Olympic 110m hurdles silver medallist Orlando Ortega maintained his fine start to the season with victory on home soil at the Meeting Iberoamericano de Atletismo in Huelva on Wednesday (14) night.
Ortega has already clocked 13.14 this season but fast times weren’t on the cards due to a strong headwind in the home straight. But in a meeting renowned for producing fast middle distance action, the 25-year-old produced a commanding victory in 13.38 - against a 1.9 m/s headwind - ahead of former Olympic champion Dayron Robles from Cuba and Erik Balnuweit from Germany, who were given a dead heat for second in 13.82.
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Victory last night improves Ortega’s record to four wins from six races this season and his two defeats came at the hands of two of the world’s best hurdlers: Olympic champion Omar McLeod in Shanghai and world record-holder Aries Merritt in Rome.
After a seventh-place finish in the 60m hurdles at the European Athletics Indoor Championships in Belgrade, Ortega will be looking to make amends with maximum points for Spain at the European Athletics Team Championships Super League in Lille Metropole next weekend.
Mechaal and Terzic highlight middle distance action
European indoor 3000m champion Adel Mechaal was in action over his specialist distance and the 26-year-old produced a noteworthy performance in the 1500m, clocking a lifetime best of 3:34.70 to win by more than two seconds ahead of Turkey’s Ilham Tanui Ozbilen (3:36.81).
Serbia’s Amela Terzic margin of ascendency was nearly just as big in the 1500m as the two-time European U23 champion stopped the clock at 4:06.30 ahead of Australia’s Zoe Buckman (4:08.10).
Burundi's Antoine Gakeme, who is based in Spain, won the 800m in 1:45.15 ahead of Brit Andrew Osagie, who sealed the qualifying time for the World Championships with 1:45.73 and Kevin Lopez in 1:45.74.
Meanwhile, Sebastian Martos finished third in the steeplechase on home soil in 8:20.43 while Irene Sanchez was third in the women’s steeplechase in a lifetime best of 9:40.30.
Over one lap of the track, Poland’s Patrycja Wyciszkiewicz edged out Eilidh Doyle in the 400m, 52.35 to 52.36.
Europeans four from four on the in-field
European athletes won the four fields events on the programme in Huelva. Romania’s Elena Andreea Panturoiu went out to 14.12m in the triple jump to defeat former world U20 champion Ana Peleteiro (13.84m) and Ukraine’s Iryna Herashchenko cleared 1.90m to win the high jump.
In the throws, European U23 champion Nick Miller won the hammer with 73.18m and Sweden’s Fanny Roos won the shot put with 18.09m - the second best throw of her career outdoors.