Camryn Rogers may have won the hammer with her opening effort of the competition, but that in itself doesn’t tell the full story of how close the contest was.
The Canadian had led the qualifying round with 62.99m, only for her mark to be later ruled a foul after the conclusion of the competition. As she had only taken one throw, the jury of appeal allowed her to advance to the final, along with the athlete who had initially finished 13th overall in the qualifying round, USA’s Jillian Shippee.
Rogers made no mistakes in the final, though. Throwing 10th in the starting order, she sent her hammer out to 64.90m to take an early lead from world U18 champion Amanda Almendariz of Cuba (61.82m).
USA’s Alyssa Wilson, the world U20 leader, went into the hammer with hopes of salvaging a medal of any colour, having fouled out of the shot put final and finished a distant 10th in the discus. She threw 64.14m in round two to move into second place and apply pressure on Rogers.
Rogers didn’t improve with her remaining attempts but consistently landed her hammer close to the white line that marked out 65 metres, recording throws of 63.30m, 63.87m and 63.78m in rounds three to five.
Wilson was similarly consistent, improving to 64.45m in round three and 63.56m in round four. She couldn’t quite catch the Canadian, though, as Rogers held on to the gold medal position, claiming Canada’s first medal of the championships.
China’s Huang Weilu threw 62.63m in the second round to move into third place, but she was bumped out of a podium position in round five by Cuba’s world U18 silver medallist Yaritza Martinez, who threw 63.82m.
With just 1.08m separating the gold and bronze medallists, it was the closest ever finish in a women’s hammer competition at the World U20 Championships.
“This feels really special,” said Rogers. “I think the thought of me being the world champion will really hit me later.”
Wilson, a bronze medallist in the shot put two years ago, was pleased to end her week on a high.
“I’m happy to get the silver medal because the shot put and discus went so bad for me,” she said. “It was nice to have a comeback and throw pretty well today.”
Jon Mulkeen for the IAAF