Su Bingtian on his way to an Asian record 6.43 in the 60m in Düsseldorf (© Gladys Chai von der Laage)
Su Bingtian and Tomas Stanek produced the standout performances at the PSD Bank Meeting Düsseldorf on Tuesday (6), the second stop on the six-meeting IAAF World Indoor Tour.
Su blazes 6.43 and into the all-time top-five
By far the most powerful performance on the track came in the men's 60m, one that propelled Su into rare territory.
Blasting off at the gun, the 28-year-old Chinese record holder built a visible lead by 20 metres, and added to it with each stride before surging past the line in 6.43 to become the joint fifth fastest ever over the distance.
After he posed by the scoreboard displaying his latest Asian record, Su thanked the appreciative sell-out crowd.
"Thank you," he said, in very good English. "I enjoyed this party."
It took a careful read of the photo to determine the winner of the battle for second, the nod finally going to Yunier Perez over Michael Rodgers who were each credited with 6.52.
Further back, Kim Collins was fourth in 6.61 in what he said, at age 41, was his final appearance at this meeting.
Manning improves to 7.77
Christina Manning and Sharika Nelvis are also enjoying the intimate party that is the World Indoor Tour.
In what’s shaping into one of the finest rivalries of the indoor season, the pair reversed their finishing order from Karlsruhe with Manning edging her compatriot in a thrilling 60m hurdles contest, clocking 7.77, one of three world leads on the night.
Out fast, Manning built a narrow lead by midway, but briefly fell behind Nelvis before a strong surge and well-timed lean gave her the win. The performance elevated the 27-year-old to equal 14th on the all-time list.
Nelvis matched her season's best of 7.80 in second, with Germany's Pamela Dutkiewicz, bouncing back well from a sub-par performance in Karlsruhe, third in 7.83.
Manning and Nelvis, roommates on the road, are now even with 17 points apiece in the Tour standings.
Stanek joins 22-metre club
Stanek meanwhile, was on fire. The Czech strongman arrived in Düsseldorf as the world leader in the shot put and underscored that position nearly from the outset. Shaking out the rust with a 21.57m first round effort, he followed up with a 21.98m put in the second round, a world lead, before launching a 22.17m bomb in round three. It was the farthest indoor throw in nearly eight years, moving Stanek all the way up to the No. 7 position all-time.
"This was a great meeting for me," said the 26-year-old, last year's European indoor silver medallist. It was also his first-ever throw beyond 22 metres, indoors or out. "I knew I was in good shape and I was waiting for a big throw. My goal now is to stay healthy until Birmingham."
Croatia's Stipe Zunic had a good day, extending his own national indoor record by six centimetres to 21.13m, to finish a distant second. Poland's Konrad Bukowiecki was third with 20.73m.
Spanovic leaps to Tour long jump lead
Ivana Spanovic took control of the women's long jump in the third round and never relented, reaching a world-leading 6.77m.
The Serb backed it up with 6.74m and 6.72m leaps in rounds four and six, all better than Sosthene Touroum Moguenara's best effort of 6.68m from round one. The victory gave Spanovic a one-point lead in the Tour standings. The final showdown will come in Glasgow on 25 February.
Lisek tops pole vault showdown
With a field that included five world indoor and outdoor champions, the men’s pole vault was feast for field event fans. But it was Pole Piotr Lisek, who’s aiming to join that quintet at the IAAF World Championships Birmingham 2018 next month, who prevailed.
Early on, it was clear that the competition would be exceptional. Eleven men remained alive after clearing 5.60m -- that’s only happened twice previously in competition. But only three were left in the hunt when the bar was raised to 5.86m: Lisek, reigning world champion Sam Kendricks and Konstadinos Filippidis of Greece, the 2014 world indoor champion.
The Pole, who only took three jumps prior to the height, was freshest, and sailed clear on his second try. The remaining two failed, with Kendricks taking second on countback. Lisek had the bar raised to a would-be world lead of 5.91m with just his third effort reasonably close.
Adam Kszczot won in Dusseldorf for the seventh time, but the three-time European indoor 800m champion had to wait longer that usual to wait for the verdict. The race was run in two sections, with the Pole lining up in the first. He took control of his destiny just before the bell, taking the lead and maintaining it through the finish to clock 1:46.47 ahead of Swede Andreas Kramer's 1:46.87. Then the wait began.
Reminiscent of the Karlsruhe race three nights ago, the second section was a scrap to the finish. Kenyan Nicholas Kipkoech emerged victorious from a narrow three-man battle, edging compatriot Wycliffe Kinyamal by just 0.02 in 1:46.52. Erik Sowinski of the US was third in 1:46.57, an indoor lifetime best but 0.07 shy of the World Indoor Championships standard he was chasing.
Kenyan indoor 1500m record for Chepkoech
Beatrice Chepkoech took an impressive victory in the women’s 1500m to climb atop the Tour leader board in that event. Well ahead at the bell (3:15.45), she forged on towards a 4:04.21 win, eclipsing Irene Jelagat's Kenyan 4:05.17 Kenyan national indoor record set seven years ago. The 26-year-old, better known as a steeplechaser, also took down a meeting record set by Maryam Yusuf Jamal 12 years ago.
Poland's Angelika Cichocka, fifth in Karlsruhe, was second here in 4:06.35, a personal best.
Meanwhile, the men’s 1500m, not a point-scoring discipline, illustrated the perils inherent to the close quarters of indoor racing.
Running in his 2018 debut, world champion Elijah Manangoi looked comfortable and in command when he took the lead, some two minutes and 15 seconds into the race. Then, Abdalaati Iguider made his move for the front midway through the penultimate lap, just beyond the 1200-metre point. Manangoi took it back midway through the final lap’s back straight, but it was very short-lived. Passing the Moroccan on the outside, one runner clipped the other, sending Manangoi to the ground. Iguider tumbled over him a split second later, knocking both out of the race.
Managing to side-step the carnage in front of him, Vincent Kibet ran to the win in 3:36.86, well clear of Ethiopian Aman Wote, who clocked 3:38.35.
In the men’s 3000m, Yomif Kejelcha powered confidently into the lead at the bell and held off Kenyan Bethwel Birgen to take the victory in 7:40.55 and the Tour lead with 17 points. In an entertaining contest, Spaniard Adel Mechaal was third in 7:42.06 with Kenyan Davis Kiplangat, who was making his indoor debut, fourth.
Elsewhere off the Tour point programme, Balazs Baji of Hungary edged German Erik Balnuweit by just a few inches in the 60m hurdles, 7.64 to 7.66. Asha Philip of Great Britain took the women’s 60m in 7.17, 0.03 ahead of Poland’s Ewa Swoboda.
The IAAF World Indoor Tour moves to Madrid on Thursday (8).
Bob Ramsak for the IAAF