Some of the home stars of last year’s European Championships in Berlin were once again in victorious form at the ISTAF in front of a crowd of 40,000 spectators at the Olympic Stadium.
The meeting was highlighted by a world best in the 2000m steeplechase courtesy of two-time European champion Gesa Felicitas Krause who has come rocketing back into medal contention with the IAAF World Championships just over three weeks ago.
Krause won Germany’s only track title at the European Championships last summer when she sprinted away from Switzerland’s Fabienne Schlumpf at the last water jump and a similar scenario played out on the same track with Krause powering clear of Bahrain’s Winfred Yavi in the last 150 metres.
Courtesy of a final kilometre of 2:54.62, Krause stopped the clock at 5:52.80 with Yavi (5:56.83) and Albania’s Luiza Gega (6:00.07) also under the previous world best of 6:02.16.
For Krause, the Olympic Stadium brings back nothing but fond memories and the 27-year-old is full of confidence after a string of good performances in recent weeks, including a German record in the 3000m steeplechase of 9:07.51 in Zurich on Thursday.
“Four weeks ago, I became German champion here and in 2008 I won my first major title at the German Youth Championships. Of course, the first place at the European Championships last year was very special. With each lap, the atmosphere here at the ISTAF got better and better, and when it became clear how fast I was, the stadium was vibrating, which naturally pushed me even more,” said Krause.
In the long jump, Malaika Mihambo maintained her unbeaten outdoor campaign with a second round jump of 6.99m into a 1.4 m/s headwind. The European champion from last summer looked in the form to surpass the seven metre-line once more but Mihambo elected not to jump again. “I am satisfied with today’s 6.99. I did not want to push it today,” she said.
Fellow European champion Mateusz Przybylko has had an inconsistent summer campaign but the home favourite produced one of his best competitions of the season, equalling his season’s best of 2.30m on his first attempt before three attempts at 2.34m.
“This year has been very difficult for me. I had mental issues and had told my trainer that we needed to change something. Now I am motivated to jump again. I hope that I will be able to do the same during the World Championships again,” he said.
Johannes Vetter missed out on the medals in the javelin last summer but the reigning world champion has rediscovered the winning habit on the road to his title defence in Doha. In just his fifth competition of the year due to various injuries, Vetter won with his second round throw of 85.40m to surpass Edis Matusevicius’ opener of 85.10m.
European U23 decathlon champion Niklas Kaul improved his lifetime best twice: 78.24m in round two and 78.49m in round four.
In the last track event of the programme, the German sprint relay team anchored by European silver medallist Gina Luckenkemper demonstrated their speed and technical proficiency as they powered to a world lead of 41.67 in the 4x100m relay - one of the fastest ever times by a German sprint relay team and only three-tenths shy of the national record set by an East German team in 1985.
Armand Duplantis couldn’t quite challenge his stadium record of 6.05m which he set at last year’s European Championships due to the windy conditions but the Swede notched up another notable victory, clearing 5.80m to defeat world champion Sam Kendricks on countback with Poland’s Piotr Lisek third with 5.70m.
Big throws from Stahl and Amb highlight the Swedish Championships
Daniel Stahl produced his ninth competition of the season in excess of 69 metres at the Swedish Championships in Karlstad.
The reigning world and European silver medallist started with 69.08m in the first round before improving to 69.23m with his second attempt while his two other valid throws - 67.67m and 66.49m - both would have won the domestic title by five metres.
Kim Amb produced another highlight at the Swedish Championships. He led the javelin qualifying with 85.07m before winning the final the following day with a lifetime best of 86.03m.
The Spanish Championships in La Nucia was highlighted by a national record in the hammer from Javier Cienfuegos who improved his mark to 78.70m.
On the track, European 20km race walk champions Alvaro Martin and Maria Perez stepped down in distance to win the 10,000m race walk titles in 39:33.38 and 43:52.08 respectively and former European 10,000m bronze medallist Antonio Abadia won the 5000m in 13:29.37.
There was also good quality hurdling on the men’s side with Olympic silver medallist Orlando Ortega winning the 110m hurdles in 13.33 and Sergio Fernandez winning the 400m hurdles in 49.19.
At the Belgian Championships, reigning Olympic, European and world heptathlon champion Nafissatou Thiam improved her 100m hurdles PB to 13.36 to finish second at the Belgian Championships in Brussels behind Anne Zagre in 13.10 while reigning world U20 champion Jonathan Sacoor won the 400m in 45.31 ahead of Kevin Borlee (45.61) and Dylan Borlee (45.73).
Moen clocks 27:24.78 over 10,000m in Kristiansand
Sondre Nordstad Moen might be most renowned for his exploits on the roads - and especially over the marathon distance - but the Norwegian bettered a national record on the track which was set one year before the 28-year-old was even born.
Competing over 10,000m in Kristiansand in a last minute bid to secure the qualifying standard for the World Championships in Doha, Moen not only did that but he also secured the Olympic qualifying time and the national record with 27:24.78 to surpass Are Nakkim’s previous mark of 27:32.52 set in 1990.
The brilliant year for Norwegian athletics continues!
Sondre Nordstad Moen broke the long-standing national 10,000m record with 27:24.78 in Kristiansand last night. pic.twitter.com/jdfaabDnCA
— European Athletics (@EuroAthletics) September 1, 2019
“This was absolutely amazing. The pacemakers did a terrific job, the conditions were optimal. It went very well, and I hoped for both the World Championships standard and the Norwegian record but it has to be done. I am becoming more and more of a marathon runner and I am very proud to surpass this record,” he told Norsk Friidrett.
There was another significant national record at the Hungarian Clubs League final in Budapest as Zita Kacser surpassed the 14-year-old mark of 9:30.20 with 9:26.59.