Maslak's off to a flyer as Storl, Schwanitz and Kszczot top world rankings

Pavel Maslák 
European Athletics

Pavel Maslak has spent the last two years conquering Europe and he now wants to show the world he has moved onto the next level indoors.

Maslak, 22, produced one of the performances of the night at the PSD Bank Meeting in Dusseldorf on Thursday when he won his first 400m race of the winter in 45.81.

It was a meeting record and the second best time in the world this year.

Maslak was outstanding outdoors in 2012 when he took the European title in Helsinki and then triumphed last year with gold at the European Athletics Indoor Championships in Göteborg.

He will aim to go to Sopot for the IAAF World Indoor Championships in March as one of the favourites and with more wins like this one at this European Atheltics Indoor Permit Meeting he will be among the contenders for the title.

With a 200m split of 21.70, Maslak was always in charge as he beat Great Britain's Rabah Yusuf, who was second in 48.09, and Miguel Rigau, of Germany, third in 48.15.

Another guide to Maslak's fine form came in the second 400m race which was won by Bahamian Chris Brown, the former world indoor champion, in a much slower 47.27.

This ninth staging of the PSD Bank meeting saw 2,000 spectators fill up the Arena-Sportpark and they were treated to some fabulous athletics, with Germany’s two leading shot putters stamping their authority on their events.

David Storl and Christina Schwanitz set the standard for Sopot by producing world leading marks.

With a second round effort of 21.10m, Storl triumphed ahead of his great Polish rival Tomasz Majewski who was second with 20.53m from the fourth round.

Storl had four legal throws but three of those were over 21m, with 21.09m and 21.06m to go alongside his winning mark.

Schwanitz won gold in Göteborg and silver at the World Championships in Moscow and her distance here of 19.93m was also an indoor personal best and a meeting record.

Her winning effort came in the first round and three more above 19m to follow - 19.75m and two at 19.63m - with Hungary’s Anita Marton second with 17.85m and Germany’s Josephine Terlecki third with 17.36m.

Poland’s Adam Kszczot, the double European Indoor 800m champion, warmed up for Sopot with a world lead and meeting record as he crossed the line first in 1:45.42 as Britain's Andrew Osagie ran an indoor personal best of 1:46.48 to finish second with Spain’s Kevin Lopez in third in 1:46.71.

World pole vault champion Raphael Holzdeppe is one of the biggest stars in German track and field but it was not his night.

He has been suffering with illness and failed to go over at 5.20m - his opening height - as his teammate Malte Mohr beat Konstadinos Filippidis, of Greece, on countback both having cleared 5.65m.

Germany’s Verena Sailer reached the qualifying standard for the World Indoor Championships as she won the 60m in 7.19 while Lenka Masna, of the Czech Republic, won the 800m in an indoor personal best of 2:01.69, beating Poland´s Angelika Cichocka by a mere 0.01.

This was great night for many of the European athletes who will be making more headlines in the weeks ahead.