The IAAF World Junior Championships took place in Barcelona July 13-14, which featured 180 countries and the best athletes in the world under the age of 20. Shaquille Walker, a BYU student, advanced to the semifinals at the 800 meters.
On the first day of action, Walker finished his heat in 1:49.55, which gave him fourth place. Although he missed the automatic qualifier (the top three in each heat advance), his time held up as the third and final qualifying time for the semis. The next day, he finished his heat with a time of 1:51.43 and in seventh place. The top two in each heat plus the next top two times advanced to the finals
“I was very happy with how I competed,” Walker said. “I competed against some of the best in the world and I was able to run the kind of races that I wanted to run.”
Walker finished the competition ranked 17 out of the 60 contestants in the race.
“I improved my ranking from when I got here,” Walker said. “I’m pretty excited about that.”
BYU signee Tanner Sork was the other representative for the U.S. in the 800 meter run. He placed sixth in his heat with a time of 1:50.80 after losing his shoe in the middle of the race. Sork finished second at the USA Junior Championships behind Walker to qualify to go to Barcelona.
Walker has returned and is now preparing to go to England but not to run track. He reports to the England Manchester Mission in two weeks. He will be putting his efforts to help another team and is excited to go and serve.