Nairobi – South African high jumper Breyton Poole set an under-18 leading 2.24m to win gold on the penultimate day of the IAAF U18 world athletics championships on Saturday.
The 17-year-old Cape Town-born, who cleared a personal best 2.18m at the South African youth championships in April, pushed five of his rivals to achieve their career bests.
“I was patient from the beginning and this made (me) more confident as the event went on,” said Poole, who was well clear of second-placed Chima Ihenetu of Germany who jumped 2.14m.
“I feel great having set two best times in the same competition.”
The current World under-18 record of 2.28m was set by Huang Haiqiang of China in Marrakesh, Morocco in 2005.
Poole is the second South African to win the world title after compatriot Jacques Freitag clinched the first world youth champion title in 1999 in Bydgoszcz, Poland.
South Africa claimed two more golds in the boy’s and girl’s 400m hurdles to move to the top of the medals standing with a total of eight medals – one ahead of overnight leaders Cuba.
Defending champions United States pulled out of the championships, along with six other top nations citing security concerns.