Roisin Willis wins World U20 Championships women's 800m at Cali22

CALI, Colombia (August 3) —— Roisin Willis powered past Audrey Werro in the home straight on her way to setting a new championships record of 1:59.13 to win the women’s 800m final at the U20 World Athletics Championships 2022 at the Pascual Guerrero Olympic Stadium here in Cali, on Wednesday night, 3 August.

Willis, who had never broken two-minutes for the 800m before tonight’s final, led the race in the open 400m before Werro took over on the final lap. Read more: Letsile Tebogo runs 19.99, sets World U20 championship record in the 200m heats

The Swiss teen entered the home straight with the lead but she wasn’t able to hold off the American who used a super finish to blow by her fellow competitor and then build a sizable advantage en route to winning the gold medal.

Willis was improving her previous lifetime best of 2:00.03, set earlier this summer, while she became only the second USA woman to win the 800m gold medal at the World Athletics U20 Championships.

“I wasn’t really expecting to take it out that first lap, but I trusted what I did in the semifinal and just kept going,” said Willis on the World Athletics website.

“The only thought in my head was, ‘don’t give up,’ and I knew if I was in second coming into the home stretch, I’d give it everything I have. I stuck to my promise.”

Meanwhile, Werro was rewarded for her efforts with a new personal best and Switzerland U20 national record of 1:59.53 when securing the silver medal.

World U20 leader and the pre-championship favorite, Juliette Whittaker of USA finished with the bronze medal in 2:00.18. 

Whittaker entered the U20 World Athletics Championships with a personal best of 1:59.04, but she wasn’t able to replicate that performance here in Cali, tonight.

In the meantime, Nelly Chepchirchir of Kenya ran a new personal best of 2:01.42 to take fourth place, while Veronika Sadek of Slovenia ran 2:02.78 for 5th place.

Photo: Marta Gorczynska for World Athletics

World U20 Championships 800m final results

1USARoisin WILLIS1:59.13 CR
2SUIAudrey WERRO1:59.53 NU20R
3USAJuliette WHITTAKER2:00.18
5SLOVeronika SADEK2:02.78
6GBRAbigail IVES2:02.89
7AUSHayley KITCHING2:03.44
8ETHKsanet ALEM2:03.62

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