Katerini Stefanidi at the Pole Vault Summit in Reno (© Kirby Lee)
World and Olympic champion Katerina Stefanidi opened her 2019 season with a victory at the Pole Vault Summit in Reno, Nevada, on Friday (18).
Stefanidi, who won a third IAAF Diamond League trophy last year, edged US indoor champion Katie Nageotte on countback at 4.74m.
Entering the competition at 4.56m, Stefanidi sailed clear on her first try while Nageotte needed all three of her jumps before finding her rhythm and moving on.
Both topped 4.66m on their first tries and 4.74m with their second before passing at 4.80m. Both bowed out after three tries at 4.86m.
Lexi Jacobus, a two-time NCAA indoor champion, topped 4.66m, equalling her indoor career best, to finish third.
Matt Ludwig, the 2017 NCAA champion outdoors, cleared an indoor personal best of 5.71m to take the victory on the men's side. He closed the competition with three misses at 5.81m.
Seito Yamamoto of Japan was second at the same height with Andrew Irwin, another former two-time NCAA indoor champion, third at 5.61m.
In his eagerly anticipated 2019 debut, Armand Duplantis, the 2018 IAAF Rising Star award winner and European champion, cleared 5.51m on his first try but topped out at his next to bow out of the competition at 5.71m.
7.49 world lead for Holloway in Clemson
Grant Holloway sped to a world-leading 7.49 performance in the 60m hurdles to highlight the first day of the Clemson Invitational in Clemson on Friday (18).
Holloway, a two-time NCAA sprint hurdles champion both indoors and out, opened his season with a 7.49 in the prelims, two hours before duplicating that performance in the final. The 21-year-old, who is also a standout long jumper, clocked 7.42 on this same track one year ago, the fastest performance of the 2018 season.
Halloway returned to the track on Saturday to dominate the 200m, clocking 20.69.
Abdul Hakim Sani Brown, the double dash winner at the 2015 IAAF World Youth Championships, opened his season with a narrow victory in the 60m over University of Florida teammate Ryan Clark.
In a photo finish, both were credited with 6.62, with the rising Japanese star given the nod by a scant 0.004. It was the second personal best on the day for Sani Brown, who clocked 6.63 in the prelim, to clip 0.02 from his previous lifetime best. It was also a personal best for Clark, the silver medallist at the 2013 World Youth Championships, who entered the season with a 6.64 lifetime best set in 2016.
There was also a fast men's 400m with Jonathan Jones taking the victory in 46.21, the second indoor lifetime best for the 19-year-old from Barbados this season. Micaiah Harris, a semi-finalist at the 2015 World Youth and 2016 World U20 Championships, was second in 46.84.
Denzel Comenentia won the shot put with 20.03m, edging world U20 silver medallist Adrian Piperi by two centimetres. Elsewhere on Saturday, Keturah Orji won the triple jump with 14.39m and Levern Spencer cleared 1.91m in the high jump.
Lasitskene clears 2.03m
Just three days after suffering a rare defeat in Chelyabinsk, world high jump champion Maria Lasitskene cleared 2.03m at 'The Battle of the Sexes' competition in Moscow.
She safely negotiated all of her heights on her first attempts, up to and including her winning mark, and then ended her series with three failures at 2.05m.
Her performance was her second-best indoor jump to date, just one centimetre shy of the indoor PB she set in January last year.
European bronze medallist Ilya Ivanyuk won the men's competition with 2.26m.
Bob Ramsak for the IAAF