Sam Kendricks after winning the pole vault at the FBK Games in Hengelo (© Eric Roeske)
World pole vault champion Sam Kendricks broke one of the oldest FBK Games meeting records at the IAAF World Challenge meeting in Hengelo on Sunday (9).
The previous meeting record of 5.90m was set by Sergey Bubka back in 1992. Since then, the closest anyone had come to the mark in the Dutch city was 5.85m, but even that was 20 years ago.
Kendricks, however, is riding a wave of good form, having won at the IAAF Diamond League meetings in Doha and Stockholm last month. Here in Hengelo he was a class apart as no one else in the field went higher than 5.51m. Kendricks scaled that height on his first try and then cleared 5.61m on his first attempt and 5.81m on his second. He then put the bar up to 5.91m and once again cleared it on his first try.
After announcing her ambition earlier this week to break her own European 5000m record in Hengelo, Sifan Hassan fell 16 seconds short of her target and was convincingly beaten by Kenya’s Margaret Chelimo Kipkemboi.
Hassan was unable to follow the Wavelight – an electronic system on the inside of the track that lights up to reflect a desired pace – and so unwittingly became a pacemaker for the rest of the field, passing 2000m in 5:46.74 and 3000m in 8:42.87.
A lead pack of four – Hassan, Kipkemboi, Eva Cherono and Hawi Feysa – began to pull away in the second half, even though the pace continued to decrease. Cherono led for much of the final kilometre but was passed by the three other women in the lead pack as they reached the final lap.
Hassan hit the front, but couldn’t shake off the challenge of Kipkemboi and Feysa. With 100 metres left, Kipkemboi passed a struggling Hassan and went on to win in a world-leading 14:37.22, the second-fastest time of her career. Hassan finished second in 14:38.54, 0.22 ahead of Feysa.
The men’s race was even closer, but this time the pre-race favourite came out on top.
Three days after winning at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Rome, Ethiopia’s Telahun Haile Bekele was pushed all the way in the men’s 5000m by Nicholas Kipkorir Kimeli but did just enough to hold off the Kenyan. Bekele won in 12:57.56 with Kimeli close behind in a PB of 12:57.90.
Manyonga wins long jump war of attrition
FBK Games meeting organisers tried out a new format for the men’s long jump.
After the first three rounds, athletes went head-to-head in the fourth round, so the athlete in first place jumped against the athlete in eighth; the jumper in second faced the athlete in seventh and so on. The four winners from the fourth round went through to the fifth round, where the same rule applies, leaving just two men to contest the sixth and final round.
World champion Luvo Manyonga emerged as the winner after easing his way through each round. He had a best of 8.16m from the first three rounds, then beat Yahya Berrabah in round four, 7.83m to 7.53m, before beating Wang Jianan in round five, 8.31m to 7.93m.
The South African saved his best for the final round, equalling his season’s best of 8.35m. But the only other remaining competitor, Sweden’s Thobias Montler, sustained an injury on his final jump.
Schippers and Cisse take 100m victories
A Dafne Schippers victory has almost become something of a tradition at the FBK Games. After clocking 11.38 for 100m in Belgium two weeks ago, the two-time world 200m champion chopped her season’s best down to 11.06 (1.7m/s) in Hengelo, banking a World Championships and Olympic Games qualifying mark.
The men’s event was won by Ivory Coast’s Arthur Cissé in 10.05 (0.6m/s) from Britain’s CJ Ujah. 2016 European 100m champion Churandy Martina, who turns 35 next month, was fourth in 10.19. His big dream is to participate in his fifth Olympic Games next year in Tokyo.
Spain’s Orlando Ortega won the men’s 110m hurdles in 13.27 (0.3m/s), a stride ahead of South Africa’s Antonio Alkana (13.41). World record-holder Aries Merritt, making his season’s debut, was last to cross the finish line.
In a clash between the Olympic gold and silver medallists in the women’s 100m hurdles, USA’s Nia Ali came out on top by a narrow margin. The two-time world indoor champion won in 12.75 with Olympic champion Brianna McNeal taking second in 12.76.
Elsewhere, Sweden’s Erika Kinsey cleared 1.96m to comfortably win the women’s high jump, Cornelius Tuwei held off the challenge from Britain’s Kyle Langford and European indoor champion Alvaro de Arriba to win the men’s 800m in 1:45.67, and USA’s Michael Cherry won the men’s 400m in 45.15.
Eric Roeske for the IAAF