Indonesian makes 100m history as Jamaica's Stephens finishes seventh in Tampere

By IAAF July 11, 2018

In major championships 100m finals, the eyes may always be drawn towards the central lanes, but Indonesia’s Lalu Muhammad Zohri proved once again that it’s always unwise to discount those further afield. 

In the 32-year-history of the IAAF World U20 Championships, the best performance by an Indonesian athlete was an eighth-place finish in the 100m heats at the inaugural edition in 1986, but that all changed on Tuesday.

On a mild, breezy evening in Tampere, the 18-year-old Zohri unleashed a searing finish to his race to snatch gold in 10.18 seconds (1.2m/s) ahead of USA duo Anthony Schwartz (10.22) and Eric Harrison (10.22). South Africa’s Thembo Monareng finished fourth in 10.23, with Britain’s Dominic Ashwell powering to a PB on the inside in 10.25.

Sweden’s Henrik Larsson, who had set a national U20 record of 10.22 to win his semi-final, could finish only sixth in 10.28. Jamaica's Michael Stephens was seventh in 10.31, while Japan's Daisuke Miyamoto was eighth in 10.43

Zohri came into the event as a respected, but far from feared, entity.

He had become Asian U20 champion earlier this year and lowered his best to 10.25 on home soil in Jakarta. But after the semi-finals, few would confidently have predicted his win, Zohri finishing second to USA’s Anthony Schwartz in 10.24, 0.05 behind.

Early in the final, it appeared as if the race would boil down to a two-way tussle between the US sprinters, but maintaining his form brilliantly out in lane eight was Zohri.

The Indonesian hit the front at halfway and was drawing away at the line, which he crossed in 10.18 to seal a historic victory for his nation ahead of Schwartz and Harrison.

“I will party tonight!” said Zohri. “I'm very happy with my PB and national junior record. Now, I will prepare for the Asian Games next month. I'm so proud – this was an amazing experience and this is great for my career.”

Schwartz was far from disappointed with second.

“Even being in the final is a great blessing,” he said. “My training has been different this season – less strength. It’s great to have a teammate on the podium with me.”

Harrison was also content, if not quite ecstatic, with his bronze.

“The last metres were really tight and I'm never satisfied,” he said. “But I'm really excited as I ran a PB. It's been a great opportunity and experience for me, emotional and special.”

Related items

  • T&T 4x100 athletes officially advised of 2008 gold medals T&T 4x100 athletes officially advised of 2008 gold medals

    Trinidad and Tobago's 2008 men's 4x100m relay team have been officially awarded gold medals by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

    The team of Richard Thompson, Marc Burns, Keston Bledman, Emmanuel Callender and Aaron Armstrong were awarded the gold after the Jamaican relay team’s members, including Usain Bolt, were stripped of their medals when Nesta Carter was found guilty last year of using a banned substance.

    The Trinidad and Tobago team had finished behind the Jamaicans inside Beijing’s Bird’s Nest in Beijing.

    Brian Lewis, President of the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee, said he received a letter from the IOC around 5.15 pm on Friday, went through it with staff then contacted the athletes to let them know.

    He said the athletes have until January 7 to return their silver medals as part of the process.

    He said the athletes have four choices regarding the re-allocation ceremony. They can opt to receive them at the next Olympic Games, at the Olympic Museum, the World Champs or the TTOC's annual awards on December 29.

    Lewis said he is pushing for the team to receive a medal bonus which could hopefully be presented at the awards. The medal bonus programme was introduced when he became TTOC president.

    "I will take a proposal to the committee that even though there was no medal bonus programme in place in 2008 or 2012 that the five athletes receive medal bonus as per the current medal bonus used for 2016 Olympics," he said.

    The bonus for the relay team’s gold medal from the Rio Olympics was US$20,000 to be shared, he said.

    The next executive meeting is on December 12.

    Lewis said he is happy for the team but as President of the Caribbean Association of National Olympic Committees (Canoc), he is conflicted.

    "Those athletes, in particular, have served Trinidad and Tobago with dignity, patriotism, pride and an indomitable will throughout their careers But as I said with my Canoc hat on I feel a bit of empathy for the great man and our Jamaican brothers and sisters. Usain Bolt has conducted himself with class in this difficult situation," he said.

    Lewis said the team has now joined the ranks of  Olympic gold medallists Hasely Crawford and Keshorn Walcott.

    In 2016, the 4x100 relay team that placed third in the London Olympics in 2012 were upgraded to silver after American sprinter Tyson Gay received a one-year ban for testing positive for anabolic steroids.

  • Three more nominees for Jamaica's Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year Three more nominees for Jamaica's Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year

    Track and field athlete Hansle Parchment and Shericka Jackson, as well as netballer Shamera Sterling, have been added to the list of nominees for the RJR Sports Foundation 2018 Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year Awards.

  • Ato Boldon: IAAF Awards Gala inspired Briana Williams Ato Boldon: IAAF Awards Gala inspired Briana Williams

    She didn’t win but Jamaica’s Briana Williams had a great time in Monte Carlo at the IAAF Athletics Awards Gala and it could serve as motivation for a return when perhaps, a trophy could be waiting.

SportsMax Zone

Latest Tweets

Nothing seems capable of stopping the Manchester Spurs so far this season.
TT Netball focussed on 2019 World Cup.
Does a belated gold medal mean as much? T&T 4x100 athletes officially advised of 2008 gold medals Read full story…
Follow SportsMax on Twitter
© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.