Renaud Lavillenie improves on his own world-leading mark (© Jean-Pierre Durand)
Olympic champion Renaud Lavillenie improved his own world-leading pole vault mark to 6.02m at the ISTAF Indoor meeting in Berlin on Saturday (14) before having three solid but unsuccessful attempts at a would-be world record of 6.17m.
Competing in front of 12,500 spectators at the O2 World arena in the German capital, Lavillenie entered the competition at 5.73m. When Poland’s Robert Sobera cleared 5.81m, he was the last remaining opponent. Sobera exited the competition with three unsuccessful tries at 5.88m.
Minutes later, Lavillenie sailed over 5.93m and then 6.02m, both on his first attempts. Having improved his own world-leading mark by one centimetre, the only thing left for him to do was to attempt to do the same to his own world record.
His third attempt at 6.17m was promisingly close, but the bar came down once more.
World indoor discus best broken three times
After a brief pause to reconfigure the hall for the rarely held indoor discus, the focus shifted to an enthralling duel between 2011 world silver medallist Nadine Muller and European bronze medallist Shanice Craft.
Muller, who is on the comeback trail after missing the second half of 2014 because of a knee injury, threw 61.67m in the second round, adding one metre exactly to the world indoor best set last year by Finland’s Sanna Kamarainen.
She improved to 62.00m in the next round, but moments later Craft surpassed that mark with a throw of 62.07m, ending the competition as the new owner of the world indoor best.
In the men’s competition, world and Olympic finalist Martin Wierig successfully defended his crown with a throw of 64.24m, just 58cm shy of his winning mark from last year.
Collins continues run of victories
Former world 100m champion Kim Collins was contesting his 11th and 12th 60m races – including heats – of 2015, but the outcome was the same as all the others as the 38-year-old notched up another victory.
Pulling away from the field after just 20 metres, Collins stopped the clock at 6.50, improving his own meeting record of 6.52 from last year which he equalled in the heats.
In second, Antigua and Barbuda’s Daniel Bailey clocked a season’s best of 6.57, his fastest time since taking the bronze medal at the 2010 IAAF World Indoor Championships. Germany’s Lucas Jakubczyk also set a season’s best, clocking 6.59 in third.
Double European champion Dafne Schippers won the women’s 60m by an even bigger margin. Having clocked 7.15 in the heats, she improved to a PB of 7.09 in the final. South Africa’s Carina Horn clocked a PB of 7.20 in second, just 0.01 ahead of Jessica Young with Germany’s Verena Sailer a further 0.01 behind in fourth.
Ortega opens on top
In his first race of the indoor season, Cuba’s Olympic finalist Orlando Ortega shaved 0.03 off his PB to win the 60m hurdles in 7.51, tying the world-leading mark set earlier this month by Dimitri Bascou of France and defeating the past two Olympic champions.
Bascou had to settle for fourth place in this race, clocking 7.60. Ortega’s compatriot Dayron Robles, the 2008 Olympic champion, ran 7.53 to finish second, just 0.05 ahead of world record-holder and Olympic champion Aries Merritt.
The women’s event was even closer as just 0.02 separated the top three. Germany’s Cindy Roleder came out on top, winning in 8.06 from Panama’s Yvette Lewis (8.07) and Nadine Visser of the Netherlands (8.08).
Elsewhere, former Olympic finalist Funmi Jimoh won the long jump with a season’s best of 6.74m, her best ever indoor leap at sea level. She took the lead in the fourth round with 6.70m before improving on that mark in the final round.
In second, Romania’s Alina Rotaru equalled her indoor PB of 6.68m to finish seven centimetres ahead of Germany’s Melanie Bauschke.
Jon Mulkeen for the IAAF