The first international athletics meet on US mondo since Atlanta 1996 has burst into life, with the world's best junior (under-20) athletes showcasing their talents at Eugene's iconic Hayward Field. Here are SPIKES' favourite bits from two days in TrackTown.

The flying Aussie


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Australian decathlete Cedric Dubler produced his very best athletics, with an incredible four PB's from his first five events on day one: "I've had a bit of a bumpy past, so I'm just happy to be here," he said. So are we.

On day two, he lost the lead to Jiri Sykora (who is almost 500pts his superior on paper), then got it back, then lost it again. Dubler got EVEN MORE lifetime bests: in the 110m hurdles, pole vault, javelin and the 1500m, and finished with a groin-grabbingly mighty 8094pts.

Cruelly, Sykora produced a stunning 1500m of his own, denying Dubler the gold. But a silver medal and eight out of ten PB's? We'd take that.


Flashes of panic



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After some gutsy front-running by Japan's Keisuke Nakatani and Hazuma Hattori (much appreciated by Prefontaine-mad locals), the East Africans decided to activate turbo mode.

Blurry Ugandan Joshua Kiprui Cheptegei (above) took 10,000m gold, although there was some serious lapping to do to get by the 38-strong field.


Medal podium this way


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On day one, Morgan Lake, 17, failed twice at 1.79m in the high jump. It did not look good. 20 minutes later, she jumped higher than any junior athlete ever has in a heptathlon.

Her stunning 1.94m helped towards a healthy first day lead, and a superb javelin in the rain on day two (all three of her throws went further than her pre-comp PB) meant that defending champ Yorgelis Rodriguez, 19, could not catch her.

Lake also deserved extra points for wearing Union Jack shin tape in the 800m. "I had a little bit of DOMS [muscle soreness] in my shin... they were quite lucky in the end," she told SPIKES afterwards.

And we can throw gold paint at her now...


You'll never sprint alone


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Finally, an athlete who can properly use the cliche: 'I ran my own race'. Wrongly disqualified in her afternoon 100m heat on day one, Ecuadorian sprinter Angela Tenorio, 18, successfully appealed and earned the right to a rerun.

Despite having to wait on the rest of the day's session, an opening ceremony, a 10,000m race, medal ceremony, lap of honour and some officious officiating, Tenorio maintained her composure and at 10.30pm, blitzed to, errr... first place (and a semi-final spot) in 11.27.

It was the second fastest time of the day, and the Hayward Field faithful loved it. "It was a very special feeling. Nothing can describe it," she said, after competing in the stadium on her own.

She went onto win silver in the final, behind the very impressive Dina Asher-Smith – who seemed to lead for the entirety of her three races.


It's a hard rain, and it's gonna fall down


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After a week of mostly glorious sunshine, the rain and cold on day two provided a new challenge for the world's best under-20 athletes.

Some, like South African 800m runner Gena Loftstrand (above), hid their discomfort worse than others. Lofstrand's time was some six seconds off her PB, and she bowed out in a semi-final won by the impressive Sahily Diago of Cuba.


Czech mates


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To a playlist of Walking On Sunshine, Walk This Way and Walk Like An EgyptianAnezka Drahotova waltzed to a world junior record 42:47.25 in the 10,000m race walk. That's quicker than a lot of people can run it.

Her Czech team-mates provided vocal support in the pouring rain (above), and the multi-talented Drahotova was left with just 22 hours to prepare for her 3000m steeplechase heat. 




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The hammer throw is taking place just outside of Hayward Field (because of its incredibly tight infield), so fans get closer than usual to the action. The women's hammer final was a day two highlight, complete with a satisfying thud every time the hammer crashed into the wet turf. 

It was a series of incredibly satisfying thuds for Ukraine's Al'ona Shamotina, who took gold with 66.05m under the approving gaze of pole vault legend Sergey Bubka.