Hinriksdóttir improves Icelandic 800m record in Reykjavik

Hinriksdóttir improves Icelandic 800m record in Reykjavik
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Iceland's Anita Hinriksdóttir broke her own national 800 indoor record with 2:01.12 to win at the Reykjavik International Games on Saturday.

Iceland’s 2013 European Athletics Rising Star of the Year and former European junior 800m champion Anita Hinriksdóttir delighted her home crowd when she won over four laps of the track at the Reykjavik International Games, a European Athletics Indoor Permit Meeting, in a national indoor record of 2:01.12.

It is the second fastest time in the world at this early stage in the season and despite having only just turned 21 last month it was her sixth successive win over the distance at Iceland’s annual indoor multi-sport festival.

The time in Iceland´s National Indoor Athletics Arena lopped 0.44 off her own record set two years ago at the 2015 European Indoor Athletics Championships in Prague.

“As always, I feel a bit of pressure when I’m competing at home but I’m very happy with the way I finished the race,” Hinriksdóttir told local TV.

It was a race which also saw Norway’s record books rewritten as Hinriksdóttir was chased home by 2016 European Athletics Championships finalist Hedda Hynne, who took 0.27 off her own national indoor record set last February when she finished second in 2:01.55.

In what has become typical fashion for Hinriksdóttir, she took the lead almost from the gun but Hynne hung on and never drifted more than two strides off the pace being set by her Icelandic rival. The Netherlands’ Sanne Verstegan finished third in 2:02.99.

Arna Stefanía Guðmundsdóttir provided another highlight for the home crowd when she set a 400m meeting record and indoor personal best of 53.92, just 0.01 away from her outdoor best.

The performance, which saw her retain her Games title, augers well for Guðmundsdóttir’s outdoor ambitions.

Now 21, she started out her athletics career as a multi-event exponent and finished sixth in the 2013 European junior heptathlon before converting to the 400m hurdles two years ago, the discipline in which she made the semi-finals at the European Athletics Championships last summer.

In the field, Ásdís Hjálmsdóttir – better known as a javelin thrower and a finalist at the last two European Athletics Championships – won the shot put with 15.80m, just 15cm away from her own Icelandic indoor record.

The highlight in the men’s events came in the men’s 60m which saw Denmark’s 19-year-old sprinter Kristoffer Hari speed to a time of 6.69 in his heat before winning the final in 6.74.

His heat outing was Hari’s first ever indoor race and was only 0.04 shy of his long-standing national indoor record which has stood since 1999.

Great Britain’s Daniel Gardiner, a regular visitor to the Reykjavik International Games, won the long jump with 7.76m while Iceland’s Guðni Valur Guðnason took the shot with a personal best of 17.36m.