Schwanitz ups the tempo for Göteborg | 24.02.2013
|Christine Schwanitz of Germany.|
As the German shot put star completed her final preparations for the European Athletics Indoor Championships, which start in Sweden on Friday, she did so with a performance that showed consistency of the highest order.
Schwanitz was already top of the world rankings with her two efforts of 19.58m in Sassmitz and Linz but in front of 4,000 fans on the opening day of the German Championships in Dortmund, she increased that mark to 19.79m.
If she repeats that kind of performance in Göteborg, she will surely find herself with a gold medal around her neck.
Russian Yevgeniya Kolodko is the closest to Schwanitz with 19.24m in this year's European Athletics rankings followed by Alena Kopets, of Belarus, with 19.06m.
But at 27, now could be the time for Schwanitz to celebrate glory after finishing second at the European Athletics Indoor Championships in Paris in 2011 with 18.65m, as Russian Anna Avdeyeva won with 18.70m.
The track in Dortmund saw athletes deliver outstanding times too.
Julian Reus put himself in contention for a medal in Göteborg when he won the 60m in 6.56, the fourth fastest time in Europe this year, and he had a superb programme of runs with 6.66 in the heats and 6.60 in the semi-finals.
In the women's 60m, Verena Sailer, who has run 7.16 this year, won the final in 7.18.
The Austrian championships were a one-day event but it was a significant occasion for 60m hurdler Beate Schrott who won a special race in 7.96 to move to fourth in the 2013 European rankings and recorded 8.02 in a championship race.
At the Slovakian Championships in Bratislava, Adam Zavacky won the 60m final in 6.71 to land the standard for the European Athletics Indoor Championships on a day where his times dropped from 6.80 to 6.76 as he made his way through the heats.
It has been some winter for Zavacky, who also competed in the bobsleigh World Cup.
In Istanbul at the 18th Balkan Indoor Championships, Turkey's Ilham Tanui Ozbilen set a meeting record as he won the 1500m in 3:37.49 to move to fourth on the European rankings and teammate Nevin Yanit won the 60m hurdles in a national record of 7.98.
In Helsinki last summer, Yanit retained her crown in the 100m hurdles at the European Athletics Championships and in Göteborg she will be among the main threats to Russian Yuliya Kondakova, the fastest woman in Europe this year of 60m hurdles with 7.93.