Sprunger breaks another Swiss record in Metz

Lea Sprunger
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Switzerland's Lea Sprunger broke the Swiss 300m record at the Meeting Elite de Metz on Sunday

European 400m hurdles champion Lea Sprunger added another Swiss record to her name at the Meeting Elite de Metz on Sunday (10), one of five European Athletics Indoor Permit Meetings to take place across the weekend. 

Sprunger, 28, soared her way to her ninth honour over 300m, winning in 36.72 to break the mark of 36.89 set by Sarah Atcho a year ago. Her victory came in a record-breaking race as there was a national record in second for Italy’s Ayomide Folorunso who ran 37.38. 

Sprunger now has six outdoor national records (150m, 200m, 300m, 400m, 300m hurdles and 4x200m) and three indoors (200m, 300m, 400m) but not in the event where she has made her name. The 400m hurdles time goes all the way back to the 1991 IAAF World Championships in Tokyo where Anita Protti clocked 54.25. Sprunger’s best time is 54.29. 

It was a memorable meeting for Swiss athletes with a one-two in the 60m as Mujinga Kambundji won in 7.27 from Ajla Del Ponte in 7.34. In the men’s event, Turkey’s Emre-Zefer Barnes triumphed in an equal national record of 6.55 from Mike Rodgers in 6.60 and might start of the favourite for the European indoor title with Reece Prescod and Filippo Tortu among those not aiming for Glasgow.

With the Glasgow 2019 European Athletics Indoor Championships ever closer, France’s former European indoor bronze medallist Wilhem Belocian was a narrow second in 60m hurdles, beaten by US athlete Jarret Eaton, 7.60 to 7.61. Finland’s Nooralotta Neziri won the women's race in 8.03. 

Belarusian Nastassia Mironchyk-Ivanova gave herself a good marker for Glasgow, winning with 6.67m ahead of France’s Eloyse Lesueur, the 2014 world indoor champion, with 6.60m while European U23 champion Nazim Babayev from Azerbaijan won the triple jump with 16.67m.

Visser improves to 7.96 in the 60m hurdles in Gent

Twenty four hours earlier at the IFAM Meeting in Gent, Belgium on Saturday (9), the Netherlands’ Nadine Visser showed her upward peak in her pursuit of the 60m hurdles title in Glasgow.

The world indoor bronze medallist from last year, Visser ran her fastest time of 2019 as she won in 7.96 from Belgium’s Eline Berings, the champion a decade ago in Turin, who was second in 8.04 with France’s Awa Sene third in a personal best of 8.09. 

Visser’s win moves her to third on the European list behind German pair Pamela Dutkiewicz (7.89) and Cindy Roleder (7.91) and just ahead of European outdoor champion Elvira Herman’s 7.97.

The Netherlands’ European bronze medallist from 2015 Thijmen Kupers might have been the favourite for the 800m but he was beaten by Belgium’s Aaron Botterman in one of the best races of the day. 

Botterman produced a superb run to win in 1:48.16 with Kupers second in 1:48.69 and Germany’s Christoph Kessler third in 1:48.89. 

As Japan’s Takuya Kawakami won the men’s 60m in 6.64, there was a personal best for Joris van Gool, of the Netherlands, in 6.65 and there was more Dutch success in the women’s 60m as Marije van Hunenstijn equalled her PB with 7.34 ahead of Belgium’s Mariam Oulare, also in a PB of 7.37.

Mismas clocks 4:10.61 for 1500m in Linz

At the Gugl Indoor Meeting in Linz on Saturday, there was delight for the Austrian crowd as Alexandra Toth equalled her 60m personal best as she won in 7.33 from Italy’s Johanelis Herrera Abreu in 7.37. 

A lifetime best was also the order of the day for the winner of the women's 400m, as Hungary’s Evelin Nadhazy triumphed in 53.52. 

Likewise, European 3000m steeplechase finalist Marusa Mismas continued her good form on the flat this indoor season, winning the 1500m in a lifetime best of 4:10.61. 

The Netherlands’ Tony van Diepen won the men’s 400m in 47.35 while teammate Mike Foppen took the 3000m in 7:53.40.

In the final final track race of the day, the women’s 60m hurdles ended in a dead-heat between Croatia's Ivana Loncarek and Slovakia's Stanislava Lajcakova, both clocking 8.27.