Ivana Spanovic in the long jump at the ISTAF Indoor meeting in Berlin (© Gladys Chai von der Laage)
Strong jumps performances from Ivana Spanovic and Piotr Lisek were the key highlights at Berlin’s Indoor ISTAF on Friday (10).
Spanovic took the long jump in style, twice jumping to a world lead of 6.87m. As a season opener, it boded well for the Olympic bronze medallist.
“A new world lead - I am really satisfied with this result,” she said. “I will have one more competition in Belgrade before the European Championships. With the championships taking place on home soil I think there is no choice: I have to go for the gold.”
Spanovic finished well ahead of her German rivals Claudia Salman-Rath and last year’s winner Alexandra Wester who reached 6.76m and 6.71m respectively.
Lisek’s momentum continues
There is a strong tradition in indoor jumping events in Berlin. For many years one of the best indoor meeting for pole vaulters and high jumpers was staged in West Berlin’s Schöneberger Sporthalle. World records were set by the likes of Carlo Thränhardt and Sergey Bubka in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
Although there were no such records on Friday night, the performances in the men’s pole vault were a real highlight of the Indoor ISTAF.
The entire field of eight were still in the competition when the bar was raised to 5.70m but only three survived the round: Lisek, who joined the event’s six-metre club in Potdam last week and Brazil’s Olympic champion Thiago Braz da Silva managed the height comfortably, while Germany’s Raphael Holzdeppe needed three tries before sailing clear.
Things got tougher for the former world champion when Lisek and da Silva opted to pass the next height, leaving Holzdeppe on his own at 5.78m, a height that proved too high.
Lisek topped 5.86m on his second attempt while da Silva struggled, eventually finishing second.
“My indoor season is finished now,” da Silva said. “I didn’t have enough time to prepare it properly, because I had to stay home with my wife because who had a health issue.”
With victory secured Lisek had the bar raised to 6.05 m. Although he missed all his three attempts after hitting the bar with his foot his potential was put on display.
“I feel great, but at the same time I am also tired -- that was why I could not jump 6.05 today,” said the 24-year-old, who’s aiming to win a medal at the European Indoor Championships next month.
Christoph Harting returns to action
The sell-out crowd of 12,600 spectators in the German capital's Berlin’s impressive Mercedes Benz Arena also witnessed Olympic discus throw champion Christoph Harting’s first competition since his Rio triumph. Harting opened the competition in this unique indoor throws event with a 63.84m effort, enough to seal the win.
“I am grateful for the support of the supporters who stayed on right to the end although it got very late,” said Harting, who also reached 62.93m, the second farthest throw of the night.
German compatriot Martin Wierig, who set the meeting record of 64.82m in 2014, was second with 62.67m. Austria’s Lukas Weisshaidinger took third with 62.23m.
Roleder improves to 7.85
Cindy Roleder of Germany clocked a 7.85 lifetime best to win the event for the third consecutive time. Her compatriot Pamela Dutkiewicz was second with 7.88 while Australia’s Sally Pearson followed in third in 7.91.
“The other girls and the spectators really pushed me,” Roleder said. “7.85 is a great performance for me.”
Christina Manning of the US, who jumped to an early lead, eventually faded to fourth in 7.93.
Hungary’s Balazs Baji took the men’s 60m hurdles in 7.60 from Czech’s Petr Svoboda (7.67) and Germany’s Erik Balnuweit (7.81).
Dasaolu halts Collins’ Berlin win streak
In the men’s 60m an amazing win streak came to an end with Kim Collins’ defeat. The 40-year-old, who had won at all three preview ISTAF indoor meetings, had to settle for second behind James Dasaolu of Great Britain 6.57 to 6.59. Italy’s Massimiliano Ferraro took third in 6.66.
In the women’s race, a very strong start by Olesya Povh proved decisive. Propelling the Ukrainian to a 7.14 victory over Marie-Josee Ta Lou of Ivory Coast who clocked 7.19. Germany’s Gina Lückenkemper took third in 7.24.
Jörg Wenig for the IAAF