Germany's Timo Northoff after taking gold in the boys' shot put at the IAAF U18 World Championships Nairobi 2017 (© Getty Images)
As a contest, this was over not long after it began. When Germany’s Timo Northoff walked into the throwing circle for the second round – having opened with a decent effort of 20.12m to seize the lead – it became clear the gold medal was headed his way as he unleashed a lifetime best of 20.50m.
In the third round, Northoff followed up with a foul, his put landing far to the left of the throwing plane and very nearly taking out a trio of officials seated there. His fourth round effort was well down on his best, the German willingly committing the foul after seeing it land, while the fifth saw him lose balance and step out of the circle.
With victory assured, however, Northoff stepped into the circle for his final throw and threw a whopper, 20.72m, a PB by 22cm and a world U18 lead to crown a memorable evening.
In the end, his closest threat – if we could call it that – came from Belarus’s Mikhail Samuseu, who threw 19.99m in the fifth round which secured him silver. Jonathan De Lacey of South Africa looked sure to challenge for the gold after his second-round effort of 19.93m, but that was a mark he couldn’t improve on in his subsequent attempts.
If there was a hard-luck story, then perhaps it was Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Nermin Stitkovac, who had thrown 19.60m in qualifying but could manage no better than 19.06m in the final, which placed him fifth. Stitkovac appeared to unleash a 20-metre throw in the final round, which would have been good enough to move him into the medal positions, but it was ruled a foul.
Chile’s Claudio Romera acquitted himself admirably with a PB of 19.22m in the final round to take fourth place.
Cathal Dennehy for the IAAF