High Jumper Ariane Friedrich set the true highlight on day two of the German Indoor Championships in Sindelfingen, when she cleared a personal best of 2.01m at her first attempt. In the men’s events Thomas Blaschek produced the best result of day two, taking the 60m Hurdles in 7.58 seconds.
Friedrich’s rise continues
Having improved to two metres this winter, which she had cleared twice, there was no question of who would win the national title. When 24-year-old Friedrich cleared 1.90m with only her second jump of the competition, that would already have been enough to take the title. But she went on to clear two more heights: On her first attempt she jumped 1.95m and then did the same again at 2.01m. The 2.01 looked so good that it seemed well possible that Ariane Friedrich would fly even higher. But she then missed 2.03 three times, though especially her last attempt looked promising. In that sort of form it will be interesting what Germany’s new athletics hope will be capable of doing in Valencia.
“The 2.01 jump felt very dynamic – unfortunately the ones at 2.03 were not quite that good,” Friedrich said. “In Valencia it will be my aim to jump 1.95m first to achieve the qualification for the final.” Friedrich will have one more competition before the World Indoors, in Weinheim on Wednesday evening.
Women’s Pole Vault upset
There was an upset in the pole vault for Carolin Hingst, who once again heads the German indoor season’s list with 4.65m. But in Sindelfingen she did not produce a result at all. Beginning her competition at 4.50m she missed three times. The one who had produced the best results internationally in recent years was unlucky as well: Silke Spiegelburg slipped at her first attempt at 4.50m, but was lucky to escape with a bruise on her leg. Missing 4.50m again and then 4.55 Spiegelburg had to be content with third place with 4.40m. The vaulters who will most probably be nominated for Valencia are Julia Hütter and Anna Battke. Hütter jumped 4.60 to win the title while Battke improved to 4.50.
“I did not expect to win here today,” Hütter said. “But it had been may aim to qualify for Valencia. At the World Indoors I want to confirm my form from today. Then it might be possible to reach the final.”
Good day for Blaschek’s training group
It was no surprise that Thomas Blaschek stormed away to take the 60m Hurdles title for the fourth time in a row. But it did surprise that three athletes of Blaschek’s training group took the next three places! Erik Balnuweit (7.68), Alexander John (7.70) and Willi Mathiszik (7.71) are all coached by Idriss Gonschinska, who used to be the coach of Kristin Patzwahl, in Leipzig.
“I am not quite that happy with my race since I always want to achieve a personal best. But I am very happy regarding the achievement of our group,” Blaschek said after his 7.58 performance. The success of the Leipzig hurdlers becomes even more remarkable if one adds the women’s final: Judith Ritz took the gold in 8.15 seconds – and she also belongs to the same group.
Schumann’s comeback continues
The men’s middle distance races did not produce superb times but some notable performances: In the 800 m youngster Robin Schembera won the title in 1:49.20 from Nils Schumann (1:49.73). The Olympic Champion from Sydney 2000 looks in much more promising shape than for a long time. He has returned to Erfurt and is again coached by Dieter Hermann, who had guided him to Olympic gold.
In the 1500m two runners beat the German qualifying standard for Valencia in the final: Carsten Schlangen took the title in a fine 3:38.47 while Christoph Lohse was second with 3:39.60. “I will now have to decide whether to run the 1500m or the 3000m in Valencia,” said Schlangen, who had run the qualifying time for the 3000 m earlier in the season.
There was an upset in the men’s 200m final, where Stefan Kuhlee took the title in 21.00 seconds in what was his first major championship. He beat Alexander Kosenkow (21.15) and Tobias Unger (21.19), who had been the big favourite in front of his home crowd.
Jörg Wenig for the IAAF