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Report06 Feb 2021


World Athletics Indoor Tour round-up: Duplantis tops 6.03m in Rouen, world leads from Sagnia and Lillemets

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Mondo Duplantis tops 6.03m in Rouen (© Jiro Mochizuki)


Mondo Duplantis improved the world lead in the pole vault to 6.03m at the Perche Elite Tour Meeting in Rouen, France, on Saturday (6).

Opening at this World Athletics Indoor Tour Silver meeting with a rare miss at 5.60m, Duplantis sailed over on his second try, passed at 5.73m and then cleared 5.83m with ease. He then passed 5.93m and resumed competition at 6.03m - along with three other competitors - and again topped the bar with some room to spare.

After Chris Nilsen, Sam Kendricks and former world record-holder Renaud Lavillenie bowed out, the 21-year-old closed out the competition with three tries at a would-be world record of 6.19m. His first attempt at adding a centimetre to his world record was solid, and his second even better. The wind was out of his sails by his third, however, forcing him to call it a day.

It's not easy to break the world record, is it, the arena announcer asked the 2020 World Athlete of the Year. Duplantis smiled.

"I can't do it every time, but I'm glad to get over six metres again," said Duplantis, who topped 6.01m in his season's debut in Dusseldorf last weekend. He then promised to return to this meeting again next year.

"I don't have the meet record so that's motivation to come back," he said.

That record has belonged to Lavillenie since 2014 when he topped 6.04m - three weeks before he set the previous world record with a 6.14m leap in Donetsk, Ukraine.

The Frenchman topped 6.02m to wrestle the world lead from Duplantis last Sunday in Tourcoing, France, but finished in a tie for second here with Nilsen at 5.93m. Both sailed over with their first attempts and produced clean score cards - Lavillenie with three clearances and Nilsen with six - until the bar was raised to 6.03m.

Kendricks topped 5.83m on his third attempt to finish fourth.

Holly Bradshaw won the women's event with a 4.85m clearance, another world lead and the Briton's highest vault, indoors or outdoors, since 2012.

It was also the second highest clearance of the 29-year-old's career, bettered only by her 4.87m absolute best set indoors in 2012.

Opening at 4.53m, she went clear on her first try, but needed a second at the next height, 4.62m. She topped 4.70m on her first go to seal the victory, then topped 4.80m on her second. After a pair of decent tries at 4.85m, she produced a clear attempt on her third.

Four others topped 4.62m with Iryna Zhuk of Belarus finishing second on countback. Canadian Alysha Newman and Eleni-Klaoudia Polak of Greece tied for third with Tina Sutej of Slovenia, the winner in Ostrava three nights ago, finishing fifth.

World leads by Barega and Bol in Metz

Selemon Barega clocked a 3:34.62 world-leading run in the 1500m to highlight the Meeting Metz Moselle Athlélor, a World Athletics Indoor Tour Silver meeting, in the northeastern French city on Saturday (6).

In a close contest,the world 5000m silver medallist edged Kenyan Bethwell Birgen by 0.05. The performance also clipped nearly three seconds from the 21-year-old Ethiopian's career best indoors.

Elliot Giles of Great Britain was third in 3:37.61, also an indoor career best for the 26-year-old 800m standout, who opened his season with a victory over the shorter distance in Karlsruhe last weekend.

Femke Bol smashed her week-old Dutch indoor 400m record with a strong 50.81 run, another of the afternoon's world leads. It was also the third PB this season for the 20-year-old in as many races this year.

Her compatriot Lieke Klaver won the first section in 51.73 to finish second then doubled back to win the meet-capping 200m in 23.10 to clip 0.07 from the national indoor record she also set last weekend in Vienna.

Habitam Alemu, the Ethiopian 800m record holder outdoors, notched a convincing victory over that distance in her season's debut, clocking 2:00.85, more than a second clear of Swiss Lore Hoffmann and Pole Joanna Jozwik, third in 2:02.19.

On the straight, Jarret Eaton took a big win in the 60m hurdles, clocking 7.54 for his first international victory in 2021. Balasz Baji was a distant second in 7.71. Wilhem Belocian, who lowered his lifetime best to 7.45 in the heats, went out strong but hit the third hurdle hard before tumbling to the ground and out of the running.

Tobi Amusan took the women's race in 8.00.

Javianne Oliver, the 2018 US indoor 60m champion, won over that distance in 7.10 in her 2021 debut, with Ajla Del Ponte second in 7.14, another personal best this season for the 24-year-old Swiss.

Devin Quinn of the US won the men's race in 6.54, knocking 0.04 from his lifetime best and edging veteran Michael Rodgers, who clocked 6.59.

European indoor champion Jan Volko finished a distant seventh in 6.71, but bounced back to take the 200m in 20.99, a 0.05 improvement on his own Slovak indoor record.

The closest battle of the evening was waged in the men's long jump. Both Maykel Masso and Miltiadis Tentoglou had a best leap of 8.02m, but the Cuban got the edge on countback. His second best leap was 8.01m, just two centimetres better than the Greek's 7.99m.

Other winners included Ireland's Sean Tobin, who took the 3000m in 7:48.01, and Thomas Jordier of France, who took the 400m in 46.77. Cuban Andy Diaz won the triple jump with 17.06m.

Bob Ramsak for World Athletics

Sagnia leaps world lead in Dortmund

Sweden’s Khaddi Sagnia sailed out to a world-leading 6.82m to win the long jump at the PSD Bank Indoor Meeting in Dortmund on Sunday (7).

The 26-year-old produced her winning leap in the second round, then followed it with four fouls. She didn’t need to improve on her second-round mark, though, as she won comfortably from Nastassia Mironchyk-Ivanova of Belarus, who jumped 6.56m.

Joris van Gool of the Netherlands won the men’s 60m in a national record of 6.58, beating Konstantinos Zikos of Greece (6.64). In the women’s event, Jennifer Montag set her third PB of the year, winning in 7.21.

In the 1500m, Caterina Granz gained revenge on fellow German Katharina Trost, the winner in Karlsruhe last week where Granz placed third. This time Granz won in a world-leading 4:10.33, beating Trost by 0.23.

Just 0.01 separated Andreas Kramer and Adam Kszczot in the men’s 800m. Sweden’s Kramer got the verdict over the world indoor champion, winning in 1:47.64. The men’s 1500m was more clear cut as Kenya’s Kumari Taki won in 3:39.12, finishing more than a second ahead of Canada’s Charles Philibert-Thiboutot (3:40.21).

Lillemets joins 6000-point club in Tallinn

One year since missing the 6000-point barrier in the heptathlon by just four points, Estonia’s Risto Lillemets returned to the Indoor Combined Events meeting in Tallinn and smashed through that standard with a world-leading 6089.

Compatriot Hans-Christian Hausenberg led after the first two events, equalling his 60m PB of 6.82m and leaping 7.62m in the long jump. Vitali Zhuk of Belarus then took the lead thanks to a 16.51m heave in the shot and he ended the first day with a one-point lead over Lillemets after clearing 2.01m in the high jump. Lillemets, who had set PBs of 6.97 in the 60m and 7.28m in the long jump, moved up the standings thanks to a 2.07 jump.

Lillemets took the lead after the 60m hurdles (8.14) and followed it with a 5.01m vault. Hausenberg moved into second, just nine points adrift of Lillemets, after clearing 5.11m but he decided not to start the 1000m. Lillemets clocked 2:42.15 in the 1000m to secure victory with 6089, becoming the 11th Estonian man to score 6000 points.

Zhuk finished second overall with 6010. Germany’s Tim Nowak, the 10th-place finisher in the decathlon at the World Championships in Doha, failed to record a height in the pole vault but managed to finish third overall with 5086.

The women’s pentathlon went down to the wire. Poland’s world U20 bronze medallist Adrianna Sulek led after the second event, but Ukraine’s Anastasiya Mokhnyuk clawed back the deficit in the shot put (13.78m) and took the lead.

Mokhnyuk increased her lead to 59 points after leaping 6.09m in the long jump, but Sulek produced a lifetime best of 2:16.97 in the 800m to regain the lead and take victory with a PB of 4442. Mokhnyuk, who finished eight seconds adrift of Sulek in the final event, scored 4393 for second place.

Jon Mulkeen for World Athletics