08.18.06

World Junior Track and Field Championships

Posted in Track and Field/Athletics at 11:27 am by Nicole

It’s world juniors week in Beijing at the Chaoyang Sports Center (潮阳体育中心), way out in east Beijing past the eastern fourth ring road. It’s a small but lovely facility and the event, so far, has been just about perfect. It feels every bit as much a world championship event as the IAAF senior worlds I’ve covered (Paris in 2003 and Helsinki in 2005). One Chinese reporter corraled me for an interview, asking how I would compare the media services between this event and the other world events I’ve attended. All I could say was, well, here the press materials are in English and Chinese instead of English and French! That’s about it – other than that, you just step inside the stadium and take in the atmosphere of a wonderful track meet.

It’s great to see world-class track and field in China, and especially fascinating to see the Chinese team doing so well. Last night the stadium was electrified by the performance of Chinese men’s high jumper Huang Haiqiang, who actually leaped just as high in winning the gold medal (2.32m) as Yuriy Krymarenko leaped last year in Helsinki to win senior worlds. China keeps looking for its “next Liu Xiang” and they may well have a future Olympic medalist in the youthful Huang. Keep an eye on this kid.

As always, wire-to-wire coverage of the event is being featured online at the IAAF website.

Beijing crawling with journalists (Jamaica Observer)

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