IAAF World U20 Championships Day 4 Recap

(July 22, 2016) Zawisza Stadium, BYDGOSZCZ, Poland 

Day 4 Overview

Team USA took home four more medals today: Michael Norman won gold in the 200m with a new championship record, Anna Cockrell won gold in the 400m hurdles and tied the second-fastest time ever for a high school girl, Wil London won silver in the 400m and Darius Carbin won silver in the high jump.

With Norman's gold closing out the evening, Team USA has now officially earned 100 total gold medals in the history of the IAAF World U20 Championships.

Emma Fitzgerald placed eighth in the heptathlon, but more impressive was her score of 5,577 -- she was just one point off Kendell Williams' national high school record and will end her prep career ranked No. 2 all-time.

The morning session saw 110m hurdlers Tia Jones and Alexis Duncan make short work of the competition, clocking 13.04 (+1.6) and 13.11 (+1.5) for the top times of the day. American 1500m medal threat Alexa Efraimson also easily advanced to her final, along with compatriot Christina Aragon. This is Alexa's second world championships at the U20 level and she's made clear her goal to go home with America's first-ever 1500m medal. In the field events, Nicole Greene advanced in the high jump and Bria Matthews advanced in the triple jump.

Top Three Performances: Michael Norman, Anna Cockrell, Emma Fitzgerald

Michael Norman closed out Day 4 by winning the 200m in 20.17 (+1.2), the third-fastest clocking of his career and a new championship record. With his medal, Team USA has now officially won 100 golds in the U20 Championships event history.

Anna Cockrell won the 400m hurdles over Jamaica's fierce Shannon Kalawan with a nearly perfectly executed race. Her time of 55.20 won convincingly over Kalawan's 56.54, registers as a new PB for Cockrell and ties for No. 2 all-time in U.S. prep history. Leslie Maxie ran the same time in 1984, a mark that stood as the national high school record for 32 years until Syndey McLaughlin lowered it to 54.15 this July.

Emma Fitzgerald scored 5,577 points to place eighth overall in the heptathlon. Her mark ranks No. 2 all-time and is just one point off the national high school record. Going into the 800m, she knew she had to lower her PB by three seconds --and she did, from 2:28 to 2:25-- but she was still five-hundredths of a second off the record set by 2016 Olympian Kendell Williams. Fitzgerald says she grew up competing in multi events but spent most of high school focusing on javelin or being injured before refocusing on the heptathlon again this spring.

Race of the Day: Junior Men's 400m

Wil London entered the 400m finals seeded fourth, behind Abdalelah Haroun of Qatar, who has run 44.27; Karabo Sibanda of Botswana, who has run 45.15; and U.S. teammate Kahmari Montgomery, whose PB is 45.13.

Haroun and Sibanda got out with blazing speed and seemed completely clear of the field once they turned on to the homestretch. However, Sibanda began to tie up in the final 50m as London --trusting his own race strategy the entire duration-- turned on the burners to snatch up second place.

Haroun would win in 44.81, while London recorded a new PB of 45.27.

They Said It

"I have never been so nervous for anything in my track career. I was almost crying but I decided to not be a baby. The whole past five hours I've been thinking about it non-stop... I started track when I was really young, eight or nine. I did Junior Olympics and if I did the multis, I got to do more events than other kids, so I would do a triathlon and then long jump or javelin. It was kind of, 'the more, the merrier.' The only part I never liked was the 800m, but it's totally worth it when you get to do six events you absolutely adore. I kind of let go of it the past couple years with javelin and just my health and I gained weight and was injured. This year I finally decided to just pick it back up and go to college for it. No regrets."

- Emma Fitzgerald started training for the heptathlon again in January, after a few years out of the event, and recorded the second-best performance ever by a high school student in Poland. Her score of 5,577 is just one point off Kendell William's national high school record of 5,578. She had to PR by three seconds in the 800m to take down the record, and she did lower her best mark from 2:28 to 2:25 -- but was five hundredths of a second short of taking down the record.

Photo of the Day

What's Next?

Finals tomorrow include:

Junior Men's 10K race walk [9:30 local time]
Junior Women's 5K [10:30 local time]
Junior Women's triple jump [10:40 local time]
Junior Women's hammer throw [17:00 local time]
Junior Men's pole vault [17:10 local time]
Junior Women's 200m [18:20 local time]
Junior Men's javelin [18:40 local time]
Junior Men's 5K [18:45 local time]
Junior Men's 400m hurdles [19:15 local time]
Junior Men's 4x100m relay [19:35 local time]
Junior Women's 4x100m relay [19:50 local time]