Yulimar Rojas in the triple jump at the IAAF World Indoor Tour meeting in Madrid (© Jean-Pierre Durand)
Yulimar Rojas and Anzhelika Sidorova highlighted the Madrid Indoor Meeting, the fourth stop of the IAAF World Indoor Tour, with world-leading performances in the Spanish capital on Friday (8).
Rojas effectively ended the triple jump contest courtesy of a huge opening effort of 14.92m to improve on her career best, also set in Madrid two years ago. The world indoor and outdoor champion from Venezuela followed with two long fouls beyond the 15-metre landmark.
Tori Franklin, who holds the outdoor US record at 14.84m, added the national indoor record to her CV with a 14.57m leap to finish second. France’s Rouguy Diallo placed third with 14.39m. World indoor bronze medallist Ana Peleteiro, winner in Karlsruhe last week, couldn’t go beyond 14.37m by halfway.
There were few significant changes in the second half of the competition, but Patricia Mamona produced her second Portuguese indoor record of the night with 14.44m to move into third, following her 14.38m in round three.
Rojas completed her series with 14.67m and 14.80m, proving she is back at the highest level after missing the 2018 outdoor season through injury. Her winning mark was the best indoor leap in the world since 2010. With six women jumping beyond 14.35m, it was the highest standard indoor competition in history outside of major championships.
“I feel a great happiness as all the hard work I have done with my team has paid off today,” said the Olympic silver medallist, who will next compete in Dusseldorf. “I have improved a lot this winter but I know I still have room for improvement. We are working in my technique and have to get accustomed to the things we are testing. Physically I’m sure I can jump further than 15m at any time.”
Lifetime best for Sidorova
On a night when most of the top performances came from the infield, pole vaulter Anzhelika Sidorova provided one of the highlights.
The 27-year-old authorised neutral athlete opened her series with 4.56m and followed it with first-time clearances at 4.68m and 4.80m. The world indoor silver medallist then equalled the world-leading height of 4.86m on her second try. Hungry to go even higher, Sidorova asked to place the bar at 4.91m, one centimetre higher than her career best set when taking the silver medal in Birmingham.
After two clear fouls, she bounced back with a courageous third try to narrowly surpass the bar to the delight of the sold-out crowd. Her winning mark of 4.91m broke Yelena Isinbayeva’s Spanish all-comers’ record and moved Sidorova to equal fourth on the world indoor all-time list.
Greece’s Nikoleta Kiriakopoulou took second, thanks to a 4.74m second-time clearance while Canada’a Alysha Newman came third (4.56m).
“I didn’t expect such a good performance today as I have had several outings recently and felt a bit tired, but the first jumps were technically good and that encouraged me a lot,” said Sidorova, whose main target for the indoor season is to regain her European indoor title in Glasgow in March. “Of course I’ll try to win but anything can happen in my event.”
20-year-old Tentoglou flies
Greece’s European champion Miltiadis Tentoglou was an overwhelming victor in the long jump. Italy’s Lamont Marcell Jacobs took the lead in round one thanks to a 7.98m effort to the Greek’s 7.88m while Uruguay’s Emiliano Lasa tied Jacobs at the top with a national indoor record of 7.98m.
The 20-year-old Tentoglou moved into the lead thanks to a massive career best of 8.13m with his third jump and landed even farther in the following round with a fantastic 8.23m leap, not far from his outdoor lifetime best of 8.30m and enough for second place on the 2019 world indoor list.
Jacobs leapt 8.05m in rounds five and six to secure the runner-up spot ahead of Lasa, who was unable to improve on his opening leap. Tentoglou closed his solid contest with another big leap measured at 8.12m.
Swoboda head and shoulders ahead of Schippers
World leader Ewa Swoboda was a comfortable winner of the women’s 60m. Drawn in lane three, the Pole dominated from the gun to get her third consecutive World Indoor Tour win, strengthening her lead to 30 points.
Two-time world 200m champion Dafne Schippers had to settle for the runner-up place but managed a season’s best of 7.18 ahead of fellow Dutch sprinter Jamile Samuel (7.26).
In the men’s race, the evergreen Mike Rodgers got the better of Slovakia’s Jan Volko, 6.57 to 6.58. Following the withdrawals of Chinese duo Su Bingtian and Xie Zhenye, Ivory’s Coast Arthur Gue Cisse looked to be the pre-event favourite, but the 22-year-old was disqualified from his heat for a false start.
Eaton gains revenge on Ortega
The men’s 60m hurdles was one of the most intriguing events of the night as only the photo-finish could confirm the winner. After a long wait, the honours went to USA’s Jarret Eaton, whom Orlando Ortega had comfortably beaten two day ago in Torun.
The world indoor silver medallist was awarded the win in a season’s best of 7.56 to Ortega’s 7.57. Olympic finalist Milan Trajkovic of Cyprus was given the same time in third place.
Storl and Strother maintain momentum
Germany’s two-time world champion David Storl opened the shot put with 20.74m but Konrad Bukowiecki threatened his lead with a 20.66m toss in round two. Storl extended his lead with a 21.01m third release and was never challenged by the Pole. Bukowiecki’s compatriot, European champion Michal Haratyk, was never a factor and finished third with 19.98m.
Nathan Strother was dominant in the men’s 400m. The US sprinter went off fast to take the lead at the bell, holding off the challenge of Slovenia’s Luka Janezic and Spain’s Óscar Husillos over the second lap.
Strother won with a season’s best of 46.21 to Janezic’s 46.55 while last year’s victor Husillos had to settle for third in a season’s best of 46.71. Strother now leads the World Indoor Tour standings with 27 points, seven points ahead of Pavel Maslak.
Ennaoui and Birgen dominate 1500m
The 1500m events were taken by the in-form Sofia Ennaoui and Bethwel Birgen.
Poland’s fast-finishing Ennaoui won the women’s race in 4:08:32 with Ireland’s Ciara Mageean runner-up in 4:10.12.
Birgen won the men’s race in 3:40.17 ahead of Spain’s Jesús Gómez (3:40.59) and Adel Mechaal (3:41.82). Birgen’s fellow Kenyan and pre-race co-favourite Vincent Kibet fell just before the bell and dropped out the race.
Spain’s Álvaro de Arriba suffered the same fate in the 800m and lost any chance of winning when he collided with another athlete on the first lap. The race was eventually won by Kenya’s Cornelius Tuwei in 1:47.76 ahead of Poland’s Mateusz Borkowski (1:48.00) and Spain’s Kevin López (:48:02).
In a perfectly paced women’s 3000m (2:50.25 and 5:50.33 for the opening kilometres) Ethiopia’s Alemaz Samuel broke away easily after the bell to romp home in 8:43.76 clearly ahead of Romania’s Claudia Bobocea who managed a PB of 8:47.59. Maureen Koster of the Netherlands was third in 8:48:85 ahead of pre-race favourite Gudaf Tsegay (8:50.69).
Emeterio Valiente for the IAAF