Dafne Schippers on her way to winning the 60m at the Dutch Indoor Championships (© AFP / Getty Images)
Dafne Schippers admits her start might not be the strongest aspect of her race but the 23-year-old confirmed her status as the pre-race favourite for the IAAF World Indoor Championships Portland 2016 by winning the 60m title in 7.03 at the Dutch Indoor Championships on Saturday (27).
There were some concerns about Schippers’ well-being at the Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix last weekend. She grasped her leg after winning the 60m final in 7.10 but the world 200m champion said it was only cramp. There were clearly no lingering effects on the basis of today’s performance in Apeldoorn.
Including heats and semifinals, Schippers heads to Portland with a 15-race win streak over 60m. She also holds the three fastest times in the world this year: 7.00, 7.03 and 7.04.
Jamile Samuel equalled her lifetime best of 7.14 in second while 21-year-old Naomi Sedney also matched her best ever time of 7.30 to finish third.
Femke Pluim equalled her Dutch indoor pole vault record of 4.50m to claim the domestic title while Sifan Hassan dropped down to the 800m and qualified as fastest for the final in 2:03.68.
Beach and Nwaba win US combined events titles
Two-time NCAA indoor champion Curtis Beach won his first national senior title when winning the heptathlon at the US Indoor Combined Events Championships in Crete, Nebraska, on Friday and Saturday.
Beach opened his campaign with a PB of 7.01 in the 60m. He then long jumped 7.42m and threw 12.93m in the shot before rounding out his first day with a 2.01m high jump. Entering day two with a 24-point lead over Japheth Cato, Beach sped to an 8.07 PB in the 60m hurdles and then cleared an indoor best of 5.10m in the pole vault.
He ended his series by winning the 1000m in 2:37.66 to bring his tally to 6075. Cato was second, exactly 200 points behind Beach.
Almost eight months to the day of winning her first national title with a PB, Barbara Nwaba did the same in Crete, winning the pentathlon with a lifetime best.
The US heptathlon champion was slightly below her best in each of the events, running 8.62 in the 60m hurdles, clearing 1.83m in the high jump, throwing 14.06m in the shot, leaping 5.60m in the long jump and running 2:15.85 in the 800m. But it was enough to produce a PB of 4415, winning comfortably from Kaylon Eppinger.
Nikkanen beats Murto for Finnish title, Kallur continues comeback
Minna Nikkanen lost her Finnish record to 17-year-old Wilma Murto earlier this winter but Nikkanen had the domestic bragging rights at the Finnish Indoor Championships in Tampere on Saturday.
Murto garnered a lot of attention after clearing a world U20 record of 4.71m in Zweibrucken at the end of January but Nikkanen has been in good form as well, improving her lifetime best to 4.61m in the four-way Nordenkampen International a fortnight ago.
Nikkanen approached that height in Tampere, clearing 4.55m on her third try before attempting 4.65m while Murto had to settle for second with 4.35m.
At the Swedish Indoor Championships, Susanna Kallur won her first domestic title in nine years with victory in the 60m flat in a season’s best of 7.34 while Odain Rose equalled his PB of 6.62 to win the men’s equivalent.
Fodorova approaches world lead in the pentathlon
World indoor bronze medallist Alina Fodorova moved to second on the 2016 world list behind teammate Anastasiya Mokhnyuk’s total of 4745 by winning the pentathlon at the Ukrainian Indoor Championships in Sumy with 4688.
Fodorova set a lifetime best of 15.97m in the shot put en route to the second-best score in the world this winter. She would have approached her lifetime best of 4724 if it wasn’t for a substandard high jump where she only cleared 1.79m compared to her lifetime best of 1.90m.
Oleksiy Kasyanov also posted a season’s best of 5979 to win the heptathlon while other top marks included Nataliya Pohrebnyak winning the 60m in 7.24 and Oksana Okuneva winning the high jump with a 1.93m clearance.
Rojas and Nedow extend winning streaks in Madrid
Spanish-based Venezuelan Yulimar Rojas approached her world-leading mark of 14.69m in the fifth round of the triple jump with 14.63m to confirm the victory in Madrid on Friday (26), and extend her winning streak to four competitions this winter.
Rojas, who is coached by Ivan Pedroso, was the only jumper to surpass the 14-metre mark.
Spain’s 2012 world junior champion Ana Peleteiro equalled her indoor lifetime best of 13.91m on home soil to finish two centimetres ahead of world fifth-place finisher Kimberly Williams of Jamaica.
Canada’s Tim Nedow made it six wins from six competitions in 2016 by taking victory in the shot put courtesy of a fourth-round put of 20.71m.
With that throw, Nedow overhauled Poland’s Konrad Bukowiecki who improved his European indoor U20 record by three centimetres to 20.61m.
European indoor high jump champion Alessia Trost continued her comeback from the tendon injury which forced her to miss the IAAF World Championships Beijing 2015 by taking a noteworthy victory ahead of Ruth Beitia in a season’s best of 1.95m.
Beitia, who won the European indoor silver medal in this arena 11 years ago, cleared 1.93m to finish second.
On the track, Jarret Eaton out-leaned Balazs Baji to win the 60m hurdles in 7.59 – the Hungarian was credited with the same time – while Michelle-Lee Ahye won the 60m in 7.19 ahead of Slovenia’s Maja Mihalinec in 7.28.
Steven Mills for the IAAF