Championships and 1988 Olympic Games.
Saunders’ national record, which dates back to the 1990 Commonwealth Games in Auckland, might not be on Perinchief’s compass just yet but the 18-year-old has already erased his national U20 record.
Perinchief shares the lead on this year’s world U20 list with Ukraine’s Oleksandr Barannikov who cleared 2.26m in his most recent competition. The 19-year-old, who claimed a bronze medal at last year’s European Junior Championships, was also second at the senior Ukrainian Championships.
The best PB of the field, though, belongs to Japan’s Yuji Hiramatsu. The Youth Olympic silver medallist jumped 2.28m last year and went on to compete at the IAAF World Championships Beijing 2015. His best this year is 2.22m.
Cuba’s sole representative in this event in Bydgoszcz is Luis Zayas, who has a 2.25m lifetime best to his name.
Other medal contenders include South Africa’s Christopher Moleya, Italy’s world U18 champion Stefano Sottile and USA’s world U18 bronze medallist Darius Carbin.
There is no guarantee that world U20 champions will make the grade at senior level but a high percentage of winners of this title have gone on to great success.
Past winners in this discipline include Javier Sotomayor (1986), Artur Partyka (1988), Dragutin Topic (1990), Steve Smith (1992), Mark Boswell (1996), Jacques Freitag (2000), Bogdan Bondarenko (2008) and Mutaz Essa Barshim (2010).
Steven Mills for the IAAF