Report26 Feb 2017

Spanovic improves to 6.96m in Belgrade – indoor round-up


Ivana Spanovic at the 2016 Dusseldorf indoor meeting (© Jean-Pierre Durnad)

Ivana Spanovic is approaching her best form with the European Indoor Championships in Belgrade only five days away.

Ahead of the championships, Spanovic tested out the runway inside the Kombank Arena – which will play host to the European Indoor Championships which begin on Friday – at the Balkan Indoor Championships on Saturday (25).

Spanovic improved her world-leading mark to 6.89m in the second round before going out to 6.96m with her following jump – her third best ever mark indoors – before sitting out the rest of the competition.

Croatia’s Ivan Horvat produced another noteworthy performance, clearing a national record of 5.76m to win the pole vault ahead of 2014 world indoor champion Konstadinos Filippidis (5.71m) while Olympic finalist Milan Trajkovic won the 60m hurdles in a Cypriot record of 7.63.

Bulgaria’s Radoslava Mavrodieva went out to 18.10m to win the shot put ahead of 2013 world U18 champion Emel Dereli (17.80m) while Croatia’s Stipe Zunic won the men’s equivalent with 20.77m.

At the Czech Indoor Championships in Prague, Petr Svoboda clocked 7.57 in the 60m hurdles heats before improving to 7.55 in the final – his fastest time in six years.

On the first day of the Swedish Indoor Championships, Angelica Bengtsson opened her season with a 4.60m clearance to take the title ahead of Michaela Meijer (4.55m) and 17-year-old Lisa Gunnarsson, who cleared 4.40m in third.

Kerley breaks the 45-second barrier in Nashville

A fortnight after running a world-leading 45.02 in Clemson, Fred Kerley, 21, became just the fifth athlete in history to break the 45-second barrier indoors over 400m at the SEC Indoor Championships in Nashville on Saturday (25).

Competing on an over-sized 300m track, Kerley sped to a 44.94 clocking in the 400m heats – the sixth-fastest indoor time in history and a mark bettered only by a quartet of global senior champions: Kerron Clement (44.57), Michael Johnson (44.63), Kirani James (44.80) and LaShawn Merritt (44.93).

Kerley was slower in the final but still ran out to victory in 45.21 ahead of Jamaica’s Akeem Bloomfield (45.43) who also ran 45.49 in the heats.

Trinidad & Tobago’s Jereem Richards stopped the clock in the 200m at a world-leading 20.34 ahead of Christian Coleman (20.50) who also won the 60m with 6.52.

Olympian Kendell Williams also posted a world-leading score in the pentathlon. The 21-year-old tallied 4686 – and set a 60m hurdles PB of 8.04 en route – to add more than 100 points to Alina Shukh’s world-leading mark but fell short of her lifetime best by just 17 points.

Shakeela Saunders led a good quality long jump with 6.82m ahead of Quanesha Burks (6.76m) and Keturah Orji (6.72m), the latter also winning the triple jump with a US indoor record of 14.32m.

Olympic finalist Raven Saunders won the shot put with 19.07m, just missing her world lead by three centimetres.

Wimbley clocks fast 200m/400m double in South Bend

At the ACC Indoor Championships in South Bend, 21-year-old Shakima Wimbley produced the top performances. After winning the 400m in a world-leading 51.20, Wimbley clocked 22.83 to win the 200m.

Patrick Joseph won a fast 800m in 1:46.23 from Drew Piazza in 1:46.42.

Julian Harvey went out to a world-leading 8.17m to win the long jump at the Ohio Valley Conference Championships in Charleston. He also cleared 2.21m to win the high jump.

World-leading marks for Ahmed and Cheserek in Boston

Olympic 5000m fourth-place finisher Mohammed Ahmed moved into the world all-time top 10 with a Canadian indoor 5000m record at the Boston University Last Chance Meet on Sunday (26).

The 26-year-old led four runners under the 13:10 mark – and eight under 13:20 – with victory in a world-leading 13:04.60, missing Galen Rupp’s North American and stadium record by just three seconds.

The top four finishers all finished inside Mo Farah’s world-leading mark of 13:09.16: Eric Jenkins (13:05.85), Ben True (13:06.74) and Ryan Hill (13:07.61). In seventh, Kemoy Campbell set an outright Jamaican record of 13:14.45.

In her first race since making her marathon debut in New York in November, Molly Huddle won the 5000m in 15:01.64 ahead of Emily Sisson, who broke her overall lifetime best by 10 seconds with 15:02.10.

Eleven runners ducked under the four-minute mark in the men’s mile led by Edward Cheserek, who clocked a Kenyan record – and an absolute US collegiate record – with his world-leading 3:52.01 ahead of Kyle Merber (3:52.22) and Johnny Gregorek (3:53.15).

Steven Mills for the IAAF