Kambundji equals world lead with 7.08 at Swiss Indoor Championships

Mujinga Kambundji
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Mujinga Kambundji tied the world lead in the 60m with 7.08 at the Swiss Indoor Championships in St. Gallen

The women’s 60m final at next month’s Glasgow 2019 European Athletics Indoor Championships from 1-3 March is shaping up to be one of the highlights next month and even more so after some very fast times across Europe this weekend. 

Poland’s Ewa Swoboda began as the world leader with a time of 7.08 from last month, a performance she followed up by being crowned national champion in Torun – the venue which will stage the 2021 European Indoor Championships.

But now she is not alone as the world leader. On Saturday (16) in St Gallen, she was joined at the top of the list by Switzerland’s Mujinga Kambundji who won in 7.08 to take the national title. 

It was a prolific performance from Kambundji, who won European indoor bronze in Belgrade in 2017 and then world indoor bronze in Birmingham 12 months ago. 

Her victory here came ahead of Ajla del Ponte in 7.17, whose personal best moved her to fifth on the European list with Sarah Atcho third, also in a lifetime best of 7.31. European 400m hurdles champion Lea Sprunger was fourth in a lifetime best of 7.32. 

Meanwhile, Swoboda maintained her unbeaten start to the indoor season as she won in 7.15 ahead of Martyna Kotwila in 7.30. 

It has been four years since Dafne Schippers won the European indoor title in Prague and at the Dutch Indoor Championships in Apeldoorn on Saturday, Schippers won the 60m title in 7.18. 

She will no doubt have to run quicker in Glasgow where Swoboda, Kambundji and defending champion Asha Philip from Great Britain are the likely favourites but the Dutch star is such a runner for the big occasion.

European 200m bronze medallist Jamile Samuel was second in 7.26 while 15-year-old N’Ketia Seedo ran 7.27 in third, a European U18 indoor best. 

It was a good championship for young Dutch stars as the men’s 60m title went to Joris van Gool, 20, in a personal best of 6.63. 

Nadine Visser set a personal best of 7.30 in the 60m final which was followed by title glory the following day as she won the Dutch 60m hurdles crown in 8.07 from Eefje Boons in 8.15 and Anouk Vetter in 8.46.

As Kambundji was capturing the attention on the first day in St Gallen, the second day saw a brilliant record-breaking performance from Jason Joseph in the 60m hurdles. 

Ivan Bitzi’s mark had stood the test of time after he ran 7.62 in 2002 but Joseph moved to fourth on this year’s European list by winning his semifinal in 7.56 and then taking the title in 7.62.

Angelica Moser, the reigning European U23 pole vault champion, increased her national U23 record by six centimetres as she won with a first-time clearance of 4.62m while Selina Buchel, eyeing up a European indoor 800m hat-trick in Glasgow, won her fifth national indoor title with 2:09.24.

The European U20 3000m champion Delia Sclabas also won the 3000m in 9:26.77. She will run in either the 800m or 1500m in Glasgow, the two events she won medals in at last year’s World U20 Championships in Tampere, Finland. 

Another Hungarian title for Marton; Roos extends national record

Hungary’s Anita Marton has made the indoor shot put stage her own and in Glasgow she will be chasing a hat-trick of European titles and a fourth indoor successive crown. 

The world indoor champion is the national champion once more after reaching 18.42m to take the title in Budapest on Saturday on the first day of their championships. 

But it will be a close event in Glasgow and some of the best opposition she will face there were on show at the Balkan indoor championships in Istanbul where Bulgaria’s Radoslava Mavrodieva - twice a medallist at the European Indoor Championships - won with 18.71m from Moldova’s Dimitriana Surdu in 18.52m. 

And Marton will also surely be keeping a lookout, too, for Sweden’s Fanny Roos.

On the second day of their national indoor championships in Norrkoping, Roos took the indoor record mark of 18.35m which she set less than two weeks ago to 18.61m. It is the second longest throw of her career after her outright national record of 18.68m which was set last April.

However, the title favourite will be Christina Schwanitz who extended her world lead to 19.54m to win at the German indoor title in Leipzig.

 

What a duel there was in Norrkoping in the women’s pole vault – and not the result most might have expected on current form.

Michaela Meijer had broken the national record with 4.75m but this time the glory went to Angelica Bengtsson as she lifted the national indoor crown for the sixth time with 4.60m to Meijer’s 4.50m. Bengtsson then had three attempts at a prospective national record of 4.76m. 

European U18 long jump champion Tilde Johansson was another standout performer with the 18-year-old winning two senior titles: 8.17 in the 60m hurdles and 6.43m in the long jump.

The national titles are building up for Irene Ekelund as she made it a fourth in the 60m which she won in 7.29 as teenager Henrik Larsson won the men’s event in 6.60, a personal best by eight hundredths ahead of European indoor bronze medallist Austin Hamilton in 6.62. 

Just across the border there were fast times in the sprint hurdles at the Finnish Indoor Championships in Kuopia. Nooralotta Neziri and Reetta Hurske were first and second in the 60m hurdles, both equalling the national record - which is held by Neziri - at 7.97. 

Double European U18 medallist Jessica Kahara, 17, also won the high jump with 1.90m.