From K-State Athletics
Kansas State Track and Field junior Aaron Booth won the gold medal at the 2019 World University Games at Stadio San Paolo in Naples, Italy on Tuesday, concluding the decathlon competition by scoring a personal best 7,827 points, capturing his second-career medal at the meet.
Competing in his third-career World University Games, and his first since winning bronze at the 2017 version in Taipei, Taiwan, Booth put himself in medal contention early in the decathlon competition on Monday.
In the first event of the competition, Booth clocked an 11.09 in the 100 meters to earn 841 points and place third in the event. In the following event, Booth neared a personal best in the long jump by jumping 7.19m/23-07.25 on his first attempt, which earned him 859 more points.
After placing fourth in the shot put with a top toss of 12.96m/42-06.25, Booth came out on top in the high jump, clearing a new personal best 2.00m/6-06.75 to win the event and earn 803 points. His previous best jump of 1.95m/6-04.75 came at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in June.
With one event to go on day one of the decathlon, Booth finished strong on the track by running a 49.77 in the 400 meters to put him in second place in the overall competition with 3,993 points, just 89 points off the leader, Suttisak Singkhon of Thailand.
On the second day of competition, Booth continued to rank at the top of the leaderboard, placing fifth in the 110-meter hurdles and third in the discus. Through seven events, Booth moved back to third overall, before setting a new personal best clearance in the pole vault.
After clearing on his first four attempts in the pole vault competition, Booth missed at 4.80m/15-09 on his first two attempts, before coming through with a clutch clearance on his third attempt. The clearance marked a new personal best for Booth, earning him 849 points and moving him into second place with 6,345 points with just two events remaining.
In the decathlon javelin throw, Booth took over the overall decathlon lead by winning the event with a top throw of 60.51m/198-06 on his last attempt to score 746 points to up his total to 7,091 points with just the 1,500 meters remaining.
With just an 83-point lead going into the final event, Booth finished the competition strong by running a 4:31.38 in the 1,500 meters to secure the World University Games gold medal. The victory marks the first for a New Zealand track and field athlete since 2015, when Angie Petty won gold in the 800 meters and ninth gold medal in the nation’s history at the games.