Iceland’s 2013 European Athletics Rising Star of the Year Anita Hinriksdóttir once again gave her home crowd plenty to cheer at the first European Athletics Indoor Permit Meeting of the year, when she won over 800m at the Reykjavik International Games in 2:02:47.
It is the second fastest time in the world at this early stage in the season and despite having only just turned 20 just over a week ago, it was the former European junior and world youth 800m champion’s fifth successive win over the distance at Iceland’s annual indoor multi-sport festival.
Hinriksdóttir was tracked by Clarisse Nanhomie Moh over the first half of the race but then gradually pulled from the French runner over the final two laps of the Laugardalshöllin.
The Reykjavik International Games can also be counted among Hafdis Sigurdadottir’s favourite meetings
Last year, Sigurdadottir leapt to an Icelandic absolute long jump record of 6.47m, which she then improved to 6.56m outdoors last summer, and this time around she set an Icelandic indoor record of 6.54m – the third best mark in the world this year – with her second round jump, backed up for good measure with 6.48m in the fifth round.
Less than an hour before the start of the long jump competition, Sigurðardóttir showed she was in good shape when she won the women’s 60m in 7.62, just shy of her personal best of 7.58, with 2015 winner and Icelandic record holder Hrafnhild Eir Hermódsdóttir second in 7.67.
Another local winner was 20-year-old Arna Stefanía Guðmundsdóttir in the 400m, after a race-long duel with local rival Thoris Eva Steinsdóttir.
Guðmundsdóttir won in 54.83, compensation for having been disqualified for false-starting in the 60m hurdles earlier in the day, with teenage talent Steinsdóttir, who doesn’t turn 16 until next month, second in 55.00.
Having won the shot put 12 months ago, Icelandic international and London 2012 Olympic Games representative Ódinn Björn Thorsteinsson had to settle for second place on this occasion.
US putter Robert Gracewill opened with 18.27m before Thorsteinsson briefly took the lead with a meeting record of 18.53m in the third round. However, the American responded immediately with 18.64m and Thorsteinsson couldn’t improve further.
With the competition already won, Gracewill then reached 18.72m with the last throw of the competition to add to his meeting record of three rounds earlier.
Both British athletes who made the trip to the Icelandic capital also returned home victorious.
Efekemo Okoro won the men’s 400m in a meeting record of 48.22 while Dwain Chambers won his 60m heat in 6.87 and then went faster still in the final, stopping the clock in 6.86.