Shamier Little wins 400-meter hurdles
EUGENE, Ore. -- Shamier Little won the 400-meter hurdles Saturday in the IAAF junior world championships in Hayward field, besting British challenger Shona Richards.
Little, who fell while competing at the world juniors in 2012 in Barcelona, got her redemption with a winning run of 55.66 seconds. It was one of eight total gold medals for the U.S. team at the international track event.
"To go 55 seconds, and this being my third time doing it, it's great," she said.
A sophomore this fall at Texas A&M, Little won the women's 400 hurdles at the NCAA outdoor championships in a school-record 55.07 last month. She also won the event at the U.S. junior championships held earlier this month at Hayward Field.
The bespectacled Little joins two other Americans who have won junior titles in the 400 meters at the world championships: Lashinda Demus in 2002 and Takecia Jameson in 2008.
"I got to about 150 when I felt I had it," Little said. "My coach was screaming and around the ninth or 10th hurdle I was just focusing on getting my feet down and getting my trail leg over."
Richards finished in a British junior record mark of 56:16 for the silver.
The United States also won the women's 400 relay in 43.46, besting rival Jamaica. It was the third-fastest time ever in the event at the junior worlds.
The U.S. team was anchored by 16-year-old Kaylin Whitney, who won the gold medal in the 200 and the bronze in the 100 this week. She was the youngest gold medalist at the international event that runs through Sunday.
"It was a flawless race. My take off was great, the hand-off was perfect," she said. "I told my body that it can't get tired before the end of this race."
The U.S. men also won the 400 relay in 38.68, beating runner-up Japan. The team was anchored by incoming Florida State freshman Trentavis Friday, who also won the individual 200 the night before.
"We stuck to our strategy, each worried about our own race and our own lane and that brought us to the finish," Friday said.
In other final events on Saturday, Ruth Jebet won the first junior world championship for Bahrain by winning the 3,000 steeplechase in 9: 36.36.74.
Rouguy Diallo of France won the women's triple jump in a wind-aided 47 feet, 4½ inches. Countryman Axel Chapelle won the pole vault at 18-2½.
It is the first time the junior world championships have been held in the United States. Nearly 1,600 athletes from 170 countries are taking part in the event that runs through Sunday.
Sanctioned by the sport's international governing body, the junior worlds include athletes born between 1995 and 1998.