Mariya Lasitstkene extended her unbeaten streak to 40 competitions after winning at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Rome with a world-leading clearance of 2.02m on Thursday.
The reigning world champions, both indoor and out, was the only woman over 1.97m and cleared that height at the first time of asking before going straight over 2.02m, the 10th time in her career she has cleared that illustrious height or better before making three unsuccessful attempts at 2.04m.
“I am happy to beat my season’s best,” said the Russian, competing as an Authorised Neutral Athlete. “In today’s competition I got everything I wanted emotionally. At 1.91m I missed my first attempt and then I was angry with myself. I am sure now that everyone can beat me any time, so I must not relax.”
Bulgaria’s Mirela Demireva got closest to her, taking second place on countback with 1.94m, with four others clearing the same height.
Sandra Perkovic succeeded in her ambition of beating the long-standing Rome women’s discus meeting record when she sent her implement out to 68.93m in the fifth round of the competition in the Italian capital, improving by three centimetres a mark which had stood since 1986.
“I had to keep changing my technique and I had a problem around 65 metres, so I was really angry – I just thought ‘it is now or never for the meeting record.’ I was pleased I got it in the end,” said the Croatian.
“My main goal this season is definitely the European Championships in Berlin. I also hope to collect my seventh IAAF Diamond League title this season. Now I hope to take the meeting record in the other five competitions,” she added.
Norway’s 2017 world 400m hurdles champion Karsten Warholm had to settle for second place in his first outdoor competition of the year but he will be thrilled with his run in Rome as he clocked a national record 47.82, the fastest time by a European since 2002, to move up to equal fourth of the European all-time list.
Warholm blasted his way through the first 300 metres and had a clear lead coming off the bend but Qatar’s Abderrahman Samba had judged his effort slightly better and edged in front off the final hurdle and holding on to win in an Asian record 47.48.
Another notable performance came from Lithuania’s Andrius Gudzius, who threw 68.17m for second place in the discus, a competition won by Jamaica’s Fedrick Dacres with 68.51m.
Last year’s European U20 100m champion Filippo Tortu doesn’t turn 20 for another two weeks but thrilled the home crowd with a run of 10.04 in his preferred sprint, just 0.01 off his personal best set in Savona eight days earlier and only 0.03 away from Pietro Mennea’s national record which has stood since 1979.
Coincidently, the meeting in Rome has been named after the Italian sprint legend, who is still the European 200m record holder, since his death in 2013.
France’s co-holder of the European 100m record Jimmy Vicaut finished second in 10.02 behind the USA’s Ronne Baker, who won with 9.93.
Alina Talay couldn’t get a place in the women’s 100m hurdles race in Rome so Belarus’ 2017 European indoor 60m hurdles champion went to the Austrian town of St. Polten and flew to a national record of 12.41in the final – after running a European-leading 12.61 in her heat – the fastest time by a European since 1992.
Talay moves up to seventh on the European all-time list.
Behind Talay, Germany’s 2016 European champion Cindy Roleder finished second in 12.89.