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Princeton's McCullough Wins IAAF World Junior Title

PRINCETON, N.J. -- Conor McCullough is the World Junior Champion in the men's hammer throw, becoming Team USA's first individual gold medalist at the IAAF World Junior Championship in Moncton, N.B., on Sunday, July 25.

McCullough set a championship record of 80.79 meters (265), which is also an American junior record. His mark surpassed the record of 78.42 set in 2006 by Russia's Evgeny Aydamirov.

"Our goal all year was to win the World Championship," head coach Fred Samara said. "It's very satisfying to have this dream come true."

McCullough improved his personal best by nearly 10 feet after throwing 78.26 at the U.S. Junior Outdoor Championship last month.

He put together a series of 77.59, 80.79, 80.18, 78.05, 80.69 and a no-throw.

"I was rested up, it all seemed to come together," McCullough said. "So it felt good. I put pressure on right away and that was essential."

Hungarian Akos Hudi, who came into the final with eight of the 10 furthest throws in the world and a leader of 81.15 meters, had no answer to McCullough's consistency. Hudi produced his best effort in the opening round of 78.37m but never got near the 80m marker. Egypt's Alaa El-Din El-Ashry was third with a best of 76.66m.

McCullough finished second at the 2008 World Juniors in Bydgodszcz.