Gesa Felicitas Krause winning the ISTAF 2000m steeplechase (© organisers)
Gesa Felicitas Krause smashed the world best in the rarely-run 2000m steeplechase to highlight the ISTAF meeting in Berlin, an IAAF World Challenge meeting, at the city's fabled Olympic Stadium on Sunday (1).
Competing just three days after breaking the German record in the 3000m steeplechase at the Diamond League final in Zurich, the 27-year-old clocked 5:52.80 to smash the previous mark of 6:02.16 set by Kenyan Virginia Nganga at this meeting four years ago.
"It is incredible!" said Krause, who improved to 9:07.51 over the standard distance on Thursday.
"Although this was 1000 metres shorter than usual I am extremely proud. This race shows my current performance level. Now I have to stay healthy until Doha. I am highly motivated for the World Championships and I want to be in the mix there."
Her performance was the 20th world record or world best to be set at this meeting, this year celebrating its 78th edition in front of more than 40,000 spectators.
Bahrain’s Winfred Yavi also broke six minutes, clocking 5:56.83 for second. Luiza Gaga of Albania took third with 6:00.07.
100m wins for Swoboda and de Grasse
Ewa Swoboda of Poland stormed to personal best of 11.07 (+0.7) to take the women's 100m, while runner-up Asha Philip of Great Britain clocked 11.10 to equal her lifetime best. China's Xiaojing Liang took third with 11.13, also a personal best, just ahead of Germany’s Gina Luckenkemper who clocked 11.15 for fourth.
"I did not expect such a time and a victory," said Swoboda. "I don't know how I did it - I just ran. This is a huge result for me, I am very confident now."
Luckenkemper came back to anchor a German 4x100m relay squad --along with Lisa Kwayie, Yasmin Kwadwo, Tatjana Pinto-- to a world-leading 41.67 win, with a Chinese quartet second in 42.31.
Canada’s Andre de Grasse ran down Akani Simbine in the waning stages to take the men's 100m in a season’s best of 9.97 (+1.4), 0.02 ahead of the South African. Jamaica’s Tyquendo Tracey was third in 10.06. "After my injury this was like a comeback for me,“ de Grasse said.
McLeod hurdles 13.07 season’s best
Olympic Champion Omar McLeod of Jamaica powered to a 13.07 win in the 110m hurdles, also a season's best, well clear or European champion Pascal Martinot-Lagarde who clocked 13.25.
The women's sprint hurdles was also fast, with Nigerian Tobi Amusan prevailing in 12.51 over Christina Clemons of the US who clocked 12.69 in second.
In the long jump world leader Malaika Mihambo confirmed her strong form, reaching 6.99m in the second round before deciding to call it a day.
"I am satisfied with today’s 6.99. I did not want to push it today,“ said Mihambo, noting the difficult winds and rain that hampered portions of the competition.
Canadian shot putter Brittany Crew improved her national record twice. First, she reached 19.10m in the second round and improved to 19.28m in the sixth.
"At the Diamond League final in Zurich I had a foul for a really good attempt," said Crew. "Today I stayed in the ring after this great throw. This is an important victory on the way to the World Championships."
Duplantis beats the winds
The difficult winds cut short the competition in the men's pole vault. Both Armand Duplantis and Sam Kendricks topped 5.80m --the former on his second go and the latter with his third-- but decided to call it a day when the bar was raised to 5.90m, giving the win to the young Swede.
"It was a hard fought victory for me," said Duplatis, whose first career six-metre clearance came at this stadium at the European Championships last year. "The wind was bad. But even in such circumstances one can jump 5.80 in this wonderful stadium."
The final two rounds of the javelin were also hampered by the wind, with just two valid throws produced. Earlier, world champion Johannes Vetter reached 85.40m in round two, enough to secure the win.
"Even though I was not able to throw 90 metres I am very happy to have won at the ISTAF,“ Vetter said. Edis Matusevicius of Lithuania was second with 85.10m while German Andreas Hofmann took third reaching 82.16m.
Poland’s Piotr Malachowski took the discus with 65.17m from world champion Andreas Gudzius of Lithuania (64.51m) and Germany's David Wrobel (63.43m).
Organisers for the IAAF