The 10th anniversary PSD Bank Meeting in Düsseldorf, the third of this year’s European Athletics Indoor Permit Meetings, saw no less than six world-leading marks with, perhaps, pride of place in the German city going to Poland’s two-time European indoor 800m champion Adam Kszczot.
In a thrilling head-to-head battle over four laps of the track with his compatriot Marcin Lewandowski, Kszczot prevailed in a world-leading 1:46.48 to Lewandowski’s 1:46.74 for second place.
It was the fourth consecutive year that Kszczot has won in Düsseldorf.
Belarus hurdler Alina Talay, the 2013 European Indoor Championships 60m hurdles silver medallist, showed she is rounding into good form ahead of this year’s Championships in Prague when she sped to a world-leading 7.96 over the barriers ahead of Finalnd's Nooralotta Neziri with 8.06.
Alina Talay (right) with Finland's Nooralotta Neziri (left) after the race:
— Jussi Ihamäki (@jussiihamaki) January 29, 2015
However, possibly the biggest cheers of the night came when Arne Gabius got the third world-leading mark by a European athlete on Thursday night and won the 5000m in 13:27.53.
Into the bargain, he fulfilled his stated aim of taking down the German national record, which had stood since 1995 at 13:30.15 and had belonged to Stephane Franke.
When I heard the crowd chanting ‘Arne, Arne’ as I came around the last bend, I knew the record was in my grasp.
Another German victory, and one that was far less predictable, came in the women’s triple jump when Kristin Gierisch bounded out to an indoor personal best of 14.30m in the fifth round.
Gierisch was only ninth at the 2014 European Athletics Championships but in Düsseldorf she handed a defeat to the woman who won the continental title for a third time-in-a-row in Zürich last summer, Ukraine’s Olha Saladukha.
An off-form Saladukha could only reach 14.14m and had to settle for second place.
The other three world-leading marks came from athletes hailing from beyond Europe’s borders.
Kenya’s Nixson Chepseba won the 3000m in a world-leading 7:44.72 while US shot putter Ryan Whiting sent his implement out to 20.83m.
St Kitts’ seemingly ageless Kim Collins, now 38, sped to a time of 6.52, the quickest mark of 2015, and just edged out Great Britain’s European 100m champion James Dasaolu, who was given the same time but not the verdict.
— James Dasaolu (@JamesDasaolu) January 29, 2015
Poland’s Robert Sobera won the pole vault with 5.65m and collected some notable scalps.
Greece’s 2014 world indoor champion Konstadínos Filippídis only able to go over 5.60m on this occasion and Germany’s 2013 world champion Raphael Holzdeppe still struggling to find his rhythm and finishing fifth with 5.50m, needing three attempts to get over that height and his preceding 5.40m.
Switzerland’s Selina Buchel impressed when she won the women’s 800m in 2:01.87, the second fastest time in the world at this early stage in the season.