Stefanidi and Lasitskene maintain unbeaten runs in Padua

Stefanidi: “I’m ready to jump 4.90m right now”
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Ekaterini Stefanidi cleared 4.72m in the Meeting Citta di Padova to remain unbeaten outdoors in 2017

Olympic champion Ekaterini Stefanidi and world champion Mariya Lasitskene both extended their unbeaten streaks heading towards the World Championships in London at the Meeting Citta di Padova on Sunday (16) evening.

Stefanidi ensured her seventh win of the season with a first-time clearance at her opening height of 4.60m but she won by one clear height with a third-time clearance at 4.72m before three attempts at 4.82m.

Stefanidi will be aiming for her fourth major title in the space of thirteen months at the World Championships next month and after bowing out in qualifying in Beijing two years ago, the Greek is the in-form vaulter heading towards those championships.

Mariya Lasitskene has dominated the high jump this season and the reigning world champion, who is competing as an Authorised Neutral Athlete, is unbeaten in nineteen competitions indoors and outdoors in 2017.

After clearing 2.00m in Padua, Lasitskene has also gone clear at 2.00m or higher in twelve competitions this year but the 24-year-old was challenged last night by Poland’s Kamila Licwinko - the athlete Lasitskene shared the podium with at the World Indoor Championships in Sopot in 2014.

Licwinko cleared 1.98m and while Lasitskene had the ascendency with a first-time clearance, Lasitskene sealed the competition from the Poland at 2.00m before three attempts at a Russian record of 2.08m.

On her return from maternity leave, Lithuania’s Dovile Dzindzaletaite surpassed the 14m line for the first time this season with 14.15m to win the triple jump while two-time European indoor champion Anita Marton from Hungary won the shot put with 18.08m.

On the track, double European indoor champion Laura Muir showed her class by winning the 1500m in 4:05.01 from American Alexa Efraimson (4:06.12); world bronze medallist Amel Tuka from Bosnia & Herzegovina won the 800m in 1:45.61 from Australia’s Joshua Ralph (1:46.14); and European champion Dina Asher-Smith was third in the 200m in a season’s best of 23.15 in a race won by Allyson Felix in 22.80.