Olivia Burdon was the first Kiwi to qualify for a final at the 2015 IAAF World Youth Championships after smashing her 1500m personal best by almost two seconds. Burdon missed out on an automatic qualification spot by once place, but her time of 4:21.36 saw her advance into Sunday's final as one of the next four quickest.
"I'm really excited to make the final that was my aim in the competition, so I'm really happy with that. It was a dream just to make the team, so making the final is very exciting," said the Gold Coast based 17 year old.
"It was pretty hot here today but we've been in the US for the last couple of weeks, so we've been acclimatising to the heat and it really helped today. I was trying to keep my room a bit and watch what the other girls were doing and I think that worked. It hurt, but I got there in the end," Burdon added.
Georgia Hulls advanced to the 100m semi-finals slashing 0.11 from her personal best. Hulls ran an impressive time of 11.85 to finish third, just 0.02 behind an automatic qualification spot. She comfortably progressed as the quickest of the eight next fastest qualifiers.
Hulls ran 11.98 in her semi-final, placing seventh and not progressing to the final.
Maddison Wesche finished 17th in women’s shot put qualification. Her best of 15.23 left her 0.45 short of qualifying for the final.
“I was happy with my first throw, but the next two weren’t as good,” Wesche said.
“There is a different heat and a different atmosphere here. It was my first time at worlds and I didn’t know how I would go, but that is sport. It is pretty good, I’m only 16. It has been amazing so far and it has given me a taste for wanting to come back and do this again,” the Auckland athlete added.
Ryan Ballantyne finished 21st overall in shot put qualifying with a best of 18.21m. The Hamilton 16 year old threw 18.06 in round one, followed with a foul and 18.21m on his final attempt.
"I felt really good in pre-comps, throwing around 19m quite often, so I expected to do better,” a disappointed Ballantyne said after the competition.
“We had a plan and wanted to qualify as an automatic qualifier but obviously it didn’t work. I guess I can only go up from here. I have no excuses; it was probably not my day.”
“It’s been an awesome experience to compete in a stadium like this and meet some new shot putters,” Ballantyne added.
Kelsey Forman was in contention for the first couple of laps before dropping back in the latter stages to place 12th in the second heat of the 2000m steeplechase, finishing in 7:14.51, outside her personal best of 6:52.71 set at the national championships in March. The
"I didn’t notice the wind tonight because I’m from Wellington, I'm not used to sitting down so long before a race in the call room and on the way the stadium. I just felt really heavy. The warm up felt good, but I felt so heavy after I started and I just hit a wall.
"It was amazing," the Wellington 17 year old said of the experience competing at the championships.
Phoebe Edwards is the next New Zealand athlete in action with the first event in the heptathlon, the 100m hurdles due to get under way early Saturday morning New Zealand time.