18th April 2020


The 2000 IAAF World Junior Championships were all about Mark Lewis-Francis and his excellent double-gold and double championship record performances at the IAAF World Junior Championships in Santiago, Chile.

The British team arrived in Latin America off the back of one of the most successful championships in their history as they finished third in the medal table in Annecy, France, with seven medals to their name, including four gold.

There was plenty of expectation on the shoulders of Lewis-Francis following off the back of what Christian Malcolm had accomplished two years earlier when he became the first British man to successfully win a sprint title at the championships, winning both the 100m and 200m in world under-20 leading times.

The Birchfield Harrier began his campaign to ensure the crown would remain with a British athlete in perfect fashion as he qualified for the final fastest in his heat in 10.13s.

He continued his excellent run of form by winning his semi-final in 10.24s, before turning on the afterburners once again in the final, cutting the tape with a huge winning margin in 10.12s, matching Malcolm’s championship record set two years previous.

Not keen on settling for one medal, the teenage sensation turned his attention to the relay and set about making it a championship to remember for himself.

The quartet of Lewis-Francis, Tyrone Edgar, Dwayne Grant and Timothy Benjamin, who had secured a second individual medal for the British team with 200m bronze, qualified fastest of all nations for the final, stopping the clock in 39.14s, but the best was yet to come.

A faultless run in the final saw Lewis-Francis across the line in 39.05s, well clear of their nearest challengers France, securing the Birchfield man a second championship record of the week and also saw the quartet set a new British record which has remained unchallenged ever since.

The final medal of the championships went to the women’s 4x400m relay team, who ended the championships in style as they clocked the World Under-20 leading time courtesy of a slick 3:33.82.

The quartet of Heather Brookes, Jenny Meadows, Helen Thieme and Lisa Miller safely made it through their heat in 3:38.38, good enough for second position behind Germany, but ramped it up in the final to come away with gold.Kim Wall came in for Brookes in the only change to the line-up and the quartet delivered once again, pipping Jamaica to the world title by 0.17s and rounding off a successful championships in South America.